20 years of the Mazda Miata – Click above for high-res image gallery

According to Edmunds' Auto Observer, which in turn cites a "senior insider," Mazda engineers have been tasked with cutting at least 720 pounds from the MX-5 Miata before its debut in 2012. That means – are you ready for this? – that Mazda engineers are attempting to transform a 2,500-pound vehicle into a sub-1,800 pound ride. Edmunds says that Mazda's weight-reduction target is:
A strategic move that Mazda may see as vital to the continued existence of history's best-selling two-seat roadster, but also signals a larger need for revitalized thinking in the sports car market, where popularity has waned and sales have plummeted in the past half decade.
In its slimmest form – in 1989 – the Mazda Miata tipped the scales at 2,178 pounds. So, how will Mazda's engineers hit the sub-1,800 pound mark? Well, Edmunds' "senior insider" doesn't believe that the automaker can hit its target, but says that the use of high-strength steel, a lightweight engine and the elimination of unnecessary features (i.e. the glovebox) will drive down the MX-5's weight.

Photos copyright ©2009 Drew Phillips / AOL

[Source: Edmunds' Auto Observer]

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