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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