Source: Mazda USA
It Takes Two To Be One:
Something almost symbiotic happens when a car and driver are in perfect harmony. Case in point, the Mazda MX-5 Miata. To engineer a vehicle that seems to anticipate a driver’s every move requires obsessively reengineering every part to work together in perfect harmony. To achieve that, the engineers at Mazda took into account every bolt, every wire and every stitch to achieve near perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, resulting in a car that is perfectly balanced. Well, almost. The MX-5 is precisely engineered to account for one more variable—you, the driver. And in doing so, they created a vehicle that couldn’t be balanced until a driver is sitting in the driver’s seat. The result: You complete it. Because at Mazda, we don’t just engineer cars. We engineer harmony.
Objects in mirror have been trying to catch up for 20 years:
The fact that the MX-5 Miata has been racing for its entire 20 years relates directly to another amazing fact: On any given weekend, more Mazdas and Mazda-powered cars are road-raced
in the U.S. than any other car. Import or domestic, the lightweight, rigid and perfectly balanced MX-5 is the most popular amateur race car in the world. And there’s more—like the fact that Spec Miata is the Sports Car Club of America’s (SCCA) largest and most popular amateur racing class. And in terms of pro racing, 2011 marked the sixth season of the SCCA Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup. Now an 11-race series, the MX-5 Cup attracts many of pro racing’s top up-and-comers. A true test of talent and technique, drivers compete in identically prepped MX-5 Miatas on many of America’s legendary racecourses, including Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.
Mazda is also the official vehicle of the Skip Barber Driving Schools, Racing Schools and Race Series—the largest most successful racing/driving schools on the planet. Among its fleet of 170 race cars, there are no less than 60 Mazda MX-5 Cup Miatas.
Bottom line: The best street cars make the best race cars. And the MX-5 has been—and still is— the most road-raced of them all.
Speed is Nothing without control:
The MX-5’s 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution is crucial to its legendary handling. Its front-midship-engine placement and rear-wheel-drive layout enhance balance and directional control. Helping to keep the MX-5 firmly anchored to the pavement is a track-tuned suspension that delivers superb handling and directional stability by combining a sophisticated double- wishbone layout up front with an advanced multilink setup in the rear. A hollow front stabilizer bar is partnered with four gas-charged shock absorbers and a solid rear stabilizer bar to minimize body roll and maximize cornering grip. Manual transmission models come equipped with a torque-sensing limited-slip differential, and all models come equipped with Dynamic Stability Control* with an integral Traction Control System that optimizes both traction and handling in less than ideal road conditions. The result: handling that borders on telepathic.
We Obsess Over The Big Picture:
When a vehicle is perfectly balanced, even the smallest variation can have a huge impact. To keep the MX-5 perfectly balanced on the road required taking into account every weight-bearing variable—down to the stitching in the upholstery and then obsessively engineering12 distinct sets of precisely calibrated springs to balance out even the smallest change in weight. Finely tuned to account for the finest of details,each individual. MX-5 is precisely engineered to create the perfect balance of stiffness for control, softness for comfort and stability for all those twists and turns theroad has in store.
A Car Should be an Extension of Your Body:
Blur the line where man ends and machine begins. Every Mazda engineer understands the essence of jinba ittai—“rider and horse as one.” A horse and its rider communicate by being instinctively in tune with each other. To achieve that same effortless communication behind the wheel, Mazda engineers used multiple electromyograms and G sensors to analyze a driver’s complete interaction with the vehicle. From determining the exact location of the shift lever to which muscles and precisely how much effort would be needed to shift, every aspect of the drive is engineered to not just connect you with your MX-5, but to be one with it.
Compiled By: Josh Martin