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Mazda's magical Miata - 25 years on

2014-05-13 13:21

25 YEARS LATER: Mazda has launched a 2014 version (above) of its popular Miata MX-5, one of the most-loved of two-door roadsters. Image: Mazda

Its been 25 years since the Mazda Miata / MX-5 made its debut as a fun-to-drive, sporty roadster. Now, to celebrate the aniversary, there’s a new model... in the US.

With a starting retail price of less than the equivalent of R257 500 in the US, the rear-wheel drive Miata is arguably one the most affordable two-seat sports cars not only in the States but around the world.


Sadly, since Ford and Mazda SA have gone their separate ways, nobody is quite at liberty to say,well, anything about anything until the new Mazda honchos take over locally.

Right now, it’s not clear if the 2014 Mazda Miata will arrive in South Africa. We’ll just have to wait and see - and perhaps start saving.

Miata, by the way, means (as far as we know) one of four things – the Japanese for a ‘shrine of field rice’ and the second, which seems more likely, is an acronym for ‘Make it a Topless Afternoon’. Then apparently, Miata is based on a German word for "gift". Where ‘Jinba Ittai’ means "one horse, one rider" in Japanese, it was allegedly the basis of the car's development programme.


According to the Detroit News, Mazda says “with just a few electronic amenities offered, the Miata stays true to its heritage — a car to drive and to enjoy driving”.

So much so, that the current version still does not come standard with a navigation system or a large, colourful screen for the dashboard and some versions don’t have Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity either.

Ann Job of Associated Press, appearing in the DetNews, said: “The 125kW Miata is all about driving pleasure and how a low-to-the-ground car happily hugs the road, how it readily scoots forward and how it can make a driver feel at one with the vehicle.”

The 2014 Miata has a two-litre, four-cylinder engine pushing out 190Nm at 500rpm, mated to a five-speed manual transmission. There’s also a six-speed auto.

Standard goodies on the entry model include a list of manually operated items such as the vinyl soft top (black only), adjustable cloth-covered seats, aircon and door locks. There’s also a mesh wind-blocker and 16” tyres.

Next level up sees auto aircon, power door locks, steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls, 17” wheels, keyless remote entry and an optional power-operated hard top.

Read the original story here.
Read more on:    mazda  |  launch  |  united states  |  new model

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