Opinion: The 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 is a new day for the company
Let’s get this out of the way quickly: it’s important to understand that the power to weight ratio, the weight, the engine, transmission and overall setup of the 25-year old MX-5/Miata name are its attraction for a huge portion of buyers.
I am not here to discount the sensation of sliding into anything from a 1989 Miata to today’s MX-5 and feeling the similarities. Like the Mini or Porsche’s 911, the basic package has remained the same for many years and the styling has been thinly revised over the model’s lifetime, until now. BMW slotted little hallmarks in like the Hoffmeister Kink and the kidney grille, and somehow managed to chuck out a very wide variety of designs throughout the years. It is the often risky and sometimes blind and blunt ambition to be different that has made the Bavarians look interesting.
If Mercedes were to introduce an all-new R-Class or M-Class, one would have to dig deep through the vast ‘interwebs to learn this. Why? Because Volvo’s designers have been consuming capsacin (not something offered in Scandinavian Cuisine), and spurning styling throughout each of their concept cars, and now, the XC 90. Who gets excited about a new soccer mom mobile? No one, unless there’s a compelling reason, and Volvo has made more than one reason for us to be interested. Though Mazda had not been languishing and picking through stale parts bins to build their cars like Volvo had, the constant insistence to keep the MX-5’s performance essentially the same and for the styling to have all of the carnal pleasure of a toll plaza kept anyone other than existing MX-5 owners uninterested.
Though this is one of the purest sports cars money can buy, if the same company is producing a more attractive car than the outgoing MX-5 like the Mazda3, something has to give and change. Without witchcraft or a wankel, it seemed inevitable that we would be getting an MX-5 with their latest KODO styling, capable of offending and attracting those of us with eyes.
In case you’re unaware, the new car, replacing the 940,000 copies that came before it, has rear wheel drive, a longitudinally-mounted four cylinder engine, a human (three-pedal) footwell, and 220 lbs less than the outgoing model. That’s all we know for now.
-By: Sawyer Sutton