Posts Tagged ‘a-has-been’

Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Published by Mazda Blogs on February 11th, 2014

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Jay Leno's Garage: 25 Years of Miata

Ask a car enthusiast what the best driver’s car on the road is, and the Mazda MX-5 Miata is very likely to come up rather quickly. Unjustly saddled with a reputation as a “chick’s car,” the Miata has been, over its three generations, one of the finest driving instruments ever built – it’s light, agile and rear-wheel drive with direct, snappy steering, an engine that revels in being revved and a precise, smooth-shifting transmission. The fact that it’s ridiculously affordable and reliable is simply a bonus.

It should come as no surprise then, that a car with these traits has endured for 25 years, a milestone reached only by some of the most famous nameplates in the auto industry – Corvette, Mustang, F-150, SL, M3 and so on. To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Jay Leno spent some time with the little roadster that could, while also chatting with two of the Mazda employees that were central to the MX-5′s arrival on the world’s automotive scene, Bob Hall and Tom Matano.

Take a look below for the latest video from Jay Leno’s Garage on the excellent Mazda MX-5 Miata.

Continue reading Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday

Jay Leno celebrates Mazda Miata’s 25th birthday originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 10 Feb 2014 20:00:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

Published by Mazda Blogs on August 22nd, 2012

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Veteran And Rookie Roadsters Face Off In Droptop Doubleheader

Like an aging ballplayer, the Mazda is starting to look a little gray around the temples – a bit vulnerable.

We’ve been eying this fight for a long time. Since the reborn Mini first burst on the scene in 2002, really. Oh, the Mini Cooper Convertible has been around since 2005, but we just couldn’t bring ourselves to compare them. What with all that physical and visual weight from the Mini’s nearly useless rear seats, it just didn’t seem like a fair fight. The classically proportioned rear-drive Mazda MX-5 Miata against a front-drive droptop with a pair of roll hoops awkwardly stationed behind the second row of seats, Tour de France-sized blind spots and a windshield header so far away from the driver as to be oddly distant – not to mention streetlight blocking? No, the Mini Convertible wasn’t the answer we were looking for.

And neither, as it turns out, have been all the other suitors the industry has concocted over the Miata’s considerable lifespan. Everything from General Motors’ Pontiac Solstice and Saturn Sky twins to the Aussie-built Mercury Capri, Toyota MR2 Spyder and Honda Del Sol has tried to crack Miata’s iron grip on the affordable and fun basic roadster crown, and all have collapsed rather miserably. The Miata has been around for nearly a quarter century, and it’s cornered the affordable convertible market for both new enthusiasts and golden oldies looking for a British sports car that doesn’t leak and bears no trace of Lucas electrics. To borrow shamelessly from Terence Mann of Field Of Dreams (say it in your best James Earl Jones bellow):

“The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been the Miata. America has rolled by like an army of steamrollers. The sports car market has been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt and erased again. But the Miata has marked the time.”

But now, like an aging ballplayer, the Mazda is starting to look a little gray around the temples – a bit vulnerable. Despite a steady stream of small tweaks and tugs and a parade of special editions, this third-generation NC Miata has been on the market since 2005. Since that time, Mini has effectively released its second generation of ragtop Coopers with this new-for-2012 Mini Roadster, and it poses a more serious threat to the Miata than even we realized.

Continue reading 2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

2012 Mini Cooper S Roadster vs. 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition originally appeared on Autoblog on Wed, 22 Aug 2012 11:57:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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