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History of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade – Video Blog

In the 1920s, many of Macy’s department store employees were first-generation immigrants. Proud of their new American heritage, they wanted to celebrate the United States parade of Thanksgiving with the type of festival their parents had loved in Europe.Tom The Turkey From Macys Thanksgiving Day Parade

In 1924, the parade (originally known as the Macy’s Christmas Parade and later the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Christmas Parade) was staged by the store. Employees and professional entertainers marched from 145th Street in Harlem to Macy’s flagship store on 34th Street dressed in vibrant costumes. There were floats, professional bands and live animals borrowed from the Central Park Zoo.At the end of that first parade, as has been the case with every parade since, Santa Clauswas welcomed into Herald Square. At this first parade, however, the Jolly Old Elf was enthroned on the Macy’s balcony at the 34th Street store entrance, where he was then “crowned” “King of the Kiddies.” With an audience of over a quarter of a million people, the parade was such a success that Macy’s declared it would become an annual event.

Anthony “Tony” Frederick Sarg loved to work with marionettes from an early age. After moving to London to start his own marionette business, Sarg moved to New York City to perform with his puppets on the street. Macy’s heard about Sarg’s talents and asked him to design a window display of a parade for the store. Sarg’s large animal-shaped balloons, produced by the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company in Akron, Ohio, replaced the live animals in 1927 when the Felix the Catballoon made its debut. Felix was filled with air, but by the next year, helium was used to fill the expanding cast of balloons.

At the finale of the 1928 parade, the balloons were released into the sky where they unexpectedly burst. The
Through the 1930s, the Parade continued to grow, with crowds of over 1 million lining the parade route in 1933. The first Mickey Mouse balloon entered the parade in 1934. The annual festivities were broadcast on local New York radio from 1932 through 1941, and resumed in 1945 through

1951.The parade was suspended 1942–1944 during World War II, owing to the need for rubber and helium in the war effort. The parade resumed in 1945 using the route that it followed until 2008. The parade became a permanent part of American culture after being prominently featured in the 1947 film, Miracle on 34th Street, which shows actual footage of the 1946 festivities. The event was first broadcast on network television in 1948 (see below). By this point the event, and Macy’s sponsorship of it, were sufficiently well-known to give rise to the colloquialism “Macy’s Day Parade”. Since 1984, the balloons have been made by Raven Industries of Sioux Falls, SD.

Macy’s also sponsors the smaller Celebrate the Season Parade in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, held two days after the main event. Other cities in the US also have parades on Thanksgiving, but they are not run by Macy’s. The nation’s oldest Thanksgiving parade (the Gimbels parade, now known as 6abc-IKEA) was first held in Philadelphia in 1920. Other cities include the McDonald’s Thanksgiving Parade of Chicago, Illinois and parades in Plymouth, Massachusetts; Seattle, Washington; Houston, Texas; Detroit, Michigan; and Fountain Hills, Arizona. A parade is also held at the two U.S. Disney theme parks. There is even a 2nd Thanksgiving balloon parade within the New York metropolitan area, the UBS balloon parade in Stamford, CT, 30 miles away. This parade is held the Sunday before Thanksgiving to not compete with the New York parade and usually does not duplicate any balloon characters.

following year they were redesigned with safety valves to allow them to float for a few days. Address labels were sewn into them, so that whoever found and mailed back the discarded balloon received a gift from Macy’s

The classic “Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade” logo  was, with one exception, last used in 2005. For 2006 a special variant of the logo was used. Every year since a new logo has been used for each parade. The Logos however are seen rarely, if at all, on television as NBC has used its own logo with the word “Macy’s” in script and “Thanksgiving Day Parade” in a bold font. The logos are assumed to be for Macy’s use only, such as on the Grandstand tickets and the ID badges worn by parade staff. The Jackets worn by parade staff still bear the original classic parade logo, this being the only place where that logo can be found.

New safety measures were incorporated in 2006 to prevent accidents and balloon related injuries. One measure taken was installation of wind measurement devices to alert parade organizers to any unsafe conditions that could cause the balloons to behave erratically. Also, parade officials implemented a measure to keep the balloons closer to the ground during windy conditions. If wind speeds are forecast to be higher than 34 miles per hour, all balloons are removed from the parade. In 2007, the journal Puppetry International published a first person account of being a balloon handler. If you are planning to see the parade this year please visit NYCTourist.com tips on getting just the right spot.

Compiled By: Josh Martin
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Posted by on November 27, 2013 in Uncategorized

 

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Kia at the 2013 Vans Warped Tour

Who is Kia Motors. Official Vehicle of the Vans Warped Tour:

For the sixth consecutive summer, Kia Motors America (KMA) heads back on tour to nearly 40 U.S. stops as the “Official Vehicle of the 2013 Vans Warped Tour®.”  At every stop, Warped fans have the opportunity to catch live music performances from today’s biggest rock and indie bands on ttemp[he Kia Soul and Kia Forte main stages as well as participate in a variety of interactive activities and events at the Kia Soul Lounge.  Along with displays of the 2014 Soul, and 2014 Forte 5-door, the Soul Lounge will feature a DJ, body painting and hair styling stations and exclusive daily autograph sessions and acoustic sessions with top tour bands We Came As Romans and Sleeping With Sirens, along with fun activities and giveaways, including a “Rock and Roll” photo booth where concertgoers ca.

n scream and rock out to their heart’s desire and a “Share Your Soul” interactive photo sharing game.  Festival participants also may earn Kia VIP passes for exclusive access to a private riser near the main stage providing shade and unobstructed views of some of the biggest performances throughout the day.  Visit kiawarped.com for exclusive content.

Source: VansWarpedTour.com

More About The 2013 Warped Tour

Warped Tour 2013 is the 19th annual Summer Warped Tour festival. Vans Shoes is again the tour’s primary sponsor. The tour dates were announced on October 25, 2012. Bands announcements began on December 7 at 11:00 PM during Warped Roadies on Fuse. The Warped Tour 2013 kick off party took place March 28, 2013 at Club Nokia in Los Angeles, California featuring performances by Chiodos, New Beat Fund, MC Lars, Craig Owens, Dia Frampton, Charlotte Sometimes, Big Chocolate, Echosmith and special guests. The tour will once again return to Europe for the second year in a row with more tour dates. For the first time since 2001, Warped Tour will also appear in Australia.

Kia Soul Stage

Kia Forte Stage

Source: Wikipedia
Compiled By: Josh Martin

 

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All About The 2013 Mazda CX-5

THE 2014 CX-5. CAREFULLY ENGINEERED TO ELIMINATE COMPROMISE.

mazda-cx-5
Introducing a feat of engineering previously thought to be impossible: the crossover without compromise. Not only does the Mazda CX-5 offer confident driving, versatility, all-weather capability, spaciousness and advanced features, but it does so with the best Highway MPG of any SUV in America—including hybrids. To make this possible we developed an engineering philosophy called SKYACTIV® TECHNOLOGY, including a new 2.5L SKYACTIV®-G gasoline engine, which reimagines every component to work together in unprecedented harmony. Brochures & Downloads

Source: Mazda USA
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The 2013 CX-5 isn’t the first compact crossover SUV from Mazda, but it might as well be the best. With this all-new, athletically minded and generously equipped compact SUV, Mazda gets the recipe right.

Starting with an all-new unibody, Mazda’s engineers set out to combine a relatively roomy interior, sharp driving dynamics and a lightweight overall package. The 2013 Mazda CX-5 will be initially offered with one fuel-efficient engine, a sophisticated 2.0-liter direct-injected four-cylinder making 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 29 mpg combined with front-wheel drive, putting the CX-5 at the top of its class for efficiency.

Choosing a vehicle in the compact SUV segment can sometimes mean settling for less when it comes to modern amenities. Not so with the CX-5. Even on the base trim, an impressive list of standard equipment will keep budget-minded consumers happy. Moving up the range will naturally net you a more comprehensive roster of equipment, with the top-of-the-line Grand Touring equipped essentially like a luxury model.

In terms of storage and cargo capability, the CX-5 is on par with its competitors. The base model CX-5 Sport has 60/40-split-folding rear seats, but for those who enjoy four-up skiing and snowboarding, the Touring and Grand Touring models feature a special 40/20/40-split-folding rear seat to accommodate long objects in the cargo area. Maximum cargo capacity is class-leading.

The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is conventional in concept yet still offers engaging styling and driving dynamics, class-leading fuel efficiency and modern amenities.

Source: Edmunds

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The 2013 Mazda CX-5 is an exceptional SUV

Unlike the Mazda Tribute, the CX-5 compact SUV that takes its place has no Ford roots. It comes with front- or all-wheel drive and a high-tech four-cylinder engine. An automatic transmission is optional on the CX-5’s base Sport trim level and standard with the higher Touring and Grand Touring trims. The automatic is also required with all-wheel drive. At a press preview ahead of the car’s early 2012 launch, I drove front-drive prototypes with both transmissions and couldn’t be more satisfied.

Source: Cars.com

Compiled By: Josh Martin

 

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All About The 2013 Mazda CX-9

CX-9

mazda-cx-9

The 2013 CX-9 spoils driver and passengers alike—no compromise necessary. With a 273-hp 3.7L V6 engine and plenty of refined features, it packs more excitement than should be allowed of 7-passenger vehicles.

Source: Mazda USA

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We expect a lot from large SUVs nowadays. Besides the obligatory amount of passenger and cargo space, we also have become accustomed to a decent amount of luxury and features aplenty. What we don’t expect from these behemoths is decent cornering prowess, but that’s exactly what you’ll get with the 2013 Mazda CX-9.

Despite everything that physics tells us, the big CX-9 can indeed be enjoyable to drive around corners. Even better, the Mazda accomplishes this task without sacrificing ride quality. Of course, schlepping the kids to soccer practice and daily commuting are more typical tasks for a large crossover, and here the CX-9 still excels, with a spacious, adult-sized third row of seats and sharp new styling.

As highly as we regard the 2013 Mazda CX-9, it somehow gets overlooked for more popular alternatives.

Source: Edmunds

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The Mazda CX-9 has struggled to keep its head above water in a sea of  large crossovers, and even though it’s the roomiest, this stylish and fun-to-drive SUV deserves a second look in its updated 2013 form.

The CX-9 again comes in three trim levels: Sport, Touring and Grand Touring. Front- and all-wheel drive are available across the board. Changes for 2013 are cosmetic and take the CX-9’s styling from pleasant to energetic: It borrows a version of the new compact CX-5’s large grille, angular headlights and curvy fog lights. Inside, new standard features include a 5.8-inch touch-screen, a USB port and an upgraded version of the Bluetooth phone and audio streaming system.

Fun to Drive

The words “agile” and “sporty” aren’t usually tip-of-the-tongue when describing a large crossover — unless it’s the CX-9. One of its greatest strengths is that it drives like a much smaller, sportier vehicle. Light and precise steering, ample power, a responsive transmission and agile handling make it engaging to drive — even if it’s just to the grocery store.

The V-6 offers plenty of power, and the 273-horsepower, 3.7-liter engine feels very smooth at idle, it’s spirited from a stop and delivers even, linear power that’s competent on the highway. Prompt downshifts from the alert six-speed automatic transmission mean passing is no problem. The CX-9’s gas mileage doesn’t stand out, however. Two-wheel-drive versions share an EPA rating of 17/24 mpg city/highway with the Explorer and Traverse. The Pilot squeaks out an additional 1 mpg in both city and highway driving.

The ride is on the firm side but not overly harsh, complementing its overall sporty nature. I went from a 2013 Chevrolet Traverse test vehicle to the CX-9, and found in the Mazda a nimbler, more composed vehicle — the ride was more compliant, the corners felt crisper and body lean was less noticeable.

At 200.2 inches long, it’s one of the larger vehicles in its class but drives smaller, thanks in part to having one of the tightest turning circles in the bunch. That really made a difference when maneuvering into city parking spaces and winding through parking structures.

Source: Cars.com

Compiled By: Josh Martin
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All About The 2013 Mazda 3

THE 2013 MAZDA3: FAR-REACHING FUN:
mazda-3-4-door
Quick off the line and aggressive in the curves, in the world of compact cars the Mazda3 is the true driver’s bread and butter. And with up to an EPA-estimated 40 MPG Highway, the driving excitement goes on and on Brochures & Downloads

Source: MazdaUSA

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Mazda has a tradition of building zippy, entertaining cars, something that’s evident in the Mazda 3, which always has been known for its sharp handling and engaging nature. Of course, the Mazda 3 still provides suitable levels of economy and practicality, too. That’s because even the base Mazda 3 comes with a refined engine and a sophisticated suspension and interior, while higher trims offer more power and plenty of useful convenience and luxury-oriented features.

There have now been two generations of the Mazda 3. The newer model is more stylish and refined, but either way we highly recommend the Mazda 3, whether shopping new or used.

Current Mazda 3
The Mazda 3 is available in two body styles: a sedan or a four-door hatchback. The sedan is offered in six trim levels — i SV, i Sport, i Touring, s Touring, i Grand Touring and s Grand Touring. The hatchback comes only in the four upper trims. No matter which Mazda 3 you buy, expect an impressive level of convenience and safety-related equipment for the money. The base trim counts a height-adjustable driver seat and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls among its standard features, while the Grand Touring versions provide a luxury sport vibe with leather seating, heated front seats and a navigation system.

For power, the 3i SV comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 148 horsepower and 135 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a five-speed automatic is optional. The 3i Sport, Touring and Grand Touring trims get a more fuel-efficient 2.0-liter four-cylinder (Skyactiv-G) that’s also more powerful with 155 hp and 148 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional. The sprightlier Mazda 3s trims are powered by a 2.5-liter inline-4 good for 167 hp and 168 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual is standard here, with a five-speed automatic optional.

While most economy cars have little in the manner of interior aesthetics, the cabin in the Mazda 3 shows impressive attention to detail. The materials used are the nicest found in this class and there are lots of standard features, so your passengers are bound to think you paid more than you actually did. Even taller folks will be comfortable up front, and the driver will appreciate the standard tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel. As expected, the hatchback offers more cargo capacity than the sedan’s trunk. And should you need more, both body styles provide a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

The current Mazda 3’s refined road manners will come as a surprise to most economy car shoppers. Thanks to its performance-oriented chassis tuning, the 3 is blessed with athletic handling and — with the s trim’s superior tires — a healthy amount of grip on twisty blacktop. Furthermore, its steering is quick and reasonably communicative. In the real world, this translates into a greater sense of driver confidence. The 3’s highway ride is smooth enough to please most commuters, although drivers who prefer softly sprung compacts like Toyota’s Corolla might think the 3 is too firm.

Altogether, we think the Mazda 3 should be one of the first vehicles you test-drive when shopping for an economy sedan or hatchback. It hits all the right notes and its flaws are few and far between.

Used Mazda 3 Models
The current, second-generation Mazda 3 debuted for the 2010 model year. Compared to the previous-generation car, this 3 has a similar underlying architecture. But improvements were made in terms of interior refinement, ride quality and power. The second-gen Mazda 3 was unchanged for its first couple of years, but then gained minor exterior styling differences and the more fuel-efficient Skyactiv-G powertrain for 2012. Also, the optional navigation system found in 2010-’12 cars was smaller and not as easy to use as the larger touchscreen found in the current car.

The original Mazda 3 was produced from 2004-’09. Much of the current car’s underpinnings were carried over from its predecessor, so both generations will offer similar driving dynamics. The original base 3 featured essentially the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine as today, although in its first two years in production, it lacked variable valve timing. The upgraded inline-4 displaced 2.3 liters, and its output was 156 hp. A four-speed automatic was optional with the 2.3-liter for 2004 and ’05, and was replaced by a five-speed auto thereafter. Beginning in 2006, cars sold in California-emissions states were partial-zero-emissions-vehicle certified.

From its introduction, Mazda expanded the number of trim levels from the initial three when the Mazda 3 was launched: i sedan, s sedan and s hatchback. The many convenience and luxury features were available in packages and as stand-alone options. In 2005, Mazda released a SP23 Special Edition as a top-of-the-line trim for both body styles. For ’06, the SP23 was gone and the trim levels expanded to include the Touring and Grand Touring trims. Antilock brakes also became standard on all s models.

For 2007, there was a very minor exterior refresh along with a standard auxiliary audio jack and a rear seat armrest for the 3s. Stability control became optional for the first time, but was available on the Touring and Grand Touring trims only. Front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags became standard on all s trim levels the following year. In its final year in production, all Mazda 3 models came standard with antilock brakes, front-seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.

Like the current car, the original Mazda 3 was the top choice of Edmunds in the economy family sedan segment. It also provided a refined driving experience that reminded us of a junior sport sedan rather than an economy car. Both engines offered satisfying power, though the bigger 2.3-liter engine was noticeably peppier.

Source: Edmunds
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The compact five-seat Mazda3 is available as a sedan or four-door hatchback and is available with Mazda’s high-efficiency technologies marketed under the SkyActiv name, including an optional engine rated at up to 40 mpg on the highway. It competes with the Honda Civic, Toyota Corolla and Volkswagen Golf and Jetta, to name a few.

Source: Cars.com

Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
 

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All About The 2013 Mazda 5

THE 2013 MAZDA5: DESIGNED FOR LIFE UNEXPECTED.

mazda-5With sporty performance, pure athletic style and a roomy interior, the Mazda5 defies category labels while delivering on versatility. The 6-passenger seating is easily accessible by two sliding rear doors, while the 2.5L DOHC engine delivers impressive power without compromising fuel efficiency. Because calling it a minivan doesn’t mean it has to drive like one.

Source: Mazda USA

Traditional minivans keep getting bigger, and for smaller families that don’t need such vast acreage, the 2013 Mazda 5 splits the difference. Completely redesigned last year, the Mazda 5 remains a mini-minivan for those with discriminating needs. If you seldom ferry more than five passengers, there’s a good chance you’ll simply enjoy the nearly 55 cubic feet of cargo space offered by keeping the third row semi-permanently folded.

The Mazda 5 offers another advantage that can’t be understated: It’s very fun to drive. Some automakers may boast that their minivan handles like a car, but with a sporty suspension and precise steering, the Mazda 5 actually does. This holds true whether you’re taking the road less traveled or just navigating the strip mall parking lot. And its humble size makes the 5 easier to maneuver through tight spaces and slot into compact parking spots.

The 2013 Mazda 5 is for everyone. Larger families will need little more space. There’s something to be said for V6 power, especially in hilly terrain or with a full passenger load. The 5 works best as a niche — very appealing — alternative to mainstream vans.

Source: Edmunds.com

The Mazda5 has been something of a curiosity since it debuted. Its sliding side doors technically make it a minivan, but its driving experience and roominess make it more of a large hatchback.

It’s been updated for 2012 with new styling and a new engine, and it gives minivan buyers a smaller alternative to traditional models. It also gives them something they likely are interested in (nimble handling) while sacrificing nothing.

The 2012 Mazda5 won’t work for every family, but if you don’t need that third row and want minivan practicality, it’s just right for you.

The Mazda5 starts around $20,000, but the as-tested price for our top-level Grand Touring trim was $24,720.

Source: Cars.com

Compiled By: Josh Martin

 
 

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Mazda MX-5 Development Story – Video Blog

tempLightweight sports cars first appeared in the years following the Second World War, but it wasn’t until the 1960s that small, affordable and fun roadsters reached the height of their popularity. By fitting engines from standard sedans into compact and light vehicle bodies, automakers could provide exciting performance and agile handling that was also affordable. The lightweight sports car allowed average Europeans to enjoy exhilarating driving on a daily basis.
tempThe 1970s saw the introduction of much stricter safety and emissions regulations in the US, the world’s largest automobile market. Since most of the lightweight sports cars were open top, they lacked the structural integrity provided by a roof. To meet the regulations, manufacturers instead added large shock absorbing bumpers or extra steel to increase body rigidity, which made the cars much heavier. In order to meet the new emissions regulations, many companies resorted to reducing the engine output. This was a tough period for the lightweight sports car, and as people’s expectations began to diminish, the roadsters disappeared from the market one after another.

In the early 1980s, with the lightweight sports car segment all but extinct, Mazda’s engineers conceived a dream for a modern compact two-seater. One engineer, who would go on to lead the development of the first generation Mazda Miata MX-5, was convinced that Mazda needed a unique product to help it stand out from the other Japanese brands, and passionately appealed to management to build a lightweight roadster.
Eventually, despite significant resistance from some of Mazda’s senior executives, the visionary engineer’s passion convinced the planning department in the R&D Division to take the first step.
Three alternative drive systems
Many different ideas were submitted in the planning phase. Layout proposals included front-wheel drive (FWD), rear-wheel drive (RWD) and even a mid-engine setup. The development team pored over early design sketches, and every aspect was discussed at great length, even as to whether it would be a convertible or a coupe.
Most small sports cars in the 1960s had an engine at the front with rear-wheel drive. By the 1970s, many mass produced vehicles had been switched to front-wheel drive (FWD). Although it went against the traditional concept of a sports car, this layout was much easier to build and provided greater flexibility in terms of engine and drivetrain combinations. The mid-engine layout, in which the engine is positioned near the center of the car and power is transmitted through the rear, shares the same advantages because the FWD engine and drivetrain can easily be carried over.
In order to minimize development and production costs, the best approach would have been to replace the body of a compact FWD car with a new sports car body, or perhaps reposition the engine and drivetrain for a mid-engine layout. Both options would allow the retail price to be kept low, and so provide the best chance for Mazda to bring back the lightweight sports car.
However, the agile handling and a linear driving feel that had made the original lightweight sports cars famous would be almost impossible to achieve without a RWD layout. For Mazda, this meant an entirely new powertrain would have to be developed, which would require a sizeable investment. In the end, despite the added cost, the engineers agreed that they had no choice but to pursue the ideals of a lightweight sports car.

Once the combination of RWD layout and an open-top body had been agreed on, the engineers coined the development concept, “Jinba Ittai” (which means “rider and horse as one”) to express the type of fun-to-drive roadster they intended to build. “Jinba Ittai” continues to symbolize each new generation of MX-5 and ensures that it will always remain true to Mazda’s original dream of a lightweight sports car.

Mazda’s MX-5 roadster is not an imitation of the lightweight sports cars of the 1960s. It is a purely Japanese car that was designed to achieve global appeal. The Japanese phrase “Jinba Ittai” (which means ”rider and horse as one) expresses the essence of Japanese culture that is incorporated in the vehicle.
The development team focused on stripping off everything that was not necessary while maximizing the character of the vehicle. To control unnecessary weight gain, the engineers restrained their desire for greater engine output and more features. While pushing the limits of cost reductions, they were never hesitant to take bold engineering steps and break new ground in the name of “Jinba Ittai.”
Examples of this include the aluminum hood, which lowers the center of gravity and improves steering stability and accuracy. Also, a standard cast iron exhaust pipe was rejected in favor of a stainless steel version in order to achieve an ideal exhaust gas flow. It was clear from the start that this sports car was going to be different.
Demand for improved safety finally drove the original lightweight sports cars of the 1970s to extinction. Achieving the required safety performance while keeping vehicle weight down was just as challenging for the MX-5’s developers. Computer analysis, which had been nonexistent in the 1970s, played a key role in the revival of the lightweight sports car. It is no coincidence that the MX-5 program manager was an expert in vehicle body engineering. By fully utilizing the latest computer analysis technologies, the team managed to build a light and rigid body which met modern safety requirements.
As Japan has a rainy season each year, there are relatively few convertibles on the roads. However, Mazda’s development team chose to remain faithful to the “Jinba Ittai” concept and purposefully picked a manually operated soft top. They also rejected proposals for a 2+2 seat layout in order to concentrate on a pure two-seat roadster. These and other difficult decisions ensured the MX-5 would be as light as possible.
A linear driving feel

The team narrowed down the possible engine choices to a 4-cylinder 16-valve 1.6-liter inline DOHC engine. They decided to stick to natural aspiration, without any turbo or supercharger. The MX-5’s Jinba Ittai-infused fun-to-drive character was realized by neither a surprisingly high output nor advanced engine control technologies.

While keeping mechanical losses and engine resistance as low as possible, the team achieved a smooth engine power curve and linear acceleration up to the rev limit; characteristics that provide an exhilarating experience for the driver.

In order to ensure adequate feedback when changing gears, engineers created a “powerplant frame” to rigidly connect the transmission and differential. It significantly enhanced the performance feel and became an essential technical element in the evolution of the MX-5.

For the suspension system, the development team chose a double wishbone setup for all four wheels, due to its superior dynamic characteristics. Despite the extra complexity this involved, the engineers never thought of compromising in their pursuit of the best possible sports car. The suspension is another reflection of the engineers’ dedication to “Jinba Ittai.”

Captivating design is an essential element of a successful sports car. The design of the MX-5 was initiated at Mazda North America (MANA), a development center located in California. In January 1986, it was decided that the R&D team in Japan would take over, and that summer the design base moved to Hiroshima with an almost-finished clay model.
Even at this stage, there were still doubts that the MX-5 would ever reach production. Some people still questioned the market potential of a lightweight sports car. To test this, a full-scale plastic body prototype was made from one of the design proposals and brought to the US in April 1987. Members of the public with an interest in cars were invited to preview the design. Of the 220 participants, 57 responded that they “would definitely buy it if it hit the market.” With the US being the world’s largest automobile market, this result had a strong influence on the decision makers at Mazda.
Having successfully survived this early crisis, development continued and the design was finalized five months later. Two years after that, in spring 1989, Mazda’s compact roadster went on sale in the US, with sales in Japan commencing in September. Japan had been without an exciting car that could connect directly with the driver’s emotions for a long time, and the MX-5, known in Japan as the Eunos Roadster, surprised many people with its instant success.
The Mazda MX-5 achieved more than a boost to Mazda’s sales figures; it triggered a number of other automakers to produce their own open-top sports cars. As a result, it brought about a 1990s revival of the lightweight sports car that had disappeared at the end of the 1970s. The MX-5 proved that lightweight sports cars can have a universal appeal. This achievement was made possible by the advancement of automotive technologies and the passion of Mazda’s engineers.
The World’s luckiest car
The Mazda MX-5 was born in the hearts of automotive engineers and brought to fruition through their aspirations. Beloved by drivers around the world since its debut, it was certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s highest production two-seat open top sports car in May 2000 (with 531,890 units produced between April 1989 and the end of October 1999). MX-5 sales continued to increase around the world, and Guinness updated the record when production passed 800,000 units in January 2007.

Even today, the “Jinba Ittai” spirit lives on in the third generation MX-5. The latest version of Mazda’s iconic roadster was born from the belief that “Only a very few sports cars possess the enduring spirit seen in the MX-5.”

It is this passion that makes Mazda’s MX-5 roadster the luckiest car on Earth.

Source: Mazda.com

Compiled By: Josh Martin
You May Also Like Seeing: “A Mazda MX-5 Balanced on a Saw Horse
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