• Jan 30th 2009 at 8:59AM
  • 39
Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Mazda MX-5 (JDM)

With over 800,000 copies sold during its 20-year lifespan, the Mazda MX-5 is the king of all roadsters. When the miniature Mazda hit the scene in 1989 as the Miata, Mazda gave it impeccable balance and precision. In the interim, the MX-5 has continued to evolve, and Mazda is looking to make even more magic for 2009. The new roadster will receive more horsepower, better fuel economy, and an updated aesthetics. The lightweight MX-5 is more about driving characteristics than outright power, so Mazda only increased output from the 2.0L engine from 166 to 168 hp. While the extra two ponies isn't going to set the track on fire, Mazda promises an improvement over the 2008 model's 22/27 fuel economy. Mazda also tweaked the MX-5's already sweet suspension for even tighter handling characteristics and made minor changes to the front and rear fascias. The 2009 MX-5 will also receive updates to the interior, colors, and available packages, and will debut in North American-spec at the Chicago Auto Show. Hit the jump to read Mazda's press release.


IRVINE, Calif. - Mazda's timeless roadster, the MX-5 Miata, races into the 2009 Chicago Auto Show with a refreshed exterior, enhanced performance and improved fuel efficiency. Mazda will showcase the 2009 MX-5 along with a historical collection of early model-year Miatas and the all-new 2010 MAZDA3 four-door sedan and five-door models.

Launched in 1989 as a 1990 model, the MX-5 Miata was conceived as a small two-seat roadster that was spirited, fun-to-drive and unlike anything else available at the time. Since then, competitors have come and gone, but none have lasted. Twenty years later, and with more than 800,000 models sold so far around the world, the MX-5 Miata is the world's best-selling two-seat roadster.

"The MX-5 Miata has been true to Mazda's Zoom-Zoom philosophy since rolling off the assembly line 20 years ago," said Tim Barnes, director, Product Development. "Long before Zoom-Zoom became one of the most recognizable slogans around, Mazda designed Miata to epitomize the 'emotion of motion' concept on which Zoom-Zoom is based, and our worldwide sales are a real testament to Miata's DNA and spirit."

The 2009 MX-5 produces 167-hp from a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Perfect balance has always been a hallmark of the car, and the new model's suspension revisions make it an even better mountain road dance partner. In addition, updates to front and rear fascias, interior enhancements, package changes and new interior and exterior colors keep MX-5 as fresh today as it was 20 years ago.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      This is a great car ! Mazda has managed to improve and add tweaks to the MX-5 over time. It is no wonder why this car still manages to attract a strong following of enthusiasts over time..

      Granted, the MX-5 is NO Porsche when it comes to speed and whatnot. This is simply a car that has envolved over time by keeping the 'formula' simple and adhereing to the simple principles of the orginial British roadster.............

      The car looks good with the new improvements and enhancesments. But the real test of time will come in 2011 when the next generation MX-5 is released 9 (ND) ........

      Happy Motoring !
      • 6 Years Ago
      Those pics aren't of the U.S. spec model, which are on Mazda's media website.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Honda kills their roadster.

      Mazda upgrades theirs.

        • 6 Years Ago
        "Since then, competitors have come and gone, but none have lasted."

        lol @ Honda...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Here's to 20 years. I'm hoping for 20 more.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I think it makes sense that Honda stopped making performance cars, especially if the money is in economical vehicles and SUVs. The SI is a decent handling econobox, if a bit overpriced, but I don't think it will be missed. The world of car enthusiasts will get along just fine if Honda dropped the SI and Toyota dropped the Corola S. Though it would be nice to see some other companies try competing with Mazda's stylistic and sporty offerings. Between the MS3, MX-5 and RX-8 I have to give some props to Mazda for still making fun to drive cars.

        There's too many other options and Honda/Toyota can focus on the econo-battle supreme...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yes, I am vexed. I know the economy is in the tank and all, but it seems wrong that a company like Honda does not have a real hardcore driver's car in the lineup. NSX? gone. S2000? gone. Integra/RSX Type-R? gone. Prelude Si? gone. Meanwhile, Mazda has two great RWD sports cars.

        C'mon Honda, we need more than the Civic Si!
      • 6 Years Ago
      Sounds better, but the big grin manages kills the look of the car.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Perfect. Name it the RX-5 now and get the 1.3 Rotary in there!
      • 6 Years Ago
      I still would rather have a 2004/2005 MazdaSpeed Miata. Ligher, faster and does not smile like a fool at me.
        • 6 Years Ago
        It works on the MX5; it doesn't work on the others.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Three cheers for light weight, low cost, and traditional simplicity.

      I'm on my second Miata (first was an NA, this one's an NB); both have provided stupid amounts of driving fun (and tolerated stupid driving!) on a daily basis, and cost almost nothing to maintain. A true enthusiast icon in an age where most people define "fun to drive" with tall seats and an expensive badge.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Do want. Well.. in summer, do want. In winter, do want car cover or garage, followed by a Subaru Legacy.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Looks better, but it's still not as good as the Pontiac Solstice.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Not to mention the Solstice is about 500 pounds heavier...

        Manual Trans Curb Weight:

        Solstice: 2965~ lbs with the 173hp 2.4L
        MX-5 Miata: 2475~ lbs with the 168hp 2.0L

        That makes a big difference with only 5 extra HP. I also find it amusing that the 260hp 2.0L in the Solstice GXP gets 3mpg highway better than the 2.4L in the base. Ouch.
        • 6 Years Ago
        HAHAHA! good one.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Sky/Solstice seem to be much bigger and Miata offers power hard top.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Typo: porper should be proper
      • 6 Years Ago
      Oh no, the steering wheel is on the wrong side!!! :)

      I have a '92 that I love....slow but handles well and when you wind it out you're not doing 150mph...you can pick up used early ones for cheap money.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I love this car.

      It's one of the reasons why I love visiting my Mazda dealer. When you walk in, just about every car on showfloor is a "fun" car. The RX-8, MX-5, Speed3, CX-7...heck even the CX-9 and Mazda5 won't bore you. The sporty alloys, exhuast etc on the display walls. A great place for an enthusiast on a budget! It's a company with a very clear vision.
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