The original Mazda MX-5 made its U.S. debut in 1989, and back then, the Miata was a lithe little roadster that immediately drew praise for its superior handling and a fun-to-drive nature. Each generation that followed packed on more pounds and additional amenities, slightly blunting the car's appeal as a simple roadster at an affordable price. But the next MX-5 – due to arrive in 2012 – Mazda has set a target weight of 2,200 pounds and returning it to its former glory.
At just over a ton, the next-gen MX-5 will tip the scales slightly more than the original 1989 model, but it will still retain its 50/50 weight distribution that makes the roadster a wonderfully balanced machine. To keep weight in check, Mazda will employ one of its newly-developed, SKY-G gasoline engines which the company claims will boost efficiency by 15 percent while also increasing power over previous engine designs. Mazda predicts that its next-gen MX-5 could touch 50 miles per gallon, a remarkable achievement for the quintessential roadster.