Ever since the first Mazda MX-5 Miata arrived at the scene for the 1990 model year, it has effectively embraced the same lightweight, stripped-down minimalism that made so many other classic roadsters – like the Lotus Elan, Triumph Spitfire, and Alfa Romeo Spider – so great.
Today, we might apply some phrase like “less is more” in trying to describe the prevailing philosophy behind the Mazda MX-5 Miata; the Japanese automaker might still use the mantra “jinba ittai,” which means roughly “rider and horse as one body.” That is to say: the lightness of the car and its focus on communicative controls makes for a roadster that can be driven almost as though it were an extension of the driver’s body.
But can the new, ND-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata live up to the lofty expectations set by the first (NA) generation car? While most automobiles are growing ever-more bloated with additional entertainment and safety equipment, the new ND-generation of the much-loved Miata has done the impossible, shedding some 220 pounds from its already paltry weight. In real numbers, it weighs a mere 2,200 pounds or so, making it more than light enough to scoot around with great expedience in spite of its small, 155 HP engine.
Of course, fun and engaging driving isn’t just about the weight. But here to demonstrate that the newest Mazda MX-5 Miata is just as enjoyable as the original car, let’s watch a couple of endurance racing drivers race the two on a track: