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As it was the 1989 Chicago Auto Show where Mazda introduced the first Miata, it seems only fitting that the company debuted its special 30th Anniversary version of the iconic sports car at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.
Class: Sporty/Performance Car
Miles driven: 420
Fuel used: 13.7 gallons
Yikes, where does the time go? The MX-5 Miata is fast closing in on its 30th birthday, but Mazda apparently couldn’t wait until the pearl-anniversary year of its beloved two-seat roadster to roll out a welcome round of enhancements. Ever since the first Miata debuted at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show as a 1990 model, Mazda has stayed wonderfully true to its original MX-5 concept: a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, lightweight two-seat sports car with modest power, an easily removable roof, and a sporty-yet-compliant suspension.
Maybe it was the day …
Maybe it was the road …
Maybe it was the scenery …
But the sunny preview romp along the twisting ribbons of asphalt that wrap through the high-desert mountains of Southern California made me fall for the Mazda Miata all over again.
Mazda’s all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata is still a few months away from hitting the showroom floor, but already we’re getting a glimpse of its personalization potential. Mazda displayed an accessorized example of its soon-to-arrive sports roadster at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show.
2015 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Dates tested: 10/14/2014-10/22/2014
Miles Driven: 120
Fuel Used: 5.1 gallons
Driving mix: 65% city, 35% highway
It wasn’t long after its introduction for 1990 that the Mazda Miata gained a cult following. Clearly intended as a resurrection of the classic British sports car (though one that was actually likely to get you home), the Miata has survived nearly 25 years in an industry that sheds low-production cars like a Shetland Sheepdog sheds fur.
Mazda and Fiat Auto are teaming up to develop a small rear-wheel-drive sports car that will be sold as the next-generation MX-5 Miata and as the first new Alfa Romeo Spider since the 1996-2010 model. The project was announced in late May 2012 with a joint statement by Fiat-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne and Mazda Chairman Takashi Yamanouchi. The plan is to develop “two differentiated, distinctly styled, iconic, and brand-specific lightweight roadsters. . . . The Mazda and Alfa Romeo variants will each be powered by specific proprietary engines unique to each brand.”