For 1992, the Mazda Miata MX-5 was priced at $14,200. Changes were minimal; the suspension was slightly modified, and there was limited availability of black and yellow colors. The dual-overhead cam four-cylinder engine with 4 valves per cylinder developed 116 horsepower. It was mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and disc brakes at all four corners. Zero-to-sixty took just 9.1 seconds to achieve.
By Daniel Vaughan | Dec 2011
THE CLASSIC IS REBORN.
For years, those who loved the road, the wind, the sky, and the stars had cars to satisfy their passions: the classic roadsters. But then those cars disappeared. The car enthusiasts at Mazda asked, 'Why?' and set out to give the world a modern car that recreated the special feeling and pleasure of classic sports car driving. That car is the Mazda Miata, a car that becomes a part of you and responds, not just to your command, but almost to your thought. In short, a car with heart and soul.
Imagine yourself on what might be the most perfect two-lane country road in existence, your best friend sitting beside you and the throaty Miata exhaust growl making you forget all about those CDs you brought along. And then you come to a sharp curve.
But then it's gone. Dropping down and then up a gear is so quick and light, and the steering and brakes so direct and natural that you're out of the turn, back on the straight, almost without realizing it. Clutch, shift, gas, clutch, brake, steer, gas, clutch, shift, clutch, gas. It seemed to be just a series of thoughts.
For a car to feel this good when driven this enthusiastically isn't something that just happens. Like every car we make, the Miata was designed using Kansei Engineering, our deeply held philosophy that a car must go beyond merely performing right; it must also feel right. Úsing Kansei Engineering we learn things no computer could ever tell us. Things like how stable the car feels going around a curve; if the exhaust sounds just right when accelerating; even how a driver feels resting an elbow on the window sill. This devotion to designing vehicles based on human needs and emotions leads Mazda to innovative solutions.
It was learned, for example, that the Miata would feel right only if it had perfect, 50/50 front/rear weight distribution. To achieve that, we did critical design work with the car suspended on a single steel cable from its exact center, allowing ideas affecting weight distribution to be immediately seen and evaluated. This resulted, among other things, in giving the Miata a light, but strong, aluminum hood, and mounting the special low-weight battery in the trunk.
When our engineers were done, the classic roadster was back, but now with modern technology and reliability, and a special feeling behind the wheel that could only have com from Mazda. Drop the top and get some wind in your face. These are the good old days.
WHY IT FEELS THE WAY IT FEELS.
Everywhere you go, you're accompanied by a deep, throaty growl. That glorious sound comes from the high-revving, DOHC, 16-valve fuel-injected Miata engine. It provides quick throttle response thanks to a race-bred induction system, distributorless ignition, and lightweight flywheel. Helping the motor breathe deeply is a tuned exhaust system with stainless-steel 'headers,' just like the setup used on high-performance exotics. And, to make sure the Miata experience sounded just right, Mazda engineers tried over 100 different exhaust notes before finding the one that said 'sports car.' After a while, that exhaust note will tell you when to shift.
The shifter feels so good, you'll try to find excuses to run through the gears. Controlling a 5-speed, close-ratio overdrive transmission, the shifter's compact linkage has slick, precise throws of only 1.8 inches. Car and Driver said it 'feels like a toggle switch.' A four-speed automatic transmission with overdrive is also available.
A Miata is rock-solid, with little of the body flex that degraded handling and comfort in classic roadsters. Mazda engineers used Dynamic Modal Analysis software and a Cray supercomputer to analyze body stress at 8900 points, and created a chassis/body so rigid, the additional bracing used in most convertibles was not needed. To keep the three major drivetrain components as rigid as the chassis, Mazda examined the technology used in some of the world's most exotic sports cars and created an ingenious lightweight subframe called the Power Plant Frame (PPF). Refining the classic front-engine/rear-drive layout, the PPF locks engine, transmission and differential into one solid piece of machinery. You'll notice a near absence of vibration, shudder, or slack even if you're changing gears, braking, and turning all at the same time.
What there's no absence of is road feel. You'll know exactly what your wheels are doing, and they'll respond instantly to your command through the quick rack-and-pinion steering system. All four wheels are independently suspended on double wishbones, coil springs, and low-pressure gas-filled shocks. Adding the optional limited-slip differential can further improve handling on wet or slippery road surfaces.
Únfortunately, there are times when you have to slow down, or even bring you Miata to a complete stop. Handling that job are power-assisted 4-wheel disc brakes, with the front discs ventilated for increased fade resistance. The optional Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) provides reassuring stability and steering control under hard braking.
While any car is the sum of its parts, those in the Miata seem to add up a whole lot better. You may not remember why a Miata feels the way it does, but after even one drive you'll never forget the feeling. INTERIOR
NOTHING WAS LEFT TO CHANCE.
Just like its mechanical components, the interior features of the Miata are designed to provide an incredible feeling of command and control.
Settle into the contoured, high-back bucket seat. The pedals are arranged in the exact position for heel-and-toe driving, and the short-throw shifter is just where you hand expects to find it. In front of you is full white-on-black 'quick-read' analog instrumentation ringed in classic chrome. Every gauge and control is carefully placed for instant visibility and ease of operation.
The softtop is easy to use, also. It can be raised or lowered in just a moment by one person. When the weather turns chilly or wet, raise it to create a snug, warm, dry cabin.
Everything in a Miata serves the sole purpose of improving the sports car experience. Whether it's the way the car handles the road, or the way the driver handles the car, there should never be a doubt about who's in control. In a Miata, you are. PASSION
WHAT A ROADSTER IS ALL ABOÚT.
Somehow, the miles and the hours have slipped by almost without notice, and now you're in a place you've looked at, but never really seen before. It's something you'll have to get used to. It happens all the time to Miata owners.
Is it the rush of the wind? Or the warmth of the sun? Maybe it's that mellow, almost comforting, sound the Miata makes, or the way this roadster lets you handle a brand new road like you've been driving it all your life. Reasons for loving the Miata are as many and as varied as the conversations that take place in them. But whatever your particular reason is, there's a very good chance that what started out as just a pleasant Sunday drive has put you many miles from home, and forced you to answer a couple of serious questions: 'Do we leave the top down?' and 'Is there an even longer way home?'Source - Mazda