The MX-5 - in celebration of the best “British” sports car on the road
As Mazda prepares to unveil its fourth generation roadster, we look back at the models which have made it a motoring icon
Remember those amazing pop-up headlights? Gone but not forgotten, those iconic lights were a prominent feature of the first MX-5, which went on sale way back in 1989 powered by a 1.6 litre petrol engine. Today you could pay as little as £600 for the original version of the MX-5, although it would pay to keep an eye out for rust and ripped roofs.
The pop-up lights were abandoned for the Mark II MX-5, which first went on sale in 1993. This time the car got a 1.8litre petrol engine and more muscular body style.
As with many modern motors, the Mark III MX-5 was a slightly more weighty model than its predecessor, coming in at more than 1,000kg. Launched in 2005, it was sold with either a 1.8 or 2litre engine. A car with a plastic hard-top roof was added to the range in 2006. Good examples of the Mark 3 can be found for as little as £4,000.
It might be Japanese through and through, but the fourth generation Mazda MX-5 will continue the rich heritage of “British” two-seater roadsters. With its wind-in-the hair appeal and stripped back style, the MX-5 has always been reminiscent of the golden days when cars bearing Triumph, MG and Austin Healey badges tore down hedge-lined country lanes.
The new MX-5 will make its European auto show debut at the 2014 Paris Motor Show in October.
In terms of design, Mazda says the latest edition of the best-selling two-seater roadster in history is arguably the sportiest ever. We can’t wait to find out if they’re right.
*Which is your favourite MX-5? Let us know.