Miata hits a million: the one-millionth Mazda MX-5 produced

Published: 26 April 2016

► MX-5 production hits the 1mil mark
27 years in production since 1989
One-millionth car to go on global tour

Time flies when you’re having fun, eh? The one-millionth Mazda MX-5 rolled off the line on 22 April 2016 last week, 27 years after the pocket-sized roadster originally entered production.

And it’s going on tour; the millionth Miata will be shown off at events around the world, starting with the Hiroshima Flower Festival before jetting around the world to dates including the Goodwood Festival of Speed in June.

The original MX-5 began manufacture in April 1989 at Mazda’s Ujina Plant No. 1 in Hiroshima. Since then it’s evolved from Lotus Elan tribute-act Mk1 to spiky, modern Mk4, and won legions of fans in the meantime. Click through the gallery above for a scrapbook of the MX-5 through the ages. Here’s to another 27 years!

Mazda MX-5: this is your life

February 1989

The original MX-5 makes its debut at the Chicago motor show 

October 1997

Goodbye to the pop-up headlights: MX-5 Mk2 debuts at the Tokyo Motor Show

December 1998

Launch of 10th Anniversary Limited Edition MX-5

May 2000  

MX-5 acknowledged by Guinness World Records as world’s best-selling two-seater sports car (531,890 units produced)

January 2002 

Production reaches 600,000 units

March 2005  

MX-5 Mk3 arrives  at the Geneva motor show. Design overseen by Moray Callum (Ian’s brother)

April 2005

Production reaches 700,000 units

July 2006

Folding hardtop model introduced at the British motor show

June 2007 

Production reaches 800,000 units

July 2009 

Launch of 20th Anniversary Limited Edition MX-5

February 2011 

Production reaches 900,000 units

April 2014

Launch of 25th Anniversary Edition MX-5

September 2014

MX-5 Mk4 is here, with radically different styling and a more compact design than ever

March 2016

Opinion-polarising Mazda MX-5 RF (for Retractable Fastback) unveiled at the New York motor show

By James Taylor

CAR's deputy features editor, occasional racer