Colleyville, Texas, United States
At this point, we all know that the Mazda MX-5 Miata is a highly capable racing platform. Mazda even claims that the car is the most road-raced model in the world. Fittingly, then, the Japanese brand is making a huge announcement about the future of motorsport for its next-generation convertible. The MX-5 Cup is going worldwide in 2016 as the MX-5 Global Cup, and all of the racers are getting behind the wheel of the upcoming fourth-gen Miata, similar to the gorgeous redhead pictured above.
"It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s, and the launch of the 2016 MX-5 Miata is the perfect time to make this goal a reality," said Masahiro Moro, Managing Executive Officer in charge of Global Sales, Marketing and Customer Service for Mazda in the company's announcement.
The racing version makes its grand debut at this year's SEMA show, although at the moment it's really more of a concept. Mazda confirms that the racer uses the 2.0-liter SkyActiv four-cylinder, but the other important parts like tires, suspension and safety equipment are not yet determined. The cars "will be sold ready to race from a single supplier," according to automaker's announcement for the series.
Having first debuted at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has been on the market now for an impressive 25 years. So to celebrate that quarter-century anniversary, Mazda is bringing no less than 15 examples of the legendary roadster from throughout its history to the New York Auto Show this year.
Mazda isn't saying just which versions of the MX-5 it's bringing to the Javitz center this year, but with three generations to choose from and over 900,000 units built and sold, there are plenty of examples - including production versions, special editions and concept cars.
What would really put the cherry on this birthday cake, however, would be if Mazda were to surprise us in Manhattan with the debut of the highly anticipated fourth-generation Miata that we're expecting to debut sometime this year.
The 2015 Mazda2 is quite high up on our must-drive list. Yes, the teeny, tiny successor to the 100-horsepower five-door is worth getting excited over, largely because the previous generation was one of the absolute best smiles-per-dollar values on the market.
While we eagerly await for our opportunity to take to the 2's helm, our expectations of the new car have just been heightened thanks to its win in Japan's Car of the Year competition. Called "Demio" in the land of the rising sun, Japanese journalists handed out Mazda's second COTY award since the CX-5 took the title in 2012.
In more surprising news, the new Jeep Cherokee has made the list of 10 Best Cars in Japan. The Jeep's triumph marks the first time an American car has cracked the top ten, finishing eighth. It's not, however, the first Fiat Chrysler vehicle to snag the title, following in the footsteps of the Alfa Romeo Giulietta and Fiat Panda. Still, the fact that an American brand can make such impressive inroads into the traditionally tough-to-crack Japanese market is a seriously big deal.