Mazda MX-5 roadster - the big picture gallery

Mazda's MX-5 roadster passes the 900,000 sales mark. Huge picture gallery of a rear-drive hero here

The Mazda MX-5 has now passed the 900,000 production mark, setting a new world record for sports car production. It's a car we're huge fans of at evo, several examples having been owneed by various members of our team over the years. It also made the top ten in our 100 Greatest Drivers' Car countdown.

Introduced nearly 22 years ago in April 1989, the MX-5 was meant to mimic classic British sports cars like the Lotus Elan, MGB and Triumph Spitfire. Several proposals were considered including a front-engined, front-wheel-drive version and a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive version, before the team behind it settled on the classic front-engined, rear-wheel-drive layout that has been used to this day.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

The original's 1.6-litre, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder engine may have produced only 115bhp, but weighing just 940kg and sitting on skinny tyres meant that fun could be had whatever the speed. The second-generation MX-5 had big shoes to fill but managed to do so comfortably by sticking to the philosophy that made its predecessor so successful. The weight crept up to just over a tonne, but a small increase in power counteracted this to provide the same levels of driver interaction.

The Mk2 took the MX-5 through its tenth anniversary, when it first set the record as the world's best selling two-seater sports car with a total of 531,890 units.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

In 2006, the Mk3 - and current generation - MX-5 was introduced. Once again the weight rose marginally but bigger news was the loss of the 1.6-litre engine as the entry-level model, and the introduction of a 158bhp 2.0-litre at the top of the range.

Speaking of the future, programme manager Nobuhiro Yamamoto says he will 'strive to keep the MX-5's spirit alive while evolving it into a car that will be loved by even more people.' Rumours suggest a return to sub-1000kg kerb weights, inspired by the brilliant Mazda MX-5 Superlight concept. We can't wait.

Mazda MX-5 v Zonda v Mitsubishi Evo VI v 911 GT3 and more

Mazda MX-5: the full story of its birth

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mazda/mx-5/202905/bbr-super-225-mazda-mx-5-review
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review

18 Jul 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5/202787/mazda-mx-5-mk3-nc-review-history-prices-and-specs
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs

23 Jun 2020
Visit/news/202523/2020-mazda-mx-5-r-sport-revealed
Mazda MX-5

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport revealed

27 Apr 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5/202091/mazda-mx-5-refreshed-for-2020
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 refreshed for 2020

8 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/bmw/m2/202954/bmw-m2-cs-2020-review-plenty-to-worry-a-porsche-cayman-gt4
BMW M2

BMW M2 CS 2020 review – there's plenty to worry a Porsche Cayman GT4

The most enjoyable and rewarding M car to drive for quite some time. Potentially, a future classic.
31 Jul 2020
Visit/ford/202957/mountune-ford-focus-rs-m520-2020-review-less-hot-hatch-more-throwback-to-group-b
Ford Focus RS

Mountune Ford Focus RS M520 2020 review – less hot hatch, more Group B throwback

The idea of a 500-horse Focus won’t be for everyone, but for the rest it’s a glorious dose of internal combustion madness
31 Jul 2020
Visit/features/202947/bmw-m3-gts-vs-mini-gp-vs-renault-sport-megane-r26r
Features

BMW M3 GTS vs Mini GP vs Renault Sport Mégane R26.R

You could spend £250,000 on a 700bhp hardcore machine, but is there just as much fun to be had – if not more – with less power and for less outlay?
1 Aug 2020
Visit/news/18773/uk-speeding-fines-2020-what-are-the-latest-penalties-for-drivers
News

UK speeding fines explained

Speeding fines were increased in spring 2017, with harsher penalties for the worst offenders. Here's everything you need to know...
27 Jul 2020