After 25 years of building a tremendously successful traditional small sports car for the masses, Mazda is celebrating with a small run of anniversary editions, first revealed at the New York International Auto Show.
The 25th Anniversary Edition MX5 Miata, only 100 of which will be available in the U.S., marks what is—no hyperbole here—a game-changing automobile.
The Mazda Miata was a car that never should have worked—a simple, front-engined, rear-drive sports car with few amenities introduced at a time when sports cars were getting high-tech and high-power. The Miata hearkened back to the old English sports cars which started the whole sports-car craze after WW II—the MGs, Triumphs, and Austin Healeys that were now rusting in garages and junkyards.
Mazda management suspected that there was still a yearning for a car which was affordable and fun to drive—and they were right. The original Miata had all-independent suspension, a 1.6-liter 116-bhp engine, a five-speed transmission, and not much else—but it cost less than $14,000 and had fun-to-drive oozing out of it. The car went through three editions and became the best-selling two-seat sports car of all time, with nearly a million units sold.
“The original concept behind the MX-5 was so simple: to offer the pure joy of a lightweight sports car that moves precisely as the driver intends,” said Takashi Yamanouchi, chairman of the board, Mazda Motor Corporation, in a press release.
“While responding to increasing safety and environmental requirements, in the 25 years since its launch we have had to continually reinvent the MX-5 in order to stay true to that original ideal. The history of the MX-5 is one of changing everything in order to stay the same, a history of innovating in order to preserve.”
The latest MX-5 takes the original idea to a peak of performance. Each Anniversary Edition is hand built, with individual parts chosen for perfect match to tolerance and perfect balance; those engines are then mated to a six-speed transmission and the suspension is damped by Bilstein shocks.
The 25th Anniversary edition is offered in only one color, Soul Red Metallic, accented with Brilliant Black on the windshield frame, A-pillars, mirrors, the power-retractable hardtop, accented with dark Gunmetal on the 17-inch wheels.
Inside, the seats and doors are covered in Almond leather stitched with red, with satin chrome and black accents and a black leather wrapping the steering wheel, armrests, and handbrake and shift lever.
25th Anniversary badges adorn the seats’ headrests and the doors’ scuff plates, with a single badge on the driver’s side front fender inscribed with the car’s serial number.
With only 100 of these cars available in the U.S. buyers will need to move fast when pre-ordering details are made available on MazdaUSA.com. Information on final timing and the pre-order process will be released via Mazda’s social media platforms in the coming weeks.