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Mazda turned the sports-car world on its ear when the cute-and-sassy Miata arrived in the fall of 1989. The two-seat roadster, which was reminiscent of a 1960s-vintage Lotus Elan, boasted a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine along with a five-speed manual transmission. The available four-speed automatic was a rarely ordered option. In 1994, the Miata’s engine grew to 1.8 liters and horsepower crept up to 128 from 116. A larger and more-powerful Miata replaced the first-generation car for 1999, which continued until Mazda’s third-generation two-seater was launched for the 2007 model year.