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History of the MX5 [Infographic]

12th November 2015

The Mazda MX5 has been around for decades, winning multiple awards and single-handedly reviving the car market for two seat convertibles during the 90s. That's why we've compiled all the great Mazda MX5 generations in one infographic to spark a little nostalgia in our customers.

Scroll down for a transcript if that's your preference!

The MX5 has come a long way since the first generation in 1989, with the recent launch of the new MX5 and the introduction of SKYACTIV technology this model has hit the market by storm.


The Unforgettable History of the Mazda MX5

Mazda Experiment Project #5

First off, what does MX5 stand for you may wonder? The Mazda MX5 was part of an experimental project carried out by Mazda which, clearly was a success! Mazda eXperiment project #5 is the acronym behind MX5 (creative I know!).

1st Generation MX5 (NA)

It all started in February 1989, marking the launch of the 1st generation MX5. Packing a whole lot of power, the 1st gen MX5 could climb to an astonishing 126mph which was jaw-dropping for such a lightweight sports car back then - 955kg to be specific. It can also pull off 0-60 in 8 seconds which back then was quite an achievement.

This car took the sports car industry by storm, single handedly reviving the market for two-seat convertibles. One of the most distinctive features of the 1st gen MX5 is the pop-up headlights which is only a feature in the 1st generation model.

2nd Generation MX5 (NB)

Nine years after the launch of the MX5, Mazda released the 2nd generation in 1998 which stripped roughly 0.3 seconds off the 0-60 time and is able to reach 130mph. This model is available in both 1.6 and 1.8 engine sizes along with the 1st generation.

The 2nd generation also waved goodbye to the pop-up headlights which were unreliable for long-term usage and of course, less aerodynamic.

Facelift for the 2nd Generation MX5

In 2001 Mazda made further improvements to the 2nd Generation MX5, upgrading many features such as: tires, suspension, the dashboard panel, brakes, seats and many more.

3rd Generation MX5 (NC)

A few years after the updated 2nd gen model, Mazda released the 3rd generation of the Miata during 2005. This is actually the most popular model and and the metal folding roof was a huge part of this, raising the eyebrows of car fans worldwide. It took around 12 seconds for the roof to fully fold/unfold and nowadays thats awfully slow although back then this was a huge success.

The 3rd gen model also took a great step in engine capabilities, increasing in engine sizes available to 1.8 or 2.0.

Roadster Coupe

A year on from the release of the 3rd generation model, Mazda brought out the Roadster Coupe packing a mighty 158BHP accompanied by a top speed of 136mph. This model is also available with engine sizes 1.8 or 2.0.

3rd Generation Revamped

Mazda made further improvements to the already successful Miata, in 2009 Mazda buffed the BHP up to 167 and made various technical and design improvements.

Although, in 2012 Mazda released yet another improved version of the roadster - this time introducing an 'Active Bonnet' which senses objects in close proximity and was implemented to increase pedestrian safety.

Anniversary Edition Model

2014 marked the 25th birthday for the all-famous Miata and Mazda celebrated with a bang! Releasing an 'Anniversary edition model' with a new eye-catching design, a chrome tipped exhaust, rear diffuser and various other improvements. Just 1000 of these where built!

The NEW MX5 (ND)

Arguably the most anticipated model of this history-making car, the new Mazda MX5 aired late 2015 and included a ton of new features including: new SKYACTIV technology, improved brakes, headrest speakers and a powerful 4-cylinder engine.

The 4th generation MX5 is both 100kg lighter and 105mm shorter, which are huge improvements for the roadster.

Have you got the new MX5, if not what's your favourite model?

Disclaimer: This infographic was created before the launch of the new MX5.

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