Mazda Celebrates the Miata MX-5’s 20th Anniversary at Proving Grounds

How do you throw a 20th birthday party? If you’re Mazda, and you’re commemorating 20 years of the MX-5 Miata, you invite enthusiasts out for a little track time atthe proving grounds.

On September 20, Mazda invited MX-5 owners to its proving grounds in Miyoshi, Japan.More than1600 MX-5s made their way out for the event, representing the various shapes, sizes, and models offered over the course of two decades.

The MX-5 was launched in 1989 as a simple, fun-to-drive, and inexpensive roadster. It was meant to offer a pure driving experience, and was often compared to vintage British roadsters like the Lotus Elan. The car was received extremely well – more than 400,000 examples of the first-generation model (1989-1997) were sold.

Through the years, the car was updated with various engines, but one memorable version was the Mazdaspeed MX-5 produced in 2004 and 2005. The car featured a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 178 hp and 166 lb-ft of torque. The increased power meant the Mazdaspeed MX-5 wasmore than1.4 seconds faster to 60 mph than a stock MX-5. Only 5428 examples were built over the two years, although President and Editor-in-Chief Jean Jennings has a bespoke example…

Although the MX-5 has evolved through the years, it remains true to its original mantra of eschewing droves of horsepower in favor of a lithe, sharp roadster. Here’s to another 20…


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