Mazda MX5 Mk1
Mazda's original reinvention of the Elan for the modern day. Brilliant and successful.
The standard fitment was a 186/60HR14 radial tyre on a 5.5J wheel.
The world's best-selling sports car, the MX-5 kick-started the cheap sportster market when it was launched in 1989 in Japan. The first cars were sold in the UK the following year. Offered only with a 1.6-litre engine, within a year there was an independently built – but officially approved – MX-5 Turbo available courtesy of BBR (Brodie Brittain Racing). This boosted power from 114bhp to a much more fun 150bhp.
In 1994 a 130bhp 1.8-litre engine replaced the previous 1.6-litre unit, with buyers now able to choose between standard and higher-spec 1.8iS editions. Within a year Mazda offered a 1.6-litre engine once more and in that same year two special editions were released; the California and Gleneagles.
These two limited edition MX-5s were just the latest in a line of specials which also included the Special Edition (1992) and SEII (1993) with the Monaco and Merlot coming in 1996, the Monza, Dakar and Harvard in 1997 and the Berkeley in 1998 – the year in which the MX-5 Mk2 went on sale.