Mazda MX-5 Miata Celebrates Its 25th Birthday

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is celebrating its 25th birthday, having made its debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show.

In 25 years, the Japanese automaker’s sports car has gathered up over 200 awards and has seen over 920,000 units sold worldwide – one of which belongs to AutoGuide‘s own, Mike Schlee. As of December 2013, the Miata made it into the Guinness Book of Worlds Records as the “Best-Selling Two-Seater Sports Car.”

SEE ALSO: Next Mazda MX-5 Miata to Debut at 2015 Chicago Auto Show

To celebrate the model’s 25th birthday, the brand is kicking off a social media party, asking those to wish the Miata a happy birthday by using the hashtag #MX5Turns25.

The Mazda Miata launched in May 1989 with a starting price of $13,800 and featured a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 116 hp and 100 lb-ft of torque. The second-generation Miata debuted in 1998 as a 1999 model year with a 1.8-liter sporting 140 hp and 119 lb-ft of torque. In 2005, the third-generation Miata entered the market with a 2.0-liter with 170 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque.

The fourth-generation Miata is expected to make its debut at next year’s Chicago Auto Show.

“The MX-5 Miata has hit a number of milestones over the years and we’re honored to say that 25 years later it’s as much a global success and favorite among enthusiasts as it was on day one,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO). “At the Chicago Auto Show in 1989, MX-5 Miata set the bar for sports car performance and driving pleasure. Here we are on its 25th birthday still looking up at that bar.”

GALLERY: 2014 Mazda MX-5

Discuss this story at our Mazda Miata forum.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

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