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                                                                         2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata
                          IMAGE  CREDITS -Mazda


(Source Mazda ) 
          The all-new 2006 Mazda MX-5 Miata has inherited its predecessor’s sporty DNA and continues to exemplify Mazda’s Zoom-Zoom philosophy. To convert the subtle imagery of Jinba Ittai into nuts-and-bolts reality with a body shell, drivetrain, and chassis components, Mazda designers wielded a tool called Kansei Engineering.

Like Jinba Ittai, Kansei is difficult to translate into Western terms, although "thoughtful awareness" and "heightened sensitivity" are the expressions that come closest to defining Kansei. It is the realization that the fitness of every constituent part underlies the goodness of the whole, that the aforementioned synergy between driver and car can be honed so that it can be felt by anyone who experiences the vehicle in motion. Another Kansei canon is that every aspect of design, mechanical function and dynamic response ultimately contribute to driving satisfaction.

      Engine                                       Inline-4
      HP     170 @7000 rpm
      Displacement      122 CI / 2000 CC
      Torque     140 ft lbs @ 5000 rpm
      Weight     2529 lbs
      Acceleration 0-60  mph         7 sec.                                         
      Top speed     --
      Driveline     --
      Price (approx)     $20,495

         To renew the MX-5, Mazda engineers focused on evolving the lightweight sports car concept as the all-new car must follow in the tracks of a modern motoring icon. In May 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records recognized the Mazda MX-5 as the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history, with 531,890 units produced to that date. Since that affirmation, demand has held strong. More than 700,000 Mazda MX-5s have been sold around the globe.

Minimal Weight as a Virtue

     There's a natural tendency for curb weight to increase when we try to meet growing market demands. Realizing that this is contrary to the Jinba Ittai goal and that extra weight would have a dramatically negative influence on driving, cornering, and braking performance, Mazda engineers made every gram count. (In the English measurement system used in the U.S. and elsewhere, one pound equals 454 grams.) Their "gram strategy" assessed weight in the smallest possible increments and carefully scrutinized weight-trimming opportunities. Other weight-saving tactics were employed as well. Advanced technology was applied where practical to achieve a light and rigid unibody design using materials that offered higher strength and lighter weight.

In its final form, the new Mazda MX-5 is more powerful, more capable, more comfortable, and more useful. It offers several new features and further improves occupant protection from collision injury. Yet, thanks to Kansei Engineering efforts, curb weight has only increased by approximately 10 kg (22 pounds).

While saving weight is a top priority for achieving Jinba Ittai , other concerns were the stiffness of the unibody structure, the height of the car's centre of gravity, 50:50 weight distribution and the vehicle's moment of inertia about the vertical (yaw) axis. (A lower yaw moment of inertia quickens the vehicle's responsiveness to the driver's steering commands.) Each of these parameters strongly influenced the new Mazda MX-5's overall fun-to-drive characteristics.

A stiff body structure is an essential ingredient in the feeling of oneness between the driver and the car. Thanks to shrewd analysis and the application of advanced materials such as ultra-high-tension steel, the new unibody delivers an increase of 22 percent for flexural stiffness and 47 percent for torsional rigidity compared to the previous-generation Mazda MX-5. And moving the engine rearward by 135 mm (5.3 inches) was a major step towards balancing front-to-rear weight distribution and reducing the yaw moment of inertia.


Mazda's newly-developed six-speed manual transmission is available in all markets. Five-speed manual and advanced six-speed automatic, which can be manually controlled by the shift lever and by steering-wheel-mounted paddles, are also lined up (depending on market).

Sports car enthusiasts reap a special pleasure from changing gears by a quick flick of the wrist. To enhance this aspect of the Mazda MX-5 character, the shift lever's movement was engineered for ultra low effort and a very short stroke. Triple-cone synchronizers for the first four gears help reduce engagement forces. In the interests of efficiency, the 3 rd and 4 th gear synchros are located on the counter shaft. The shift rod is supported by low-friction bushings and lever motion is directed by a guide plate.


Configuring the braking system for short pedal travel, response keyed directly to pedal force and a high degree of linearity is also a means of enhancing the Mazda MX-5's feeling of oneness. Front rotors are 20 mm (0.8 inches) larger in diameter for improved thermal capacity and calipers are 25 percent stiffer. Brake hoses are less resilient and the power booster is 25.4 mm (1 inch) larger than before. Thanks to these revisions and improved front-to-rear balance, stopping distances achieved with the four-wheel single-piston-caliper disc system are exemplar.

Exterior Design

The new Mazda MX-5 is clearly the son of its father. Exterior design themes had to include the "fun" factor as well as "modern styling." To achieve this, the all-new Mazda MX-5 had to remain approachable and fun, but had to be updated with modern styling cues to communicate both the simple functionality of a modern lightweight sports car and the athletic solidity of a true sports car, both of which remain obvious Mazda MX-5 design DNA attributes.

The most notable departure from the previous exterior shape is the elimination of the classic "Coke bottle" shape of the contours. The nose and tail are smoothly tapered, as before, but now the surfaces wrap smoothly between the wheels without narrowing. The functional benefit of this change is a wider cockpit with additional hip, shoulder, and elbowroom. In addition, the space needed for side air bags is available.

Interior Design

The interior design themes of the new Mazda MX-5 are simple functionality and comfortable openness with high-quality craftsmanship to delight sports car enthusiasts.

A T-shaped general layout joins the horizontal strength of the instrument panel to the substantial centre backbone tunnel. Four round heating and cooling vents help establish a straight reference line across the front of the cockpit. Piano-black finish provides a modern high-quality surface for several areas of the interior. Switches, gauges and driving controls are precisely designed and carefully positioned for optimum functionality. Five individual round gauges with metal-look trim fill the instrument cluster. Highly legible markings and needles are provided and polarized glass covers maintain legibility even in direct sunlight.


A spirited engine and a wieldy transmission constitute the heart of any sports car. Two new MZR family engines—a 2.0-litre for all global markets and an additional 1.8-litre for Europe—power the all-new Mazda MX-5. These are light and compact and feature chain-driven double overhead camshafts, four valves per cylinder, variable intake valve timing, electronically controlled port fuel injection, and coil-on-plug ignition. The block, head, and oil pan are cast aluminium , while cast iron liners provide a durable bore surface.

Both engines share a 10.8:1 compression ratio and an 83.1 mm stroke that is slightly shorter than the length of the piston's travel in the previous 1.8-litre engine. The bore in the 2.0-litre engine is 87.5 mm versus 83.0 mm for the 1.8-litre version.

Throughout the development process, work focused on what Mazda engineers called "response" and "expansion feel." A lighter flywheel, a quick response, an electric throttle and a stiff drive shaft all helped realize the responsive direct feel of the new Mazda MX-5. The new Mazda MX-5's engine's torque curve is held nearly level at high rpm by major reductions in intake and exhaust restriction. The result is an engine champing at the bit as it revs enthusiastically past the point of maximum torque to the redline, with superior response and direct feel.