MAZDA WAVES GREEN FLAG ON 2016 GLOBAL MX-5 CUP RACING SERIESNovember 4, 2014 (LAS VEGAS)
– The Mazda MX-5 Miata is the best-selling roadster in history, and the most road-raced car in the world. With the recent unveiling of the fourth generation MX-5, the most frequently asked question is 'Where will it race?' Mazda gave the first part of that answer at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) tradeshow in Las Vegas today, as the company announced that the new 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata will be raced in a new Global Cup series, in North America, Europe and Asia.
Starting in 2016, there will be multiple Mazda Global MX-5 Cup series around the world, all using identically prepared cars. Full details of the Global MX-5 Cup, including which countries will be involved and when the races will take place, will be announced as they are confirmed. The Global MX-5 Cup will culminate at the end of 2016 wîth a Global Shootout at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, Calif., to crown the series champion. Among other prizes, the series champion will receive a one-day test in Mazda's top-level TÚDOR Únited States SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype racecar.
'Since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike,' noted John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations. 'Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft, and this has made the professional MX-5 Cup series very successful to date.'
'We're excited to take the elements of success of the existing Mazda MX-5 Cup series, and introduce them to a new global audience,' added Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda Motor Corporation. 'It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality.'
While Mazda did not release final specifications, equipment or technical partners for the car, it was confirmed that the Global MX-5 Cup racecar will be equipped wîth a 2.0 liter SKYACTIV-G four cylinder engine. Beginning this winter, Mazda Motorsports will undertake a development period to select the optimum tires, suspension and powertrain and safety modifications. The final specifications will be announced in 2015 when Mazda is ready to accept orders for the 2016 series.
In a first for Mazda, the Global MX-5 Cup racecars will be sold 'ready to race' from a single supplier.
For 2015, the third generation MX-5 will be utilized for its final season of professional racing in North America. The 2015 Battery Tender Mazda MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich Tires will kick off at Sebring in March, and conclude at the Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta in October. For 2016 and beyond, the existing third-generation MX-5 Cup racecars will be eligible to compete in club racing only. About Mazda, Mazda Motorsports, and MAZDASPEED
Mazda is a leading player in all aspects of sports car racing wîth an emphasis on endurance road racing. Mazda is the number-one brand for road-racers across North America among both club racers and professionals. Thousands of Mazda-powered grassroots racers compete in various classes wîth the SCCA and NASA highlighted by Spec Miata, the world's largest spec class wîth over 2,500 cars built. Via the Mazda SportsCar Racing Academy, and the Mazda Road to Indy, Mazda supports racers at all levels of the sport from club racing up to the TÚDOR Únited SportsCar Championship where it races wîth production SKYACTIV Technology.
Mazda remains the only Asian car company to score an overall win at the 24 Hours of Le Mans (1991). Mazda has had a naming rights agreement at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca since 2000.
Mazda Motorsports is managed by Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). MNAO is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the Únited States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.Source - Mazda
Rumor to be designed after the Lotus Elan, the Mazda Miata is the world's best selling sports car. With over 720,000 produced between 1989 and 2005, production proves Mazda held its title consistently.
The history of the Miata is one of interest and success. Unveiled in 1989 as the 'Eunos Roadser', prior to the name change to the Miata, it was a designed collaboration between the USA and England. Created to be a basic roadster without unnecessary weight, it was an instant success with over 23,000 sold by the end of its first year. With a starting price of $13,800, the Miata, despite its small design, made a sizeable impact in the success of Mazda's future.
The shell of the Miata is all steel with an aluminum bonnet. Weighing in at over 2,380 pounds, the Miata confirmed its small roadster appeal. The trusswork is uniquely called the 'Powerplant Frame', which connects the engine to the differential, creating a more firm and responsive feel. It's quick and responsive handling is helped due to independent double wishbone suspension on all four wheels with an anti-roll bar at the front. Optional paddle shifting was available with the six speed automatic versions of the Touring, Sport, and Grand Touring models. With power to the rear wheels, drivers thirst for corners even if they're beginners.
The Miata's appearance ranks among attractive qualities. Its cozy, subtle, curved design helped to propel sales to customers of all ages to a higher level. The bright color palette offered during production accented the appearance and still turns heads today, making onlookers yearn to get behind the wheel of this convertible on owners pine for the summer months.
A 'Special Touring Option Edition' was also offered, which included stainless steel scuff plates, Twilight Blue paint, and 15 inch Enkei wheels. The 'Club Spec' version was available with 16 inch alloy wheels and four wheel disc brakes with ABS, but also offered a limited amount of color options: Winning Blue Metallic, Marble White, and True Red.
The interior, though tight, beckoned stereo enthusiasts and those who revel in the appeal and stigma of leather. Optional passenger-side airbags and standard drivers–side airbags provided safety without drastically impacting the beauty of the interior.
With the introduction of the 'M Edition' came a wood shift knob and chrome wheels with Montego Blue paint. The option of a wooden parking brake handle was available on this edition for complete look. Other editions such as the 'Touring Package' included power steering, a leather wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, aluminum alloy wheels, and power windows. Also, the available 'Club Spec' model included CD player with speed sensitive sound, four speakers, black cloth trimmed upholstery, power windows, locks, and mirrors and black vinyl top.
Engines for the Miata were available with a 1.6L, 1.8L or 2.0L. The 1.6 L dual overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine produced 120 horsepower with 0-60 times consisting of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 119 miles per hour.
The 1.8L produced 140 horsepower with help of the raised engine compression ratio and the additions of domed pistons. The additions also helped the 0-60 time, which was marked at 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 123 miles per hour. In 2005, the 2.0L was the latest engine thrusting the Miata. The 16 valve engine produced 170 horsepower with a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds, bringing the Miata to a fast finish when production ceased in the same year.
Even though all 3rd generation 2006 models all over the world now go with the name 'MX-5', the Miata will always be the true coupe that helped to accelerate the sports car appeal with today's roadsters.Kyle McMullen