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Mazda MX-5 millionth milestone

My generation: With four generations spanning 27 years, Mazda’s rear-drive two-seat MX-5 has been a hit with customers around the world.

After 27 successive years in production, Mazda has made its millionth MX-5

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Mazda logo27 Apr 2016

By TUNG NGUYEN

MAZDA is celebrating the production of its millionth MX-5 – the best-selling two-seat convertible sportscar in the world – with events for fans in its home country of Japan and around the world in May.

The MX-5 first began production 27 years ago in April 1989 at the Ujina Plant in Hiroshima, where each successive generation of front-engine, rear-drive, two-seater sportscar has been built since.

The first-generation MX-5 (NA) was initially powered by an 85kW/130Nm 1.6-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine before moving to a bigger and more powerful 98kW/155Nm 1.8-litre unit towards the end of its lifecycle.

Released in 1998, the second-generation (NB) grew in size, weight and refinement and gained a bump in power to 106kW/165Nm from the same 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine.

The NB MX-5 was offered as a number of special editions including a 121kW/206Nm factory turbocharged version, a 10th anniversary model and a Japan-only fixed-roof coupe.

The third-generation MX-5 (NC) went on sale in 2005 and again grew in dimensions, comfort and power. Built on the same platform as Mazda’s then flagship RX-8, the NC MX-5 harnessed power from a 118kW/188Nm 2.0-litre engine with later versions replacing the soft top with a folding hardtop roof.

Mazda’s fourth-generation MX-5 (ND) went back to basics and sacrificed weight and creature comforts for a better driving experience. Powered by either a 96kW/150Nm 1.5-litre or an 118kW/200Nm 2.0-litre SkyActiv engine, the current-generation MX-5 was revealed globally in September 2014 before going on sale in Australia in mid-2015.

Guinness World Records officially recognised the MX-5 as the world’s best-selling two-seater sportscar in May, 2000, a record which it has broken numerous times until hitting its one million milestone on April 22 this year.

Mazda representative director, president and CEO Masamichi Kogai said the success of the MX-5 was due to its fans around the world and promised to keep the focus on customers going forward.

“From the first generation through to today’s fourth-generation model, the reason we have been able to continue selling the MX-5 all these years is due to the strong support of fans around the world,” he said.

“Mazda was founded in Hiroshima 96 years ago, and as we move toward our centennial year we will continue offering customers the joy of driving with this model, which has become a symbol of our brand. Mazda aims to create a special bond with customers and become a ‘one-and-only’ brand they will choose again and again.”

In Australia, Mazda has sold 701 MX-5 convertibles in the first four months of this year, placing it fourth in the sub-$80,000 sportscars segment behind the Ford Mustang (1808), Toyota 86 (845) and BMW 2 Series (741).

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