It’s difficult to deny the sheer number of Mazda MX-5s on the road today. Today Mazda announced that a staggering 900,000 MX-5s have been produced, furthering its position as the world’s best-selling sports car.
Introduced at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, Mazda has changed the look of its roadster, but its purpose remains the same. Over its twenty-plus year history, Mazda has seen several competitors come and go, but sales for its two-seat drop top remained steady.
When it debuted in United States showrooms, the 1990 MX-5 carried a starting price of only $14,000, and the automaker continues to offer the fun roadster at a relative bargain. Now, the starting price of a 2011 MX-5 comes in at $23,905, still making it one of the best sports cars on the road for the money – if not the best.
Mazda notes the milestone car is a soft-top six-speed manual painted Copper red and headed to a customer in Germany. While the model is sold in many parts of the world, the United States market remains the number-one buyer of the roadster, with some 45 percent of the total units produced delivered here.
In 1989 the MX-5’s power came from a 1.6-liter I-4 making 116 horsepower, but weighing in at only 2011 pounds, it didn’t take much to excite the little roadster. Now its power comes from a slightly larger I-4 displacing 2.0-liters making 167 horsepower. Although mandatory safety equipment has added roughly 350 pounds to the car over the years, its power to weight ratio is better than ever. The third generation model offers 14.7 pounds per horsepower, where the first generation was still impressive at 18.1 pounds for each horsepower available.
In twenty one years, the MX-5 has seen two redesigns, and is now nearing the end of its third generation, which debuted in 2006. However, there’s no word on what the next MX-5 will bring, or when it’s even coming for that matter. We think that it can’t be too far off. What are your predictions for the next MX-5? But possibly more importantly, when do you think the one millionth example will roll off the assembly line?