Mazda MX-5 2000 Model

Mazda MX-5 2000 Model

So I’ve talked about my thoughts and the history of the VW Beetle as a contender for my EV conversion I hope to do. But the other strong contender for me at least is the Mazda MX-5. The MX-5 is without doubt one of the most loved reasonably price sports cars, it’s light, fun to drive, and the wife likes them so that’s got to get a big tick for me.

The Mazda MX-5 burst on to the Australian scene in 1989 and quickly became a popular favourite amongst those who enjoy something a little extra in their driving experience. 

I took an MX-5 2000 model for a test drive and it was awesome. We drove down winding country road by the river with the wind in our hair, shifting through those smooth gears , honestly the most fun I’ve had in a car since I can remember. Now I understand why people love The MX-5 what a beautiful car. If at all possible I’ll convert to electric one of these magnificent machines.

What WikiPedia says this about the MX-5 

The MX-5, released as the MX-5 Miata in North America and as the Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Manufactured by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, the model debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern and reliable. The MX-5 is conceptually an evolution of the small British and Italian sports roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Datsun 2000, Fiat 124 Sport Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider, and particularly the Lotus Elan.

History of the MX-5 as posted on MX-5 CarTalk

NA6 Officially Designated GV1 The original 

NA6 89-late 93 Officially Designated GV1 The original

NA6 89-late 93 Officially Designated GV1 The original

The most raucous. Equipped with a 1.6l DOHC Inline 4 producing 85kW pushing a one tonne roadster, a throwback to the simple days of motoring

Simplicity – Maintenance is always the simplest on the NA6
The Exhaust note – a highly subjective issue, but most people agree the exhaust note was the sweetest in the stable

Rarity – Need to put in the hard yards to find one in good condition nowadays, but it isn’t impossible, they are 20 years old at the least and most spend their lives being dríven after all
Creature Comforts – Not comfortable (by todays standards) and definitely not a car for those who want to be pampered

Suits: Traditionalists and the old fashioned, people who appreciated the days of the old british sports car but also the reliability, Also a very good starting point for the DIY warrior but perhaps not a fair representation of what motoring is like today engineering wise 

This is probably my preference for an EV conversion they are relatively cheap, still lots of fun as as Pur157 Racing Driver says  on MX-5 CarTalk it’s simple. It has plenty of space front and back for a battery pack, which is very important for me. 

Mazda turned the sports car world on its ear with the timeless Mk1 MX-5.

Using the original Lotus Elan as inspiration, Mazda added space, comfort, reliability, useability and economy to the lightweight rear-wheel drive concept.

And since driving pleasure was a priority, the MX-5 was engineered with a front mid-mounted engine layout for a 50:50 weight distribution, a very rigid body, quick rack and pinion steering and double wishbone suspension.

The result was a sensational handling roadster that also offered stunning style thanks to a hint of retro design. Worldwide acclaim and huge sales followed.

The beautifully balanced chassis benefited from Mazda’s sweet revving 85kW 1.6L twin-cam 16-valve motor (from the 323 range) mated to a fine five-speed manual gearshift.

The simple manual roof mechanism has not been bettered, while a detachable plastic hardtop was an option.

Beautiful details abounded, from the rorty exhaust note and chrome trim to the gorgeous seven-spoke alloy wheels.

All Australian delivery cars also featured power windows and a radio/cassette player, and most will have air-conditioning.

The only official colours available were red, white and blue, but there were a string of limited edition hues, including 300 British Racing Green cars from October ’90 (which also included a CD player and leather trim), 60 yellow cars called “Malibu Gold” from December ’91 (which coincided with an upgrade which featured a remote boot release, heated rear window and overhead reading light), and 100 “Classic Red” editions, with power steering, leather trim, CD player and BBS alloy rims.


1993 – 1997 NA8 Officially Designated NA30P3 (’93) to NA30P5 (’97 final model run)
A more perfected NA6

1993 - 1997 NA8 Officially Designated NA30P3 ('93) to NA30P5

1993 – 1997 NA8 Officially Designated NA30P3 (’93) to NA30P5


An Enhanced NA6 – Bigger brakes, Bigger engine, Stiffer Chassis among the regular evolutionary enhancements
Powerrr – The MX5 now has the BP ZE 1.8l engine with 98kW. Power steering and Air con started becoming much more widespread for the MX5 at this point in the generation

Rarity – Not as extreme as the NA6, but similar case, they are old, and they are dríven
Comfort – Still not a car to choose if you’re used to the modern day comfortable car

Suits: Very good as a tuning base be it at street or club racer level, those who want the purity of the original NA6 but with a little more ability the NA8 MX5 has the most added lightness, tipping the scales at 980kg dry


Second Generation – NB

1998 – 2000 NB8A Officially Designated NB30P1
A more modern evolution of the MX5 mantra, younger, stronger, more comfortable, but nothing the lesser for it

1998 - 2000 NB8A Officially Designated NB30P1

1998 – 2000 NB8A Officially Designated NB30P1


Availability – Much more widespread, with years much newer of the NA and the according Mileage advantages Safety – Introduced Airbags as standard and more modern dash

Performance – Enhanced BP engine now puts out 106kW
Comfort – Much less harsh than the original NA, more sound deadened, comfier (and taller seats) , rear wind blocker

Okibi adds: With the introduction of the NB8A also came the introduction of the glass roof soft top, some say it was a blessing to the rest of the MX5 stable as roof lowering is fully able to be a one arm stop light affair

(Personally I haven’t found much that is overly flawed about the NB8A so I’ll let the owners take this one)

Suits: Those who are worried about the NA ownership experience (mainly concerns to do with age) but still like the want the visceral nature of MX5 motoring


2000 – 2003 NB8B Officially Designated NB30P2 – NB30P4
Another evolutionary step for the MX5, small tweaks leading to big differences

2000 - 2003 NB8B Officially Designated NB30P2 - NB30P4

2000 – 2003 NB8B Officially Designated NB30P2 – NB30P4

Engine power has been bumped up to 113kW thanks to the addition of valve timing control
Addition of 6th speed in gearbox gives the power transmission a greater range of flexibility
Larger brakes than the earlier NBs.

Caffeine adds: along with the additional chassis strengthening, a front suspension strut tower brace is added, it is equipped with a better stereo system and more useable cup holders
Also ’02 year cars and later, are OBDII (on board diagnostic) compatible
Some have argued that this was the best of the breed in terms of the mass produced MX5s, Best Motoring claims that the NB8B represents the MX5 that Mazda Japan was always aiming for and finally had produced in terms of driving experience and dynamics

The MX5 is starting to grow up, driving experience is starting to soften up (it just won’t feel as fast as an NA to some)

Suits: For the more discerning taste, for those who have grown out of the juvenile character of the NA


Trainspotters Guide : The Main difference to note is the treatment of the front of the car, headlights are sharpened in the corners and coloured indicator bulbs are not as obvious, and small cheek scoops added. Also similar to the NA updates, the wheels have changed; 15″ on the earlier gen’ and 16″ on the later


Third Generation – NC

2005 – early 2009 Officially Designated NC30F1
A complete revamp of the MX5 mechanicals, but with as much as possible adherence to original philosophy

2005 - early 2009 Officially Designated NC30F1

2005 – early 2009 Officially Designated NC30F1

Newest, still perfectly possible to be under factory warranty
Much more comfortable than previous iterations of MX5, suspension and damper settings
Now with a 2.0 MZR putting out 118kW
Even more capable than previous generations of MX5 with subtle suspension tweaks as it has the most recently honed dynamics
Easiest MX5 to live with with auto being widespread and the option of powered plastic roof
Also ’07 models onwards (thanks AJ!) come with Traction control and Dynamic Stability control as standard, making emergency management of the MX5 just that… much more manageable
Availability of a folding fibreglass hardtop adds extra security with a very little weight penalty, but the option of the ragtop soldiers on

Questionable suspension settings from factory, some were just not adjusted right, many motoring publications state that suspension behaves in a very unsettled manner, but easily sorted with a good wheel alignment
Driving experience much more muted compared to previous generations of MX5, definitely not as raw

Suits: Those who are looking for the newest possible representation of the MX5 mantra, much more diluted over the years, but no less able


early 2009 to early 2015 Officially Designated NC30F2

early 2009 to date Officially Designated NC30F2

early 2009 to date Officially Designated NC30F2

Solid Pros and Cons are yet to be seen, but a general rundown follows

The NC has taken a similar evolutionary step up from the F1 to the F2 as the MX5 did all those years ago in the 1st and 2nd gen NBs
Lines have been sharpened and the overall styling theme changed and refined slightly (but whether or not this is pro or con is up to the beholder)
There is the availability of Recaro recliners albeit only in the higher specification hardtop model, and the BBS rims from the previous edition LE also make a return
The crankshaft is now forged for added strength and the redline has been stretched to 7500RPM (increased over the previous gen’s 7000) to give the engine a little more sparkle if not added power. There are also other various powertrain components that have been honed
A Torque Sensing LSD is standard on all manual models
In a bid to win over previous NC owners complaints over creature comforts, the placement of the cupholders has been moved so that they no longer clash with the legs sitting closest to the doors

Suits: The people this MX5 suits are mostly the same as the NC30F1, a further refinement of the overall package that some say strayed a little from the original MX5 mantra, modern compromises due to tightening safety and emissions regulations are evident (and unavoidable) when comparing this to the originals, but it is clear that Mazda have done the best job they can. The philosophy behind it is still firmly Jinba Ittai, MX5.


Trainspotters Guide : Once again, similar to the previous generation, the front treatment is the main giveaway.
The front cheek scoops are sharpened and now recess fog lights in all models, the headlights are sharpened, and the corners of the grille have been stretched.
Wheels are different however sizing is the same, Mazda continues its newfound fondness of the “snowflake” wheel design in the NC2.
On the NC1 the rear light lenses are clear and the housing for the lights are chrome, but on the NC2 the rear light lenses are now an opaque orange.
Also inside the engine bay of the NC2 if you look at the air filter/intake setup you will spot the “harmonic enhancer” leading to the firewall


2015 fourth-generation ‘ND’ 2015 Mazda MX-5 roadster

fourth-generation ‘ND’ 2015 Mazda MX-5 roadster

fourth-generation ‘ND’ 2015 Mazda MX-5 roadster











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