In North America, the little Mazda sports car everyone loves is known as the Miata, but everywhere else in the world, it’s the MX5. Name and designation notwithstanding, it’s the same car. The 1988 Mazda MX5 Miata, designed in California and built with Japanese quality and known-how, has shown the way to countless imitators, and has proven to the automotive industry that it is perfectly feasible to build, sell and make a profit with a little two-seater sports car! You just need to have the right one, and Mazda hit the nail straight on the head, as proven by the minimal design and mechanical changes to the MX5 over the years.
The Miata is not all about looks, although it is terribly cute; it’s about being a sports car, something that seems that have been forgotten by many manufacturers. It’s not the top speed or the acceleration that really counts; no, it’s the handling, and how the car behaves under stress, the un-quantifiable excitement it provides…. ahhh.
To get to nitty-gritty, the original MX5 Miata was powered by a small, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that developed 114 horsepower. Top speed was 114 miles per hour, and 0-60, 9.5 seconds. Once again, these numbers hardly matter in this case, not that they’re bad or anything. In addition to being a true sports car, the 1988 Mazda MX5 Miata was equipped like a real car; a real weather-proof roof, a heater, etc., you know, the little things.