“Tell me, do you bleed?” the new 2016 Mazda Miata Club Edition asked its chief rival in the small sports car space, the Subaru BRZ, as they showed up for Motor Trend’s track-day comparison test at Willow Springs. “...You will.”

At least that’s how I imagine the scene. This is a showdown everyone has been waiting for. In one corner you have the boxer-powered BRZ, the delightfully fun rear-drive sports coupe that taught us how to love again but has suffered from slow sales as of late; in the other corner, you have the 2016 Miata, redesigned, lighter and probably better than ever.

Which one comes out on top in Motor Trend’s street and track test?

In case you don’t feel like watching the full test, things come out pretty heavily in favor of the new Miata here. It’s lighter so it’s quicker zero to 60 mph than the BRZ — a surprisingly decent 5.8 seconds — and stops better. The sound, gearbox and chassis are superior too. And while the Miata suffers from more body roll than the sharper BRZ, it emerges as the more playful choice.

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Who really wins? We all do, since we have such an awesome choice in the small, pure RWD sports car segment, one that’s been neglected for so long. Until the Toyobaru maybe becomes the Miata, anyway.


Contact the author at patrick@jalopnik.com.

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