Special Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata Goes On Extreme Diet

Special Editions / Comments

The MX-5 990S is a true lightweight, no frills sports car for enthusiasts.

The annual "Karuizawa Meeting" took place in Japan last week. If you're not a MX-5 Miata fanatic, it's a yearly event where Miata owners come together in Japan to see the latest products available for the evergreen roadster.

This year Mazda made a surprise exhibit. If you're a Miata fanboy, you'll want to sit down for this announcement because it's that good. Mazda took the wraps off the Miata 990S, which is the lightest version of the current generation. The 990 signifies the weight in kilograms. Converted to American, it works out at 2,182 pounds. Considering the lightest Miata on sale in the USA weighs 2,341 pounds, that's a massive saving of roughly 160 lbs.

Any lighter, and Mazda would have to remove body panels.

Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube

Mazda removed the sound dampening and made the hood thinner. The diet also includes lightweight wheels and lighter Brembo brakes, and the interior is devoid of a touchscreen interface.

This particular debut boasts a new feature called Vehicle Attitude Stability Control. Or, at least that's what we think it's called, as Google doesn't translate all that well from Japanese.

In any case, the car applies a minimal amount of brake pressure to the inside rear wheel if the cornering force is more than 0.3 G, which, let's be honest, is all the time in a Miata.

It keeps the wheel from lifting, which keeps the car flatter through the corner. Like the traction control, it can be turned off.

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Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube

We know and love Miatas and, to be frank, prefer a bit of lean. It makes it easier to get to the limit. Also, the Miata has been mercifully clean of electronic nannies (apart from those required by law) so far, and we'd like to keep it that way. We're not even sure how we feel about the next-gen car potentially being a hybrid.

The 990S appears to be a Japan-only special. In the USA, we know the MX-5 Miata as a 2.0-liter car, but you can get a 130-horsepowep 1.5-liter model in Japan. Building a 990S with a 2.0-liter engine is not possible.

Worried that it will feel sluggish? Well, the lead engineer makes a poignant statement, which we 100% believe. "Horsepower and fun are not proportional, but lightness and fun are."

In short, it just doesn't matter what the 0-60 mph time is or whether the 990S can even do it. What matters is how it feels, and we're willing to bet this 990S is the best version of the current generation Miata. By a long shot.

Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube
Ceramet Roadster/YouTube

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