Rather than retire, the car was donated to racer Dan Edmunds and became the first ever MX-5 to compete in motorsport, racking up 6,500 miles. Today, Mazda says more of its cars are raced at the weekend in the US than any other car brand.
Mazda's M-Speedster concept car made its debut in Chicago in 1995, with more aggressive styling and integrated storage for two racing helmets. Power from its 1.8-litre engine was boosted by a supercharger, taking its overall output to 197bhp.
In 1996, Mazda showed its M-Coupé concept at the New York motor show. While similar to the previous M-Speedster, the M-Coupé received a wider stance with new rims and lowered suspension.
Two years later and Mazda was ready to preview the second generation of the MX-5 with the 1998 model. Part of the design brief given to Mazda's engineers was to find a way to increase the boot space of the original model without compromising its shape. If the continued success of the Miata in second-generation form is anything to go by, they succeeded.
In 2004, Mazda released its Mazdaspeed-badged MX-5, with the model on display here celebrating the 700,000th model built. This was the first time a turbocharged Mazdaspeed model had been sold without the Miata badge, instead the firm chose to use the more global MX-5 name for the North American market. Just 5142 units were made over two years.
Jump to 2011's SEMA trade show in Las Vegas, and Mazda revealed its MX-5 Super20. Thanks to its supercharged engine the Super20 had 247bhp available, as well as special alloy wheels and performance Toyo tyres. The MX-5's standard soft-top roof was also replaced with a hardtop, while the interior was outfitted with special leather seats.
Mazda also revealed a new special edition model to celebrate the car's 25th anniversary. The special features an engine upgraded with new hand-selected parts including a new flywheel, connecting rods and pistons.
The company claims this special MX-5's 2.0-litre engine will rev more freely than before, and will have 165bhp on tap. Inside new off-white leather seats feature alongside new logos and stitching.
What are your memories of the Mazda MX-5? Let us know in the comments section below.
Read Autocar's history of the MX-5
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