The Mazda MX-5 Miata has undergone some big changes since it debuted over 30 years ago. Despite all those, the fourth-generation Miata ND still honors the driving spirit of its predecessors, and a new video highlights the performance difference between the latest Miata and its predecessors.

The first-generation Mazda Miata NA made a splash with its 1.8-liter, 131-hp four-cylinder engine. It makes 206 lb-ft (152 Nm) of torque that propels the 2,182 lbs (990 kg) car. The Miata NC has a 1.8-liter four-cylinder making 146 hp and 123 lb-ft (168 Nm) of torque. A five-speed manual sends power to the rear wheels, while the roadster tips the scales at 2,347 lbs (1,065 kg).

Gallery: 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata (JDM)

The third-generation Miata NC has a bigger 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine making 160 hp and 138 lb-ft (188 Nm) of torque. It’s the heaviest of the bunch at 2,425 lbs (1,100 kg). The Miata ND is the most potent of the bunch, with its 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine making 184 hp and 151 lb-ft (205 Nm) of torque. It has a six-speed manual and weighs 2,270 lbs (1,030 kg).

The newest Miata got the best start in the drag race, leaving its predecessor behind. It crossed the finish line first with a 14.7-second quarter-mile time. The NC finished second at 16.4 seconds, the NB third at 16.9 seconds, and the NA last at 17.2 seconds. The Miata ND also won the brake test, stopping at the shortest distance.

The Mazda continues to enliven the hearts of enthusiasts. The automaker recently updated the ND in Japan, giving the roadster updated headlights, a new infotainment system, and a limited-slip differential. The updates will keep the car feeling fresh before the next-generation model arrives.

Last December, Mazda said that it would likely have to electrify the next Miata. Tightening emissions regulations could give enthusiasts the first hybrid Miata. The company has previously announced its plans to offer every model in its lineup with some form of electrification by 2030.

We can’t wait to see a five-generation drag race in a few years. The added electrification will undoubtedly help its performance but also add weight.

Mazda MX-5 Miata
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