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Mazda Miata

Mazda Miata

Looking like the Lotus Elan from the 1960s, the Mazda Miata (MX5 in UK) re-ignited the sportscar market single-handedly in 1989. Like the Elan, it used a very simple formula of front-engine, rear-wheel drive with tight suspension, all in a lightweight package. The car started with just 97ci (1.5 liters) and 116bhp (86kW) thanks to 16 valves and a slightly increased redline over the Mazda 323 model it came from. Underneath was a steel monocoque with engine/transmission plus rear axle subframes, and double wishbones front and rear. The rack and pinion steering was made high-geared so drivers could adjust the car's line very quickly in corners, though it needed a lot of provocation to go off line as the handling was well-balanced and neutral. The car was easy for a convertible, too, requiring just two buttons to be pressed and two levers to be folded before the roof would go down.

Mazda Miata Specifications

Top speed:121 mph (194 km/h)
0-60 mph (0-95 km/h):9.1 sec
Engine type:In-line four
Displacement:97 ci (1,598 cc)
Transmission:5-speed manual
Max power:116 bhp (86 kW) @ 6,500 rpm
Max torque:100 lb ft (136 Nm) @ 5,500 rpm
Weight:2,073 lb (942 kg)
Economy:24.8 mpg (8.8 km/I)
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