Check out issue #11 of Total MX-5 – order your copy (with FREE UK postage) here…
From the Editor…
Other sports cars, such as the Porsche 911, may have enjoyed longer production runs, but I reckon 30 years for a relatively mass produced affordable roadster is pretty good going. Normally a mainstream car manufacturer gets bored of its niche model after a few years – or the market does – or reinvents it in another format, forgetting what made the car such a hit in the first place.
Not Mazda. Not with the MX-5. Over the course of three decades and across four generations, the MX-5 has evolved but kept at its core the original’s attributes of an entertaining rear-wheel drive driving experience, good looks, compact size, mechanical reliability, and keen pricing. It’s a formula that was instantly and hugely successful when Mazda launched the MX-5 in Chicago 30 years ago, and it remains just as appealing today. Mazda should be applauded for not meddling too much: even the oft-maligned mk3 is these days being reassessed by many as a worthy MX-5 after all.
Given that it is the MX-5’s 30th anniversary, we mulled going back over old ground. But we figured that as MX-5 enthusiasts already, our readers probably know most of the background to the car anyway. Besides, we covered the car’s creation in some depth in the first couple of issues of Total MX-5, so rather than repeat ourselves we went on the hunt for stories you may not have heard before, but which are relevant to the 30th anniversary celebrations.
Mazda UK’s Heritage Fleet, for example, that you can read about on page 34. Within that fleet are nine MX-5s of all four generations, and we were lucky enough to drive four of them, including an exceptionally low mileage Le Mans. I’d also urge you to check out this issue’s Insight feature, on page 20. We’ve interviewed Tim Watson, Mazda UK’s PR manager at the time of the MX-5’s British launch, and he has some fantastic tales to tell. I knew Tim back then and he was too professional to divulge anything but the corporate line. He’s out of the game now – growing grapes in California – and was more than happy to remove the PR filter: it’s a great read.
Finally, supercharger or turbo? On page 40 a couple of good mates, Oli and Rob, have differing opinions but a shared passion for the MX-5.