OKAY, SO I THOUGHT this column was going to be about something else. When I arranged to take a 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata and a Genesis G70 3.3T AWD to a Ferrari club track day at Virginia International Raceway, I hoped to prove a thesis that those two cars aren’t the rolling roadblocks you’d expect. Instead, I got a lesson in the concept of automotive evolution and the quantifiable value of history. The Miata’s been around for 30 years, with Mazda tinkering and perfecting it all along. Genesis split from Hyundai and debuted as a stand-alone company less than four years ago, in 2015. Which makes the overall excellence of the G70 all the more impressive. But the Miata demonstrates how great a car can become when it incorporates a decade or three of experience.
On a crisp Virginia morning, I take my first laps in the G70, allowing myself the crutch of all-wheel drive to compensate for any early-on goofs. The G70 3.3T isn’t posited as a track machine, but any sport sedan in its competitive set should be able to handle a trip to a road course (and indeed, there’s a white Alfa Giulia 2.0T in our run group). The Genesis looks good on paper: 365-hp twin-turbo V-6, big Brembo brakes, and Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires. I’m still worried about how it’ll fare in this crowd, which includes not just Ferraris but plenty of Porsches and Corvettes. I keep my eye out for blue flags, which the corner workers wave when they w