The MX-5, also known as Miata /miˈɑːtə/ in North America and Eunos Roadster in Japan, is a lightweight two-seater roadster with a front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. Manufactured by Mazda in Hiroshima, Japan, the model debuted in 1989 at the Chicago Auto Show. The MX-5 was conceived as a small roadster – with light weight and minimal mechanical complexity limited only by legal and safety requirements; technologically modern, but philosophically descending from small British and Italian roadsters of the 1960s such as the Triumph Spitfire, MG MGB, Fiat 124 Sport Spider, Alfa Romeo Spider and Lotus Elan.
The second generation MX-5 (NB) was launched in 1998 and the current (NC) model has been in production since 2005. It continues to be the best-selling two-seat convertible sports car in history and by February 2011 over 900,000 MX-5s had been built and sold around the world.
Since the launch of the third generation, Mazda consolidated worldwide marketing using the MX-5 name with the exception of North America where it is marketed as the MX-5 Miata. The name Miata derives from Old High German for reward.