MX5 motors

Hayward Rotary North

History of the Mazda MX5

In 1982 Bob Hall from product planning with Mazda noticed a gap in sports car market, with no British open top sports car being currently developed Hall gave the go ahead to research the idea a little further.
Hall enlisted the help of designer Mark Jordan in the Southern California department of Mazda. Bob Hall and Mark Jordan's initial idea was a light weight open to sports car that made its way to concept in 1983 and was approved as an internal project, and an internal Mazda initiative that sought to change the way new models were developed. Thus, under head of project Masakatsu, the concept development was turned into a competition between the Mazda design teams in Tokyo and California.

A front engined and rear wheeled drive car code named Dou 101, with echoes of the classic British sports cars was proposed by the Californian team, while there Japanese counterparts favoured the then more favoured front wheel drive with front mounted engine cars of the day.

In 1984 designs from both the Californian and Japanese departments were put forward in documented format and then in 1984 fully scaled clay models were presented, the Californian departments Duo 101 won the competition and was selected as the basis for Mazda's new light weight sports car.

The concept named Duo 101 was named for it soft top or hard top combination, and echoed the lines and feel of the1960s Lotus Elan.
IAD (International Automotive Design in England was assigned to develope the prototype code named V705 and had a fiberglass body and a 1.4 L engine and components from the Mazda Familia and a host of other early Mazda models.
In 1985 the V705 was completed and was rolled out on the roads around Santa Bargara U.S.A where it was welcomed with positive reactions.

Mazda V705


The First Generation Mazda MX5

In 1989 the Mazda open top sports car was ready to be released, with the name chosen MX-5 deriving from The Mazda eXperimental project number 5 and release weighing just 940kg, a true Mazda Sports car was born.

Mazda's loosely translated "Rider, Horse, As one" being the design idea behind all the generations of MX5.
With the Mk1 setting standard, the design requirements for all three generations has been , Light and compact but adhere to all safety regulations, Comfort for 2 grown adults with plenty of room, 50/50 weight distribution with a front mount engine and rear wheel drive, multi-link suspension systems to maximize performance and a power plant frame design to aid response.

Mazda V705

The MK1 Mazda MX5 specifications

Production 1989-1997
Body style 2-door roadster
Platform Mazda NA
Engine 1.6 L (98 cu in) B6ZE(RS) I4
1.8 L (110 cu in) BP I4
Transmission 5-speed manual
4-speed automatic
Wheelbase 89.2 in (2,270 mm)
Length 155.4 in (3,950 mm)
Width 65.9 in (1,670 mm)
Height 48.2 in (1,220 mm)
Curb weight 940 kg (2,100 lb)


To Be Continued