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Mazda is taking to the auto-show circuit to show off the most recent version of the 2009 Mazda Miata, one of American’s favorite small sports cars. This new Miata made its debut at the 2008 Paris Motor Show, and just made a candy-colored splash at this year's Chicago Auto Show.

I've been a long time fan of the Miata platform since its inception in 1990 (a year earlier in other parts of the world). In fact, I've had three Miatas at my disposal since that time and have loved each one with a passion. I am eager to see how the new Miata is received since this newest version is mostly cosmetic changes. All in all, the changes make the car more appealing, especially the front where they have added definition to the front valance that gives it a look that harkens back to the 2001 body. Overall, Mazda's done a good job of keeping the Miata close to its roots over the past 20 years of it tenure in the automotive market space.

The 2009 Miata gets mostly minor updates. To slake the enthusiast thirst, the newest Miata will boast a 167-hp 2.0 four-cylinder engine. That's a mere single horsepower improvement over the retiring 2008 model. In addition, Mazda says the new Miata will have a retuned suspension to improve handling, upgraded gearbox, increased engine redline and new wheel design.

The base Miata's a tremendous bargain; if you include the power removable hardtop, you have one of the best true sports cars since the MGBs of yesteryear. Don't take it just from us; TheCarConnection.com has given the 2009 Mazda Miata an 8.4 out of 10 overall review rating, making it one of the top performing two-doors.

Once the zoom-zoom hits the showroom, I'll be taking a test drive of my own. Stay tuned for a complete review. Until then check out pricing and photos for your favorite small car, and dream up your own comparisons for this classic roadster.