Mazda pulled the wraps off its redesigned 2016 MX-5 Miata on Wednesday night in a multi-city international extravaganza that had classic rock band Duran Duran performing at the Monterey, California, event. Introducing the new car — the most significantly redesigned Miata since the two-seater debuted 25 years ago — Mazda Design Director Derek Jenkins admitted, “There was a lot of pressure to do a great car … and hope we don’t screw this up.” Like counterparts who have been assigned to work on updating icons like the Porsche 911, Jenkins knew he had to strike a careful balance. “Go too modern, too radical and we’d risk alienating our core audience,” he said. But, “If we didn’t do enough, we’d risk not reaching a new audience.” For now, Mazda is holding back on such key details as what engines will be offered or whether the folding hardtop option will be maintained when the new Miata goes on sale in 2016.
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-Paul A. Eisenstein, The Detroit Bureau
First published September 4 2014, 12:34 PM