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Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 Mazda MX-5 live from Chicago

As we told you last week, the Miata is turning 20 this year and Mazda is celebrating with a little nip and tuck. Sure it's called the MX-5 now, and sure 20 isn't that old in people years, but seeing as how the Mazda3 has already gone loopy with that big goofy grin, it was only a matter of time before the MX-5 had its own makeover. With more than 800,000 of these modern affordable roadsters on the streets, the Miata has cemented itself atop the sports car pantheon. For 2009 Mazda has added more horsepower but not at the expense of fuel economy. The 2.0L engine gets a bump from 166 to 168 hp, with mileage that Mazda has promised will be higher than the 2008 model's 22/27. Not content to leave well enough alone, Mazda even tweaked the MX-5's already crisp suspension. Looks like plenty of reasons to smile to us. Check out the gallery to see live shots of the 2009 Mazda MX-5 from the Chicago Auto Show and hit the jump to read Mazda's press release.


Live photos copyright ©2009 Frank Filipponio / Weblogs, Inc.



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
  • 27 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      "the Miata has cemented itself atop the sports car pantheon."

      It's a girl-car
        • 6 Years Ago
        You no like girls?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Ignorant statement. More Mazdas are road raced than any other single marque and of those Mazdas that are raced, the vast majority are Miatas/MX-5's. Go watch an SCCA Spec Miata or a Playboy MX-5 Cup race. You'll see as much rubbing and wheel to wheel racing as any NASCAR race. Easily tossed around, great handling, and easily tunable.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I hate to feed a troll, but I can't understand how anyone can call a car where 90% of them are sold with manual trannys a girl car. Personally, I think F-150's with automatics and truck nutz are girlier than the smallest economy cars with stick shifts.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What have they done.

      Dear Mazda,
      I don't think we can hang out anymore. Sure, I'll still say hello if I see you out and about, but don't expect me to call you.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Affordable? Where? This thing starts at $30K up here in Canada!
        • 6 Years Ago
        Compared to other 2 seater convertibles, $30G is affordable. Try pricing a Honda S2000. My local Mazda dealer (in Canada) has a new 08 PRHT model in his showroom that has been discounted to under $31,000!
        • 6 Years Ago
        30k canadian or 30k USD?

        on a side note, seriously...mazda, whats up w/ the 2 hp bump in the power rating. i HATE when companies do this, make a bump or 2,3,4,5 hp...not enough to effect the daily driving, or what it would feel like/hot lap times in. they just do it for the sake of doing it. well, u take what u get i guess
      • 6 Years Ago
      I don't really care for the new Mazda "face", especially on the 3, but it works on the MX-5.
        • 6 Years Ago
        At least on the MX-5 it's more like a smirk... much better than the joker-like grin on the 3 IMO.
        • 6 Years Ago
        ~Franz

        Agreed, this is more subtle
        • 6 Years Ago
        I agree.

        And honestly, the picture for this article *almost* makes the car look like the Honda S2000. Not a bad thing at all.
        stealthebeatles
        • 6 Years Ago
        I like it on the 3, where it seems more in your face. But I know why most people wouldn't.

        This car, however, it fits very well.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Kind of looks like its having a conversation with an old Bugeye Sprite, and the smirking Mazda said something naughty that shocked the Austin-Healy.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/ba/Austin_Healey_Sprite_Mk_I_red_vl.jpg
      • 6 Years Ago
      Question is will they ever make something better.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Whoever is doing Mazda design these days is making Chris Bangle look like a genius.
      • 6 Years Ago
      An extra 2 hp! Whoo Hoo!!! Manufacturing tolerances have to be higher then that.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Having owned and driven the real deal roadster experience that is a Triumph TR4 and a 1993 Miata, I would say Mazda fulfilled their mission of recreating the classic British roadster. They did leave out some of the charms...err...headaches though. Gotta love the smell of hot oil and gas all over you after a drive in the TR!
      • 6 Years Ago
      It isn't as happy as I am. A miata will always be in my dream garage.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Mazda! You have so much potential, stop ruining all your cars with this awful face! It looks like Julia Roberts putting an entire watermelon in her mouth and then smiling.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Decent car. Nice handling, tossable, fairly fun to drive. Pity about the engine.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yes, pity about the engine...and 2 more hp...yippee :-(. Really needs about 50 more. Handling and balance is great but as an owner of an 05 Miata, it is not much fun when the average family sedan is faster 0-60.
        • 6 Years Ago
        "Fairly" fun to drive? Uhh ok. I guess your def. of fun is driving a sloppy, heavy V8 powered car..
        • 6 Years Ago
        It's a matter of private pleasure vs. public display. I'd personally take a crisp, tingly four-cylinder that lives to rev its heart out over an unstressed loaf to 60 mph any day of the week, but it comes down to personal preference.
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