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Mazda is the most-raced nameplate on any given weekend worldwide – and the MX-5 Miata has a lot to do with that. With more than 900,000 produced, the MX-5 is the record-holding “Best-Selling Two-Seat Roadster” on the planet (according to Guinness World Records). With a nearly 50:50 weight ratio, MX-5 feels as balanced as four wheels and tires can get, adjusting to the road as precisely and accurately as the driver expects. After receiving a mild refresh in 2013, the 2014 MX-5 Miata is a carryover model.
Oct 28, 2013
The MX-5 Miata is as uncomplicated and pure as a sports car can get. Since the two-seater entered the marketplace more than 20 years ago, the MX-5 has defied the convention that sports cars, particularly convertibles, were pricey, unattainable flights of fancy reserved exclusively for those with deep pockets. But enthusiasts come in all shapes, all ages, and with a variety of pocket sizes so it’s no wonder that with more than 900,000 units sold, the MX-5 is by far still the best-selling two-seat roadster in the world, and with the Guinness World Records to prove it.
“Affordable and tuned to produce driver happiness, the MX-5 Miata has been a global success and an enthusiast favorite since the beginning,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “The continued passion for the MX-5 is a testament to Mazda’s dedication to creating a true no-nonsense driver’s car, and we look forward to sharing the next milestone with its ever-growing loyal fan base.”
At the heart of the 2014 MX-5 remains the highly-responsive MZR 2.0-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with an output of 167 horsepower at 7,000 rpm with 140 lb-ft of torque at 5,000 rpm. Automatic-equipped models feature the same torque output but produce 158 horsepower at 6,700 rpm. The sophisticated, sturdy engine is light and compact, offers a strong performance and unmatched responsiveness for its nearly 50:50 weight distribution of the already lean roadster. With a 7,200-rpm redline (6,700 rpm in automatics) the flexible engine delivers driving exhilaration throughout the rev range. Reacting to driving commands with lightning-quick reflexes and progressive power delivery are linear keys to MX-5’s stellar driving controls.
A thrilling engine growl adds to the already intoxicating joy of the MX-5’s handling capabilities. The original 1.6-liter engine-equipped 1990 model was tuned to mimic the sound of dual-carbureted sports cars of the 1960s, and thus the classic sound has been a hallmark of the Mazda roadster. Key to a fuel-injected engine sounding identical was the careful tuning of intake resonance, and directing the engine’s air intake toward the driver so that the pleasing audio reverberates with full effect. However, while the first-generation MX-5 did just that, it also drew in hot under-hood air from behind the radiator. Introduced in 2006, the third (and current) generation MX-5’s engine draws in cool air from the nose of the vehicle for better efficiency, but creating that classic induction sound now requires the assistance of new technologies.
The lightweight plastic composite intake manifold itself has been designed to transmit certain frequencies to match the original sports car tone while suppressing less ideal sounds. 2014
MX-5 models with six-speed manual transmissions are equipped with an Induction Sound Enhancer (ISE). Consisting of a series of tuned pipes and a passive resonance membrane, the ISE delivers the engine’s natural induction sound to the cowl, just ahead of the windshield, so more attractive engine sounds can be heard at a satisfying volume without resorting to simply being loud, obtrusive noise.
The MZR 2.0-liter engine is mounted front mid-ship for precise handling and balance. Utilizing an aluminum block and head for decreased weight and increased structural rigidity ultimately enhanced performance and refinement. Chain-driven double-headed camshafts and 16 valves are used for improved revving and flexibility. Variable intake valve timing betters low-end torque and high-end power. Additional engine features include a forged steel crankshaft, forged steel connecting rods with floating wrist pins, revised pistons with stronger wrist pin bosses, stiffer valve springs and an engine oil cooler.
Standard equipment is a five-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter (Sport models only). An available six-speed manual gearbox offers gear ratios close-stacked to enhance driving enjoyment. A six-speed automatic transmission adds yet another dimension to the MX-5 to fit a variety of consumer preferences. Automatic transmission-equipped models also feature steering-wheel mounted dual-paddle shifters. The upper paddle commands downshifts while the lower paddle controls upshifts, similar to a race car’s operation. For all transmissions, engine torque is coordinated with the shift sequence, resulting in smooth, seamless and faster gear changes for inspired driving.
The Finer Details
The MX-5 Miata was developed primarily for the North American market and throughout the vehicle’s history the region has come through to remain dominant in global sales for what has inevitably become the world’s best-selling two-seat convertible. Available with two distinctive and easy-to-operate head wraps, the 2014 MX-5 Miata comes standard with a Z-fold design soft-top or an industry-leading Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT).
The soft top, available on all trim levels, continues to set the industry standard with its simplicity and ease of use. With a central latch handle, the top requires only a simple hand motion to fold and stow behind the seats. The top itself descends into a cleverly designed storage well, thus leaving the 5.3 cubic feet of cargo space completely untouched.
An available option on Club and Grand Touring trims only, the PRHT is stored in the same manner as the soft top, again not affecting storage space. Designed to perform in any climate, PRHT models outsell soft-top models by a 4:1 ratio worldwide. Using a single-button operation, the PRHT offers one of the fastest power-operated open-and-close cycles for a hard top in North America at an efficiently expedient 12 seconds.
In terms of packaging, the Sport model (vinyl black soft top only) represents the easiest entry for any sports car enthusiast, regardless of budget. Whether the driver has an instinctive lead foot or just looking to let more sun shine in, the lightweight MX-5 Sport will never be categorized as a slug. Weighing in at a fat-trimmed 2,447 lbs., Sport models are equipped with a short-throw shifter five-speed manual transmission, 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels outfitted with 205/50R16 high-performance Yokohama ADVAN A11A tires, dual exhausts, chrome headlamp bezels, power-adjustable mirrors, power windows with a driver’s one-touch up/down feature, air conditioning, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an AM/FM/CD/MP3-compatible audio system with six speakers, an auxiliary audio jack and speed-sensing automatic volume control. The black-cloth upholstered bucket seats feature manual reclining, forward/back sliding functions and seat height adjustment.
When optioned with the six-speed automatic transmission, the Convenience Package is automatically combined to add features such as cruise control, a “global open” window function (the ability to lower all windows via keyless transmitter prior to entering vehicle), power lock doors, remote keyless entry, silver seatback trim, a trip computer as well as steering-wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls.
Moving up to the Club, the standard manual transmission adds another gear stroke to six as well as a shock tower brace. Dark gunmetal 17-inch alloy wheels wrapped in 205/45R17 street-sticky Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires are standard as are back-in-black details with black outside mirrors and head lamp bezels. A black front air dam and rear diffuser are included as well as a seat back bar garnish displayed in a glossy dark gray motif. For Club models equipped with a six-speed manual transmission, the Suspension Package comes standard, featuring a sport-tuned suspension, Bilstein shocks and a limited slip differential. Available only with a black top (soft top or PRHT), specialized exterior “Club” graphics and badges round out the finishing touch to fashion an attractively bold MX-5 look.
The “Club” theme continues into the interior with a body color-matching decoration panel featuring trim-specific graphics. Red contrast stitching is featured on the black cloth seats. In Sport models, black upholstery with black stitching is standard while leather seats are standard in Grand Touring models in either black or Spicy Mocha. Sport and Grand Touring models have a dark gray decoration panel.
The Convenience Package available on the Sport trim comes as standard equipment on Club models as does a leather shift knob, contrast red stitching on black cloth seats, a dark gray contoured surround meter around the gauges and a body-color dash panel.
For a more luxurious feel, the top-of-the-line Grand Touring sits on 17-inch silver aluminum alloy wheels packaged with 205/45R17 high-performance Bridgestone Potenza RE050A tires. Available with either a black or Spicy Mocha cloth soft top or a body-colored PRHT, the interior features the Sport’s Convenience Package as well as leather-trimmed seats with five heat settings, an auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink®, an in-dash six-disc CD changer, leatherette door trim, a Bose® seven-speaker premium surround sound audio system, silver seat back bar trim and a leather-wrapped parking brake.
Available packages for Grand Touring models are the Suspension and Premium Packages, both of which must be ordered together. The Suspension Package features Bilstein shocks, a limited slip differential and a sport-tuned suspension. The Premium Package offers an anti-theft alarm, a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, xenon headlights, the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System and Sirius Satellite Radio with a four-month complimentary subscription (Sirius Satellite Radio is an available option on Sport and Club models). When fully-equipped and topped with a PRHT, the MX-5 still weighs a svelte 2,619 lbs.
The continued weight savings can be found in the form of aluminum – in the hood, trunk lid, foot control arms, rear uprights and rear calipers. The MX-5’s unibody makes widespread use of high-strength and ultra-high-strength tensile steel, which increases body strength while decreasing weight.
The sturdy MZR 2.0-liter engine has an aluminum block and head, the exhaust manifold is crafted from lightweight tubular steel (instead of cast iron) and the intake manifold and cam cover are constructed from lightweight composite plastic. Combined with its track-proven suspension and responsive power, the rear-wheel-drive roadster is a lightweight only in pounds and not street prowess.
All models of the 2014 MX-5 Miata include advanced safety features such as dual front airbags with a passenger deactivation switch, side-impact airbags, side-impact door beams, three-point safety belts with pretensioners and force limiters, an Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) with Electronic Brake Distribution (EBD), Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), a Traction Control System (TCS) and a Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
Also, all Mazda vehicles come with the Mazda Certified Roadside Assistance Program. Using either the toll-free number or free Mazda Assist app for iOS- and Android-operated mobile devices, vehicle owners and their family members can contact roadside assistance 24 hours a day, 365 days a year throughout the United States and Canada. In addition, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty includes a comprehensive three-year/36,000-mile warranty, which covers every part of the vehicle except those subject to normal wear, a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
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For further information: Contact: Octavio Navarro, Mazda Information Bureau, (800) 248-0459 Eric Booth, Mazda North American Operations, (949) 727-6144