Mazda’s on a mission to spread the message, “long live the roadster.” February of 2014 marked the 25th anniversary of this beloved sports convertible, and even though the Miata and MX-5 are still going strong, such a milestone can bring forth a lot of pressure. The design team involved in the upcoming 2016 Mazda MX-5 had to make sure the car stayed true to its roots while bringing forth new and exciting features, as well as meeting new safety regulations. Derek Jenkins, Mazda’s Director of Design for the Mx-5 project, talked to Autobytel about some of the specific challenges of redesigning and updating such an iconic vehicle. “Hopefully we capture the imagination of a new generation of enthusiasts,” he said. The upcoming 2016 MX-5 had many potential designs, going from a classic silhouette to a completely modern one, as well as every possibility in between. The ideal solution, the team decided, was a profile that is obviously part of the MX-5 and Miata family, but one that would give a first-time viewer a modern impression of the car. Autobytel also talked to other Mazda designers and product planners, who explained the philosophy behind the Miata’s design and lifecycles. Mazda was always a little different than other Japanese car brands, since they embraced the “less is more” mentality and looked to Europe for design inspiration, although the mechanicals were designed to provide a confident and enjoyable drive for novices and pros alike.