Mazda was founded in Hiroshima, Japan during 1920 under the name of Toyo Cork Kogyo Co., Ltd, which was later shortened to Toyo Kogyo Co. in 1927.
Ultimately, Toyo Kogyo was a manufacturing company, which made machine tools, weapons and vehicles. The first of these vehicles was the Mazdago autorickshaw.
But the Mazda we know today really began in the 1960s, when the company placed their efforts into the development of the Wankel rotary engine, which was featured in many of their cars, such as:
Mazda Cosmo Sport
Mazda RX-2, RX-3, RX-4
the iconic Mazda 787B
To some, Mazda was known only for their Wankel rotor-engine’d cars, but the company has certainly pulled it’s weight in piston-engined cars too, including:
Mazda MX5 (Miata)
There are frankly, far too many to name. Nearly all of these cars have gone on to become popular models to modify by enthusiasts.
Mazda’s earlier RX range remains very popular for high powered, high quality restomod builds, while later model RX-7’s, once popular for drift and track builds are fast becoming collectors items in the popular JDM collectors scene.
The highly successful Mazda Miata MX5 remains a very popular track and drift car due to it’s excellent handling, and affordable platform. There are not many other cars that are so well balanced, are widely available, and have huge aftermarket support.
But like most auto-manufacturers, Mazda is threatened by a changing automotive landscape, with ever tightening emissions controls and fuel efficiency standards.
Positively, Mazda is one auto-maker that doesn’t feel compelled to design their cars to be excessively futuristic, and they are making efforts to keep their rotory roots, by developing their SKYACTIVE-R engine.
Unlike many brands that fail to impress, Mazda has us waiting for what will come next.
If you want to get more power out of your zippy, Mazda Miata, your best bet is to install some form of forced induction; either a supercharger or turbocharger.
Between the two, we prefer superchargers, and we’ll go into the details below.
Superchargers are connected to the engine’s crankshaft, whose spinning motion in turn powers the supercharger. They can add serious horsepower.
Below you’ll find some intro information on the topic of forced induction, and our experiences on the topic. We outline your different options and will point you in the right direction for the best MX5 supercharger kit to suit your needs.
The Mazda Miata, especially later generations (NC and beyond) is not known for its comfortable seats. In fact, the tough, unsupportive OEM seats can be enough to turn some drivers off from buying.
But the industry is rich with aftermarket seats that provide more support, comfort and will last longer. Companies like Recaro, Corbeau, and Sparco have spent years perfecting the best seats for Miata use.
Below we’ll talk about which seats are best for your particular MX5, and which seats are compatible with each generation. After that we’ll run you through the seats we like the most.
Way more than an afterthought, your Miata’s exhaust system is an integral part of your roadster’s character. It has an important effect on performance and efficiency, but the exhaust system is also your car’s voice.
The Mazda Miata is an amazing machine — flexible enough to handle a winding mountain highway, a hot track in August, or the daycare dropoff run on a Tuesday. (Admittedly, not a common use for a two-seater.)
Its stock components are workhorses that have, in many cases, outlasted their expected usefulness. But when the designers realised they had such a potentially popular and versatile roadster, they had to make compromises.
Everyone wasn’t going to want their MX5 to roll off the lot with that throaty, sporty rumble you want. So, they tamed it. The OEM exhaust is good, but there are plenty of aftermarket Miata exhaust systems that are great.
As far as we’re concerned, the exhaust systems in this article are the best on the market.
Smooth shifting was always going to be a key component of an enjoyable Miata experience. From the get-go, a five-speed manual transmission was the standard option — and is now easily the most popular option with enthusiasts than the four-speed automatic.
Miatas do different things for different people — from stealing first place on your club’s track day to bringing style to date night. The clutch is one of those components that is closely connected to the driver and swapping the stock out for aftermarket clutch can dramatically change the driving experience.
The path from OEM (and other cheap Miata clutch options) isn’t necessarily a straight line where price and quality move up in tandem. We’ve set out this guide to show you the best Miata clutch options.
Now that the earliest Mazda Miatas are about to turn 30, owners are likely to have swapped out their battery a couple of times.
Advances in technology mean that high-quality battery replacements are much cheaper now than they were when the Miata first hit the streets.
If you’ve put the cash into a later generation Miata, dependability is probably more of a concern than an NA or NB weekend-only car. So we’ve included a few premium options that will fit under the Miata NC or ND’s hood.
As far as components go, batteries are more straightforward than sexy, but they are essential (obviously) and good ones not only allow for a reliable start in cold weather, they unlock the potential for flashier upgrades.
Below you’ll find the best replacement batteries for your Mazda Miata.
You can have the stickiest tires, lightweight aftermarket rims and coilovers and all of the power in the world, but with a neglected braking system you’ll lose precious seconds on the track and may even be a danger to yourself on the street.
Zippy power in a small package is the Mazda Miata promise. Nearly three decades as a bestseller means that there are a lot of MX5s out there trying to fulfill this sales pitch.
Some Miata owners were happy enough with the stock setup and left it as is. But for the rest of us, modding our Miata can border on obsession and coilovers are a popular mod option.
For most people, a two-seat sports car can only fulfill the daily-driver role for a short stretch of their life, so Miatas get bumped to weekend car status. They also appear frequently in the secondhand market and are picked up by those looking for a starter track or drift day car.
For all of these activities, handling is a key element. Once you get past the debate about coilovers vs. lowering springs we expect you’re onboard with the idea that coilovers are the best-bang-for-your-buck route to a smoother driving Miata.
From value plays to street options to track performers, in this article you’ll find the best coilovers for your MX5.