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.


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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