© 1999-2007 Kay

In Japanese, the exceptional soul of the Mazda MX-5 is described by the expression Jinba Ittai. The direct translation of the idiom is "rider and horse as one."

"Yabusame," a longstanding artistic ritual ceremony in Japan, truly embodies the essence of Jinba Ittai (pronounced gin-buy ee-tie). An archer mounted on horseback gallops past a target and shoots an arrow. To achieve a bull's eye, the archer and horse must move as one. There must be a natural two-way communication and a high degree of synergy in their alliance.

This oneness of motion between rider and horse was selected as the most apt analogy depicting the relationship between the driver and a Mazda MX-5. Updated for the 21st century, Jinba Ittai is akin to the bond between a single-seat formula-car pilot and his racer. It is also exemplified by a high-performance sport motorcycle rider at speed. Jinba Ittai is the essence of Zoom-Zoom.

The rider-and-horse idiom and the effort to create a car universally seen as "lots of fun" served as the focal point around which the original and the all-new Mazda MX-5 were designed and engineered. While most sports cars aim for specific performance targets-such as the time required to accelerate to 100 km/h or cornering G provided by the chassis-Mazda engineers established additional goals to reinvigorate the lightweight sports car. In essence, this became a celebration of the simple delights of driving an open roadster. The "fun" was designed for anyone and any location during sport driving and daily life.

Mazda's emphasis is on the feel of a responsive machine that compliments any driver. The Mazda MX-5 stresses ideal dynamic balance achieved with minimal weight and propelled by a small but spirited engine. Factors of secondary importance in other cars-such as the way the open cockpit is bathed in sunshine and seasonal aroma of fresh air-top the Mazda MX-5's list of major attributes.