Mazda MX-5: the Best Mass Produced Sports Car Ever?

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It does everything a pure sports car should. Just don't call it girly.

Those who've never driven one and rush to judge all too soon often call it a girly car. But those who know better, or are a proud owner, are fully aware of the Mazda MX-5's greatness. First launched in 1989, the small yet lightweight two-seat roadster is inexpensive, well-built, and an absolute joy to drive. Its mechanical setup is equally simple: front-engined and rear-wheel-drive. It's manual gearbox is one of the best and most fun to shift units out there.

Some MX-5 purists have complained the car has actually grown too large and heavy over the years, and Mazda wholeheartedly agrees; a back to basics (meaning lighter and smaller) fourth-gen model is due to arrive next year. There's even a Skip Barber MX-5 Cup racing school along with several fully organized racing series in both the US and Europe. Want to turbocharge the MX-5? No problem. There are plenty of aftermarket kits and tuners which can make that happen. The MX-5 never was and never will be the fastest thing on the road, yet it's still the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history. That's not an accomplishment achieved by something girly.

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