It was in 1989 when Mazda MX-5 was launched at the Chicago Auto Show. Known as Mazda Miata in North America and Roadster in Japan, the two-seater roadster sports car built by Mazda in Hiroshima in Japan became the fastest-selling sports car in its generation. It was hailed as the most popular open-top sports car in the world. The second generation Mazda MX-5 was launched in 1998 featuring a more powerful engine and external styling cues. In 2005, Mazda unveiled its third generation and in the following year, Mazda MX-5 Retractable Hard Top (RHT) was launched featuring a button that would enable the driver to enjoy the comfort and convenience of a hard top and the exhilaration of a convertible in just 12 seconds.

Fast forward to 2009, Mazda Philippines recently gave the Miata Club Philippines a peek at the New Mazda MX-5 during the club's monthly meeting at the Manila Polo Club. Miata club members were in awe at the sight of the New Mazda MX-5. Mazda Philippines Brand Manager Prudz Castillo summed it best about the Mazda MX-5 facelift, "The New Mazda MX-5 RHT is the epitome of Mazda's stylish, innovative brand essence and the realization of Zoom-Zoom spirit Mazda is known for." Built with the principle Jinnba-Ittai or "the car and the driver as one", the Mazda MX-5 is indeed a car that proves to be the most fun to use, to drive and to own. The New Mazda MX-5 proves that genuine roadster thrill still exists. The latest Mazda MX-5 enhancements indeed cement its reputation as the most enjoyable lightweight two-seat sports car.

Classic look with a twist

A newly evolved look that is functional and instantly recognizable design and craftsmanship, which are encompassed, respectively, by "styling" and "touching" cues, are particularly crucial to a sports car since they are the main source of the car's "fun to own" and "fun to use" characteristics. The updated exterior styling reflects an evolution toward greater dynamism and athleticism, incorporating elements of Mazda's new design themes while carefully carrying forward the simple and instantly recognizable personality that Mazda established with the first-generation MX-5. It has a new front fascia sporting a larger five-point grille with a bigger Mazda badge giving a more aggressive expression befitting a sports car. To give it a sharper and edgier look, the Mazda design team gave the new roadster sharper headlamps and a more dynamic fog lamps and side marker lamps.

Seen from the side, newly designed side sills form a character line that lows to a more refined rear bumper in a way that emphasizes speed and stability. The reshaped side sills deflect air away from the rear wheels, thereby contributing to superior aerodynamic performance. The New Mazda MX-5 also has new U-shaped reflectors, red surrounding lens and red brake lamp lens replacing the metallic bezel and clear lens giving the rear end a wider and sportier look. There are even a few touches of refinements like the chrome plating on the headlamp inner bezels, clear high mount stop lamp lens and chrome door handles to give it a more contemporary appeal while retaining MX-5's classic and sleek look. To improve its aerodynamics, the New Mazda MX-5 has air guides that protrude downward from the left and right corners of the front bumper, protruding rear combination lamps and wider front tire deflectors. It also has a new 17-inch alloy wheels which have 10 twisted spokes for a more agile impression.

Perfect balance and greater performance

Under the hood is an improved 2.0L MZR engine with 6-speed manual transmission boasting of 166hp and 190Nm of torque. The rev limit has been raised up to 7,500 rpm (up 500 rpm from the previous model). The upgraded engine also features a new forged crankshaft to ensure the required rigidity at high engine speeds, newly designed valve springs, and fully floating pistons. Mazda engineers also adopted a newly developed device called an Induction Sound Enhancer (ISE). This amplifies the pulses that occur when an accelerator input opens the throttle valve to increase air low into the engine, thereby delivering a more exciting sound to the cockpit.

The MX-5 gives you the perfect balance with its 50:50 weight distribution and low yaw-inertia moment. Much of the car's weight including the fuel tank, powertrain and battery have been positioned as close to the center as possible, aiding in balance, thereby enabling it to have an ultra-responsive sports car handling. In the New Mazda MX-5's development, Mazda engineers used cutting-edge technologies to make the body light and rigid, and adopted materials that were stronger and lighter than those used in the second-generation MX-5. As a result, they were able to limit the overall weight increase to just 10 kg (22 lb) and enhance performance at the same time.

Jinnba Ittai: being one with the car

Looking at the interior of the New Mazda MX-5, it gives one the feeling of a superbly satisfying cabin. It has large leather seats that have double-stitches and have improved cushion shapes. The door and center-console armrests have each been given a soft pad for a better feel. To create more leg space, a protrusion has been eliminated from the outer surface of the mesh pockets on each door. And the door and center-console armrests have each been given a soft pad for a better feel. The divider that forms cupholders in the center-console can be removed to create a handy box for small items.

Reminiscent of classic sports cars, the sporty meter cluster incorporates five meters with individual lenses. The meter graphics show a new look between gradations for better legibility and sportier feel, and the red-backlit LCD odometer also indicates average fuel consumption and outside temperature. The dashboard has a new silver decorative panel equipped with the latest audio system functions. New Mazda MX-5 offers an auxiliary jack wherein you can hook up your digital audio player to the car's premium Bose sound system. You can listen to your playlist with an assurance of a high-quality sound system for New Mazda MX-5 is equipped with seven speakers and 6-channel digital amplifiers.

New stylish external looks, more powerful engine, fully satisfying cabin, enhanced sporty sound - all of these in a lightweight sports car. It's Jinnba Ittai at its finest: you feel one with the car whether you're driving this roadster in town, on twisty roads, or on an open highway.

The sporty roadster definitely just got better. Indeed, the New Mazda MX-5 is the original roadster that will give you the fun, playful, and sporty driving experience that you want. The New Mazda MX-5 is four different color tones: Sunflower Yellow, True Red, Brilliant Black and Aluminum Metallic.