1998 - 2005
🗃 Sports Car
2 seats 💺
The Mazda MX-5 (NB) is the second generation of the Mazda MX-5 manufactured from 1998 to 2005. The model continued the MX-5's philosophy of being a lightweight, front mid-engine, rear-wheel-drive roadster while featuring numerous performance improvements, however lacking its predecessor's retractable headlamps. The NB is also the only generation to feature a factory-built turbocharged variant in the form of the Mazdaspeed MX-5.
The redesigned MX-5 was previewed at the Tokyo Motor Show in October 1997. In February 1998, Mazda released the second-generation MX-5, production code NB, for the 1999 model year. The NB featured a more powerful engine and external styling cues borrowed from the third generation Mazda RX-7, designed in 1995 by Tom Matano. Prices in the United States, the main market for the MX-5, started at US$19,770.
Although many parts of the interior and body were different, the most notable changes were the headlamps: the first generation's retractable headlamps no longer passed pedestrian safety tests and were replaced by fixed ones. The new car grew slightly in width compared to the earlier model and was slightly more aerodynamic than the original, with a drag coefficient of Cd=0.36. Other notable improvements include a glass rear window with defogger for the convertible top and a retractable wind deflector behind the seats.
The NB continued to employ four-wheel independent suspension, with enlarged anti-roll bars at the front and rear, but the wheels, tires and brakes were significantly upgraded: anti-lock braking system was offered as an option; alloy wheels were now 14" (360 mm) or 15" (380 mm) in diameter and 6" (150 mm) in width, depending on the trim package; sports models were equipped with the larger wheels and 195/50VR15 tires.
The BP-4W engine remained at 1.8 L (110 cu in) but received several minor updates. The engine compression ratio was raised from 9.0:1 to 9.5:1 by adding slightly domed pistons. The intake cam was changed to a solid lifter design with a stronger cam; the intake runners in the head were straightened and the intake manifold was mounted higher up. Mazda's Variable Intake Control System was introduced, which effectively gave a long narrow intake manifold at low rpm for better swirl, changing to a short, free-flowing manifold at high rpm for maximum breathing. Power output of the new engine was quoted at 104.4 kW (140.0 bhp) with 157 N⋅m (116 lbf⋅ft) of torque.
The 1.6 L (98 cu in) B6 engine remained available in Europe and Japan. The base-model 1.8 L (110 cu in) NB could reach 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.8 s and had a top speed of 210 km/h (130 mph).