The Car: Which car company do you think has done more for the sport of driving during our lifetimes? Ferrari? Porsche? McLaren? The exotics may adorn the posters and capture the imaginations of man-children everywhere, but it’s actually Mazda which has the most cars racing in America today, led by the humble Miata, or what we in Australia know as the MX-5. In the real world where people actually have to buy real cars with real budgets, it’s the only real sports car you can really afford. Want to learn to race? It’s a Miata (or a Mazda-powered formula car) you’ll be driving at Skip Barber, the school that came up with the idea racing could be taught. Want to watch a race at the best racetrack in the world? It’s the company’s sponsorship money that keeps the best track in the country — Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca — open.
And I do mean a real sportscar. Front engine, rear wheel drive, a manual transmission, a soft top and one of the lightest curb weights on the road today. That’s a formula that was invented by MG, Lotus, Austin-Healey, Triumph and Jaguar during the ’50s and ’60s, then perfected by Mazda with the addition of reliability and mass production when it first introduced the Miata back in 1989.
This 25th anniversary of the car will be an important one. Not only is the car pictured here a special edition of 100 built to mark that milestone, but now the all-new 2015 Mazda Miata has been unveiled. That car will be the highest performing Miata to-date and the most technically advanced. Know what won’t change? That perfect sportscar formula described above.