Mazda MX-5

From Mazda press: For more than 20 years, the MX-5 Miata has offered sports car enthusiasts a pure, simple, fun-focused roadster at an attainable price.  Sticking to that simple concept has made the MX-5 the most popular two-seat convertible sports car in the world, according to the experts at the Guiness Book of World Records, with more than 850,000 sold.

Substantially refreshed for 2009 and updated for 2010, MX-5 is unchanged for 2011, staying true to the very essence of the "oneness of horse and rider" credo that has guided development of every generation of MX-5.

The heart of the MX-5 remains a highly-responsive MZR-series 2.0-liter powerplant making 167-horsepower (158 for automatic transmission-equipped models).  The MZR is light and compact, featuring chain-driven double overhead camshafts, a lightweight flywheel, variable intake valve timing, electronically controlled port fuel injection and coil-on-plug ignition.  Revving smoothly to its 7,200 rpm redline (6700 rpm with an automatic transmission), the flexible 2.0-liter engine delivers 140 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm for driving exhilaration throughout the rev range.

The sophisticated 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine gives strong performance, has an inspiring exhaust note, and most important of all, is tremendously responsive.  It reacts to driver commands with lightning-quick reflexes, and offers progressive power delivery.  Such linearity is the key to all of the MX-5's driving controls.

Classic sports car engine sound has always been a hallmark of the MX-5 Miata.  The original 1.6-liter 1990 model was tuned to mimic the sound of dual-carbureted sports cars of the ‘60s.  Key to a fuel-injected engine making that sound is careful tuning of intake resonance, and pointing the engine’s air intake at the driver so that sound is delivered with maximum effect.  While the 1990 Miata did just that, it drew in hot underhood air from behind the radiator.  Today’s engine draws in cool air from the nose of the car for better efficiency, but getting that classic induction sound to the driver now requires new technologies. 

Gallery: Mazda MX-5