The MX-5, released as the MX-5 Miata in North America and the 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 name Miata derives from Old High German for reward.
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.
In 2000, the Guinness Book of World Records declared the MX-5 the best-selling two-seat sports car in history, with total production of 531,890 units. The 250,000th MX-5 rolled out of the factory on November 9, 1992; the 500,000th, on February 8, 1999; the 750,000th, in March 2004; the 800,000th in January 2007, and 900,000th in February 2011.