I really hope we don’t screw this up,” said Mazda chief designer Derek Jenkins.
Speaking at the 2016 Mazda MX-5 press launch last summer in Monterey, Jenkins confessed that getting to work on the fourth-generation Miata was a combination of outrageous good fortune and trepidation. After all, in the pantheon of cars that define brands, the Mazda MX-5 Miata ranks alongside hallowed halos like the Porsche 911, Chevrolet Corvette and Ford Mustang. When redesigning such a car, failure — while always an option in the auto biz – means more than a bad sales year. It can stand for lack of vision within a company that translates to a longer-term loss of consumer interest in a company’s mass-market products.