The Mazda MX-5 has undergone some big changes since it debuted over 30 years ago. Despite all those, the fourth-generation MX-5 ND still honours the driving spirit of its predecessors, and a new video highlights the performance difference between the latest MX-5 and its predecessors.

The first-generation Mazda MX-5 NA made a splash with its 1.8-litre, 131-bhp four-cylinder engine. It makes 206 lb-ft of torque that propels the 990 kg car. The MX-5 NC has a 1.8-litre four-cylinder making 146 bhp and 123 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual sends power to the rear wheels, while the roadster tips the scales at 1,065 kg.

Gallery: 2024 Mazda MX-5 Miata (JDM)

The third-generation Miata NC has a bigger 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine making 160 bhp and 138 lb-ft of torque. It’s the heaviest of the bunch at 1,100 kg. The Miata ND is the most potent of the bunch, with its 2.0-litre naturally aspirated four-cylinder engine making 184 bhp and 151 lb-ft of torque. It has a six-speed manual and weighs 1,030 kg.

The newest MX-5 got the best start in the drag race, leaving its predecessor behind. It crossed the finish line first with a 14.7-second quarter-mile time. The NC finished second at 16.4 seconds, the NB third at 16.9 seconds, and the NA last at 17.2 seconds. The MX-5 ND also won the brake test, stopping at the shortest distance.

The Mazda continues to enliven the hearts of enthusiasts. The automaker recently updated the ND in Japan, giving the roadster updated headlights, a new infotainment system, and a limited-slip differential. The updates will keep the car feeling fresh before the next-generation model arrives.

Last December, Mazda said that it would likely have to electrify the next MX-5. Tightening emissions regulations could give enthusiasts the first hybrid MX-5. The company has previously announced its plans to offer every model in its lineup with some form of electrification by 2030.

We can’t wait to see a five-generation drag race in a few years. The added electrification will undoubtedly help its performance but also add weight.