MX-5 Miata slow?

Deacon

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I found this interesting. It’s amazing how good we have it these days compared to even the height of the American muscle car boom. Engines and tires factor so much into how quick a car is, both of which are leaps and bounds ahead of anything from 50 years ago even with cars being so heavy these days—not to mention suspension and brakes and differentials and transmissions and of course creature comforts.

Here’s a quick breakdown of quarter mile times by how close they’d compete with the current Miata and still lose:

14.4 2019+ Mazda MX-5 Miata
14.5 1970 Pontiac GTO Judge
14.7 1994 Ford Mustang Cobra
14.73 1990 Chevrolet Camaro IROC-Z
15.1 1969 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
15.3 1979 Pontiac Trans Am (409 cubic inches!)

 

DocTJ

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Its still slow to me lol, and loud cabin and engine (wrrrrrr) even with the hard top.
Also irritated limited at 120 as above. Grr.
Plus some of those "classics" look good and sound freaking great too
But yes its amazing how far weve come and the speed which we continue to innovate, right when I think the law of diminishing returns is at its peak.
 

Token

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We do get jaded. While I appreciate classics (and regularly drive quite a few) they really can't compare to what can be had today. If you look at the baddest, rarest, unicorn cars of the "golden age" of hot rods (AC Shelby Cobra, Hemi Cuda, 1969 Camaro ZL1, etc) you can walk into various dealers in the US today and buy cars off the showroom that will smoke any of those unicorns. Plus they will do it today with cruise control, GPS, heated seats and air conditioning, all while getting better gas mileage. And you don't have to tweak on them constantly (actually, not sure I think of that last as a plus).

Want an all original '57 Chevy Bel Air? Don't forget to manually oil the distributor every 1500 miles or so. Want to drive that 1962 Jag XKE? Be sure to check the damper oil in your SU carbs every couple weeks. People forget just how trouble free cars tend to be today.

As for the Miata, I think of it as quick, but not fast. It is a fun little go-cart. I can drive my 2015 GT at 9/10 almost all the time and not get killed or go to prison. A fine day is when you get to counter steer on the way to work. But literally every other car in my front driveway (newer cars in the front driveway and garage, classics in the back) has a higher top end, and most have a quicker 0-60 time.

T!
 
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goblin

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Weren't the horsepower figures in the 60's and 70's quite "creative", though, given the different measuring standards and whatnot ?
And how efficient were transmissions back then compared to modern ones ? How much power was lost through that ?
 

Boozehound

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I didn't realize the new MX-5 could knock off a 14.4 quarter. The 94 Cobra specs seem dubious. My '91 LX 5.0 ran high 13s from the factory. I have no idea how fast it'll run now but the time will be traction limited and the speed somewhere north of 125.
 

InDecay

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The ND2 (2019+) MX-5 only has 181hp, too. The ND1, which I have, has just 155hp. However I have a high end header/midpipe/muffler setup and an EcuTek tune so I'm past ND2 performance levels.

Here are my totally unbiased statements on the MX-5

You won't finder a truer sports car in the $30K range. The 86 and BRZ are close, but is slower than the MX-5 due to the 400+ lb difference. Not sure if this will be the case with the rumors of the turbo 86 in the future. I had a supercharged FRS before and still prefer my mostly stock MX-5. Better looks, better handling, excellent aftermarket support, and it's a flippin' convertible!

It's quick, but not fast. However it'll eat most muscle cars alive on a twisty track. I rather have a car that is fun to drive 100% of the time than a car that can have a higher top speed I can use 1% of the time.

My "sports" car background: 2 SN95 Mustang GTs, a supercharged Civic, two WRXs, AP2 S2000, supercharged FRS, R56 Mini, and a dozen+ other cars and motorcycles.
 

Delta9

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Yeah but those faster, heavier cars would get left in the dust when the miata starts carving up the twistys.

My friend used to love to let ppl tailgate him in his Miata as he went into the offramp, he would never touch the brakes just downshift going into the turn and then watch them swerve in the rear view as he hugged the turn.
 

Godowsky17

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But literally every other car in my front driveway (newer cars in the front driveway and garage, classics in the back) has a higher top end, and most have a quicker 0-60 time.
You sound like you've got quite a collection.
 

Token

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I didn't realize the new MX-5 could knock off a 14.4 quarter. The 94 Cobra specs seem dubious. My '91 LX 5.0 ran high 13s from the factory. I have no idea how fast it'll run now but the time will be traction limited and the speed somewhere north of 125.

A 14.4 quarter in the Miata is probably going to be an ND2 Club version (I think either Car and Driver or Motortrend pulled a 14.4 with a 2019 Club). My NC3 Grand Touring is probably more around 15.0.

If they offered the ND2 (current generation) Miata as a power retractable hard top I would trade in my 2015 tomorrow. But, since the RF is as close as they get to a PRHT today I will end up keeping mine for a while longer.

The 14.7 for the 1994 Cobra was probably based on Car and Drivers results from their testing in April of 1994, and 15.1 for the 1994 Mustang GT. I think Ford claimed something like 14.1 seconds in the 1/4 for the Cobra.

T!
 

mikedotd

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Yeah, the stigma that the MX-5 is slow really doesn't hold up anymore with the ND generation. The ND2 has similar 0-60 and 1/4 times to a same year VW GTI, which are both considered quick but not fast cars.

I test drove an RF GT-S last year and would have pulled the trigger if the interior wasn't so small. At 5'11" it felt claustrophobic with the top up. I loved how direct everything felt though due to it's over-all size and weight. Looking down the small hood with it's aggressive wheel arches I felt like I was piloting a WWII fighter plane.

I have a few saved searches setup for used ND2's going. I might be able to accept the cramped interior once there's a healthy used market and the prices come down, as a weekend car.
 

InDecay

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Yeah, the stigma that the MX-5 is slow really doesn't hold up anymore with the ND generation. The ND2 has similar 0-60 and 1/4 times to a same year VW GTI, which are both considered quick but not fast cars.

I test drove an RF GT-S last year and would have pulled the trigger if the interior wasn't so small. At 5'11" it felt claustrophobic with the top up. I loved how direct everything felt though due to it's over-all size and weight. Looking down the small hood with it's aggressive wheel arches I felt like I was piloting a WWII fighter plane.

I have a few saved searches setup for used ND2's going. I might be able to accept the cramped interior once there's a healthy used market and the prices come down, as a weekend car.
The soft top has a little more headroom. I’m 6’3” and am comfortable. I did add a seat lowering bracket for the drivers side, though.
 

oddpedestrian

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I think this has more to do with the industry improving torque than hp I am impressed by how many sub six seconds 0-60 times the industry is achieving even 5.5 for an everyday run of the mill cars. Its really not a hp game until you start pounding the highway. The SUV market really needs to get their 0-60 times down I rent cars a lot and avoid any SUV rental at any cost because of the nonexistent power they offer with the explorer being the only exception.
 

surprisinguy

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Had 2 Mazda RX-7s back in the day. Rotary engines and about 110hp? Loved those cars - not super fast but a joy.
 

Deacon

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you can walk into various dealers in the US today and buy cars off the showroom that will smoke any of those unicorns.
And you don’t have to be a Rockefeller to do it. When C&D tested their long term 2108 Honda Accord with 40k miles before turning it in, it did 0-60 in 5.3 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.9. And no doubt it would run circles around those unicorns on a track or just in the twisties, even with traction control and the stock 123mph limiter. It stopped from 70 in 166 feet. Even loaded up with navigation and so on, it still stickered for less than $35k.

 

Godowsky17

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And you don’t have to be a Rockefeller to do it. When C&D tested their long term 2108 Honda Accord with 40k miles before turning it in, it did 0-60 in 5.3 seconds and the quarter mile in 13.9. And no doubt it would run circles around those unicorns on a track or just in the twisties, even with traction control and the stock 123mph limiter. It stopped from 70 in 166 feet. Even loaded up with navigation and so on, it still stickered for less than $35k.

Amazing what standard family sedans can do nowadays. I’ve heard it is fun to drive and a competent handler despite being FWD. And 5.3 to 60 is quite quick.
 

cbbr

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I am on my 3rd Miata - they are not fast when compared to many new cars. They will never outrun most in a straight line. They can be driven hard on the road though and are more fun to drive by a longshot than the other sports cars that I have owned - I never could push them daily. Anyone can buy a Vette and go fast for a minute, but they can't push the car unless they are on a track. And our 72 Corvette was fun, but, but not anything like my Miata's for daily driving.
 

Yippeekyaa

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My wife just ordered a Rav4 prime. The specs on the car are impressive. 0-60 in 4.5. It is the second fastest Toyota the marque sells. Only the supra is quicker. Awd, plugin hybrid, boring suv, and it rated at 300hp. My 1996 impala SS is slower than a Rav4. That stings a bit.
 

mikedotd

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My wife just ordered a Rav4 prime. The specs on the car are impressive. 0-60 in 4.5. It is the second fastest Toyota the marque sells. Only the supra is quicker. Awd, plugin hybrid, boring suv, and it rated at 300hp. My 1996 impala SS is slower than a Rav4. That stings a bit.

Car and Driver says 5.4 seconds 0-60 MPH, which sounds right given it's 4400lb curb weight. Still quick, but that 1 second difference is quite a bit.

https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a33028735/2021-toyota-rav4-prime-xse-by-the-numbers/
 

ARkaband

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Yeah but those faster, heavier cars would get left in the dust when the miata starts carving up the twistys.

My friend used to love to let ppl tailgate him in his Miata as he went into the offramp, he would never touch the brakes just downshift going into the turn and then watch them swerve in the rear view as he hugged the turn.
I don’t have a Miata but this works well with my Civic Si and the obnoxious, jacked up trucks down here in the south!! Lol
 

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