Friday, March 23, 2012

Mighty MX-5

Over the past year or so there has been an outrageous amount of hype over the Subaru BRZ/ Toyota FT-86. Everyone, including me, is so eager to finally have an affordable front engine rear wheel drive sports car they can use as a daily driver and a weekend trackster. Hang on a second though, hasn’t Mazda been making that exact thing for the past 23 years now? That’s right, they have. It's called the MX-5 Miata. Now before you hop on the bandwagon and declare the Miata a "girl's car" just know that this peppy little 2 seater is a favorite among scca racers in it's class. I admit it doesn't make me want to watch Rambo and kill a lion with my bear hands when I look at it, but for pure driving experience the Miata dominates. Now we can move on. Mazda introduced the MX-5 back in 1989 and it's still being pumped out of their factories today.
And while it has put on a couple pounds over the years it’s still an excellent car for the man who has the nurburgring tattooed on his butt, but still enjoys ordering off the dollar menu at Wendy’s. Sounds a lot like me, aside from the tatoo. The 2012 MX-5 is no exception to the past 2 decades either. The straight 4 cylinder 2.0 liter engine pumps out a solid 167 hp with 140-lb-ft of torque which is enough to propel it to 60 mph in a mere 6.5 seconds. Most cars that can pull off a sub-7 0-60 time are a good $10k more expensive.
Let’s not forget about the almost perfect weight distribution either. With a 52/48 front/rear distribution for the soft top and a 51/49 for the hard top this car has dreams of hugging tight and twisty corners every night while it sleeps. Available with either a 5 or 6 speed manual, depending on the edition, or a 6 speed automatic this little racer satisfies all different driving preferences. And the cherry on top is a sticker price that starts under 24k. So while the BRZ/ FT-86 will most likely take the spotlight in coming months, let’s not forget that the Miata is the granddaddy of small sports cars and will still be there when all the Subieoyta hype settles.

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