Posts tagged “drive”
Last year one of our favourite EVO scribes (and devout 911 fanatic) Chris Harris blogged this rather infamous post on why he thinks Mazda’s Roadster is basically overrated.
Chris applauds the new Toyota 86 for exhibiting the type of traits that are the Mazda Roadster’s calling card. For many of the Roadster faithful, we simply wrote it off as grandstanding.
Now a (seemingly) successful /DRIVE correspondent, Chris has decided to revisit the topic. And, to his credit, he does a little back pedalling. This time around, he decides to bring price (and age) into the equation, and offers his alternative, the Lotus Elise. It should be said that, in most other countries, finding and maintaining a Series 1 Elise is not nearly the same proposition that NA8 ownership represents.
I think though, that an important caveat here is this - perhaps, when you spend so much of your time behind the wheel of focused, 6 figure machinery, a humble 20 year old Roadster would not represent the last word in performance or precision. Chris may be surprised to learn that we don’t all exit freeways oversteering all the way through 3rd gear. As much as we’d like to.
However, for most of us the Roadster is a real world proposition as a sports car, with more sports car pretension than anything else at the asking price. It’s also a car that is very enjoyable to drive slowly. With or without a roof. And that makes it more enjoyable, more of the time.
It’s also no more (or less) masculine to drive (if that matters to you) than a Sprite, Sprint, MG, or any other classic open top sports car from which Mazda drew inspiration. The difference of course between these cars, is that the Mazda is still running.
Still - kudos to Chris for pointedly bucking the trend, and for not joining the chorus of his motoring journo peers, who almost unanimously admire Mazda’s efforts. Perhaps this is merely reverse psychology, and Mr Harris is hoping he can encourage Mazda to return to basics with the ND…