Mazda's Baby Grows Up
The history of the Mazda Miata begins in 1989. The very first Miata was extremely small in size and the complete effect was certainly remarkable. The highly engineered steering combined with the smaller disk brakes worked like a charm. The interior was minimal, but sufficient. The idea was to keep the design simple and clean-looking.
Banking on the success of the early model, the 1991 Mazda Miata was fine tuned with only a few small changes, including an automatic, four-speed transmission and antilock brakes. This version had a starting price of $13,800.
Over the next few years, the Miata enjoyed cosmetic changes. The body-color paint was offered first in British Racing Green, then a more daring Sunburst Yellow and a striking Brilliant Black. Certain editions also came with leather interior (brown or red), a roof liner, a defroster, and an enhanced sound system. By 1993, this Mazda was also sporting a brand new logo on the hood.
In 1994, special attention was paid to the safety features. For example, an airbag was added to the passenger side and more weight was added to the car in the form of a 1.8 liter, 128 horsepower engine.
The engine was significantly overhauled again in 1996 to comply with regulations. This time the 1.8 liter engine powered up to 133 horsepower. In addition, new body colors were introduced, including Starlight Mica.
The latest Miata models present a more rounded form, but are as compact as ever. The 10th Anniversary edition of 1999 enjoyed additional amenities, including a manual 6-speed transmission.
All along, Mazda Miata has remained true to its original and pioneering vision. It is a revolutionary sports car that has influenced the design of other roadsters. There is little doubt that it will continue to lead in the line of future two-seaters.
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