While digging through the Power Wheels Magazine archives, we found a Driven article about the 2011 Mazda MX-5 with the PRHT or power retractable hard top. Former Power Wheels Magazine Editor-in-Chief Dino Directo III, who’s now the Motoring Editor of Manila Times and Editorial Director of Autocar Philippines, wrote about his time behind the wheel of Mazda’s phenomenal roadster that put a smile on his face. At the time, the Mazda brand was under Ford Group Philippines and was being managed by Glen Dasig, who’s now the President of Peugeot Philippines. How times have changed with all those movements!
We also drove the delightful little roadster for a week and we fell in love with its fun and sporty character but not with its P2.1 Million price tag. We simply can’t afford it in 2011 but we think we can afford one now, if we can find one. Dino reported that the 2011 Mazda MX-5 continued the tradition established by the first 1989 Miata by combining gobs of power (167 horsepower) and torque (190 Newton-meters) with a 6-speed manual transmission in a fun-filled roadster. Mazda engineers stuck to the old Miata formula that allowed the MX-5 to change directions like a go-kart while emitting an inspiring mechanical growl. The MX-5 comes with muscular wheel arches, a “smiling” front facia, and a power bulge at the hood. He observed that 2011 MX-5 is wider and a bit longer than the first-generation Miata but it’s still a lot of fun.
Dino reported that the Miata was introduced in 1989 and started an era of open-top, lightweight, nimble and inexpensive roadsters. With its fun-to-drive character, it became the world’s best-selling sports car and also one of the world’s most popular race cars, particularly in club racing and in autocross. He added that it was voted as one of 2010’s affordable sports car based on 65 published reviews and test drives by international motoring journalists. He reportedly experienced Mazda’s “jinba ittai” design element of the car, which in Japanese translates to “horse and rider being one” while driving the MX-5 along the zigzags near his home in the mountains of Rizal.
Like our former EIC, we also enjoyed the 2011 MX-5’s near 50-50 weight distribution, responsive steering, engaging short shift transmission, and exhilarating acceleration. Of course, all of these fun factors becomes more sensational with the top down. We drove the car extensively with the hardtop retracted and we got all looks, whistles, and some inappropriate sexy innuendos from the same and opposite sex alike. From its debut in 1989 to our test drive in 2011, we realized that much of the original Miata’s spirit remains unchanged. Little did we know that six years later, we will find ourselves behind the wheel of the latest generation MX-5, albeit sexier, sportier and more fun! But that’s another story for the future…
Price : P2,100,000
Engine : 2.0-liter inline 4 cylinder DOHC 16-valve with VVT
Horsepower : 167 hp @ 7,000 rpm
Max Torque : 190 Nm @ 5,000 rpm
Transmission : 6-speed manual
Brakes (F/R) : Discs/Discs with EBD and Brake Assist
Wheels & Tires : 205/45R-17
Suspension (F/R) : Double wishbone/Multilink
Safety : ABS, EBD, SRS Airbags, Side Curtains