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Mazda MX-5 celebrates 25th anniversary at Chicago show

February 9, 2014

The Mazda MX-5 is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. Specifically, the nameplate was introduced to the world at the Chicago Auto Show 25 years ago. The show is currently underway right now. And to help celebrate the occasion, Mazda is going over some of the icon’s major achievements.

Mazda MX-5 25th anniversary

Since its debut in 1989, Mazda has sold over 920,000 examples of the MX-5. This makes it the most popular and best-selling two-seat sports car in history. It’s also collected over 200 awards over the years. Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO at Mazda North American Operations (MNAO), spoke about the milestone, saying,

“The MX-5 Miata has hit a number of milestones over the years and we’re honored to say that 25 years later it’s as much a global success and favorite among enthusiasts as it was on day one.

“At the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, MX-5 Miata set the bar for sports car performance and driving pleasure. Here we are on its 25th birthday still looking up at that bar.”

Now in its third generation, the MX-5 has remained true to its pedigree its entire life. It’s still a lightweight rear-wheel drive roadster. It’s still regarded as one of the best driver’s cars on the market. And it’s still the most popular road-raced car on the weekend than any other model, according to Mazda.

Mazda will introduce the next-generation MX-5 next year, likely at the Chicago show. It’s being developed in partnership with Fiat/Alfa Romeo, and it’s set to be one of the lightest weight models yet. It will also be rear-wheel drive, however, it may come with a turbocharged engine for the first time (aside from special editions).

Mazda MX-5 generations

Brett is the editor and founder of PerformanceDrive. He's obsessed with driving, having played with Matchbox cars until he was tall enough to drive a real one. After initially working as a mechanic, Brett earned a degree in journalism and entered media as an editorial assistant at Top Gear Australia magazine. He then worked at CarAdvice.com.au. His dream is to live next door to the Nurburgring in Germany.