ChrisTropea Associate Editor
5/6/22 2:05 p.m.

Where did the Mazda Miata get its sporting DNA from? Sure, it may have taken some styling points from the Lotus Elan, but it’s the essence of the original MGB that’s most noticeable from behind the wheel of the Mazda. Presented by CRC Industries.

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wspohn SuperDork
5/7/22 12:37 p.m.

Guys, I agree completely that the Miata is a classic and sales numbers prove that as they did with the MGB, the biggest British selling sports car. I have to respectfully disagree with you slightly about the Miata being the modern equivalent of the MGB though.

From the technical angle, the comparison with the Lotus Elan is considerably closer - DOHC engine, 4 wheel disc brakes, inherently good handling.  The technical spec of the MGB is almost agricultural in comparison. Pushrod motor, rear drum brakes, and  on the later models with raised ride height, compromised handling and much reduced power output.  

I have always looked at the Miata as a kind of Elan that didn't break as much....   MG tried some innovative elements in their cars (my 1958 has a DOHC engine and 4 wheel disc brakes, for instance) but backed off that and contented themselves with 'good enough' as a design target.  I have to admire Mazda for doing a better job on the MX5.


BillKeksz New Reader
5/7/22 8:42 p.m.

I've often argued that the Miata is more MGB than Elan.

Mazda studied the Elan, and probably the 124 and Alfa Duetto, looked at its parts bin, and built something to appeal to those who wanted an MGB. More people remembered seeing B's than Elans at the time; certainly more had owned B's than Elans.
Production-wise, the B was a success that the Elan could never be. Mazda needed  success of similar magnitude.
I own an ND, and previously two NA's, an X1-9, and a B. All those are in the light sports car category, but the Elan is at the extreme end of that. Admittedly, my brief drive in an Elan is a very distant memory.



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