25 Years of Innovative Engineering
As a young engineer, Nobuhiro Yamamoto recalls the infectious enthusiasm at Mazda surrounding the lightweight sports car project. “I was sure the Mazda MX-5 would be a success, because I knew the passionate, talented engineers who were working on it,” he reflects.
Now, 25 years later, the continued success of this iconic sports car is Yamamoto’s passion. “I joined the project to work on the second generation MX-5 with Takao Kijima [Program Manager, second and third generation] and, when he retired in 2007, the torch was handed to me,” he says.
“I feel an immense gratitude to all those people who have bought an MX-5 and a duty to them to continue developing the car. There are five principles we will always retain for the MX-5: It must be light and compact; have a front-midship engine and rear-wheel drive; 50:50 weight distribution; a low yaw moment of inertia [agile] and be affordable. All of these ensure the Mazda MX-5 is fun to drive and accessible. We are not just making a vehicle, but an experience for our customers that puts a smile on their faces.”
Driving stories on the great & challenging roads and journeys
Stories about the craftsmanship and design evolution of Mazda
Visions and philosophies of Mazda engineers
The spirit of Mazda owners, collectors, clubs and aficionados around the world
Mazda brand heritage and history