Mazda’s MX-5 roadster is not an imitation of the lightweight sports cars of the 1960s. It is a purely Japanese car that was designed to achieve global appeal. The Japanese phrase “Jinba Ittai” (which means ”rider and horse as one) expresses the essence of Japanese culture that is incorporated in the vehicle.
The development team focused on stripping off everything that was not necessary while maximizing the character of the vehicle. To control unnecessary weight gain, the engineers restrained their desire for greater engine output and more features. While pushing the limits of cost reductions, they were never hesitant to take bold engineering steps and break new ground in the name of “Jinba Ittai.”
Examples of this include the aluminum hood, which lowers the center of gravity and improves steering stability and accuracy. Also, a standard cast iron exhaust pipe was rejected in favor of a stainless steel version in order to achieve an ideal exhaust gas flow. It was clear from the start that this sports car was going to be different.