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Watch: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Balances on Seasaw

Video illustrates near perfect 50/50 weight distribution of the chassis for a balanced and predictable ride.

Conner Golden
May 28, 2015

Mazda released a video going behind the recreation of the traditional Miata balance-beam act, this time using the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. The balance beam stunt was initially conceived for an advertisement for the previous-generation Mazda Miata in 2011.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Club side profile in motion Photo 2/12   |   2016 Mazda MX 5 Club Side Profile In Motion

One of the most important aspects that characterized the Miata through its 26-year run is the near perfect 50/50 weight distribution of the chassis, which creates an incredibly balanced and predictable chassis, ideal for a small sports car. To illustrate this chassis neutrality, the Mazda team created a steel balance beam structure, with an extremely sensitive center fulcrum. The goal is to center the Miata to the point where the balance beam is perfectly stationary and balanced, without any additional structural support.

In the video, key members of the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata team describe important parts behind the process of developing the newest generation of the light roadster. The engineers used what they call the “gram strategy”, where they look at every component of the roadster and shave off as much weight as possible. As it sits, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata weighs 2,332 pounds. In U.S. trim, the 155 hp 2.0-liter four cylinder has plenty of power to motivate the tiny roadster.

2016 Mazda MX 5 Club front view in motion 02 Photo 6/12   |   2016 Mazda MX 5 Club Front View In Motion 02

In the end, the 2,332-pound 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata balances perfectly on the steel fulcrum structure , successfully recreating the original NC Miata advertisement and dramatically illustrating the car's balance.

Take a look at the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata’s balancing act and watch the original ad in the videos below.

By Conner Golden
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