Here's How Much Quicker a ND Mazda Miata Is Around the Nürburgring than a NA MX-5

Gif: OneLapHeroes

The Mazda Miata has been the go-to light, agile convertible for enthusiasts on a budget for four generations now. If you’re wondering if cashing out for the newest one is worth it, or if you should just find an old one and save a hefty chunk of change, maybe this Nürburgring comparo will set you straight.


Three years ago, the guys behind the OneLapHeroes YouTube channel bought “the worst” Mazda MX-5 they could find off of German Craigslist and immediately threw it around the Nürburgring, dubbing it the “Ring Banana:”

The NA set a ‘Ring lap time of 9:21.8, which is impressive for an old, rusting Miata without so much of a onceover before going out. Three years later, the OneLapHeroes decided it was time to update the test, and went out with the same driver—GT3 driver Gabriele Piana—again in a ND:

The ND set a lap time of 8:50.1, according to the video, making for a 31.7 second improvement between the two ends of Miata generations.

So, if for some unspeakable and unreasonable purpose, you’re torn between maybe financing a new Miata or just digging an older one up out of the internet, and the only thing that matters to you for some reason is worrying over a huge Nürburgring lap time disparity, then here’s your answer.

Those thousands and thousands of dollars difference between the ND and NA Miata is also going to either buy you or cost you just over 30 seconds of speed. It’s a tough call, but only one you can make. Best of luck.

Thanks to OneLapHeroes for sending this our way.

Reviews Editor, Jalopnik


cream wobbly

So, 6% improvement in lap time. Do they only cost 6% more then?

Quite honestly I wouldn’t (oh, and it’s “threw”, past tense of the verb “throw”, not the preposition) be surprised, when you consider the NA has started to reach “collectible” status, and you’d have to replace almost the entire running gear after you snag a stanced-up and thrashed ex-drifter heap.

Quite honestly, since the purpose of the Miata is slow car fast, a 6% difference in lap times on one of the most grueling high-speed tracks is hardly even worth a glance. I’m not so sure it counts as a data point of any description.