World Classic Autos Index > Guides Index > Mazda

Mazda MX5

1st Generation (NA)
In 1982 Mazda gave the go ahead to research the idea of a lightweight sports car. Approval to develop a concept was given in 1983 and six years later at the Chicago Motor Show. It was designed with simplicity in mind and the car received many of its design cues from the Lotus Elan. In concept in was supposed to be a modern version of the great British Sports like the Triumph Spitfire and the MGB.

Initially the MX5 was fitted with 1.6 litre engine producing 115 bhp and could reach 60 mph in 9.1 seconds and a top speed of 116 mph. In 1993 (1994 model year) a 1.8 litre 131 bhp engine was the standard motor with a 1.6 available in certain markets including Europe and Japan. This was further increased in 1995 for the 1996 model year.

Th end of the first generation MX-5 was marked in 1997 in the US with 1500 "STO" ("Special Touring Option") versions and in the UK in 1998 with 400 limited edition Berkeley models.

Like any car of its age you should always look out for rust on this models. Wheel archs and the bottom of doors are the most obvious places to check first. UK models will have been been given more rustproofing than imported Eunos models. Check panel fit, it should be almost perfect, if it isn't it suggests that vehicle has the left the road at some point.

Check the service history to ensure regular fluid and filter changes and also the cambelt.

2nd Generation (NB)
The 2nd generation MX5 was launched in 1998 and is instantly recognisable by it fixed headlights as opposed to the fixed ones on the 1st generation models. These no longer passed pedestrian safety tests. This model took many styling cues from the Mazda RX-7. The 1.6 l remained available in Europe and Japan. The 1.8 l could reach 62 mph (100 km/h) in 8.5 s and had a top speed of 130 mph (210 km/h).

3rd Generation (NC)
Has been in production since 2005 and a 2 litre came as standard with 170 bhp in the US (0-60 mph 6.5 secs), 158 bhp (0-62 mph 7.9s) in Australia and Europe. In Europe the 1.8 l was still offered with 126 bhp (0-62 mph 9.4s).



Contact WorldClassicAutos