The 2014 New York Auto Show is well underway and we’ve already seen some really cool new Japanese cars such as the 2015 Nissan Murano and the all-new Acura TLX. Today, though, we’re not looking at a new car, but an old one. 25 years old, in fact – it’s the Mazda MX-5 Miata, and this year marks its 25th anniversary.
The Mazda MX-5 launched 25 years ago in February, 1989 at that year’s Chicago Auto Show. Since then, this zippy little roadster has become iconic of the Mazda name, and Mazda themselves admit that the Miata best symbolizes their carmaking philosophy. Since 1989, over 940,000 MX-5 roadsters have been sold over the course of three generations – enough to earn it the Guinness World Record for best-selling two-seat sports car.
That’s quite a list of accomplishments, and Mazda has developed a limited edition trim to commemorate the Miata’s titanic success. It’ll go on sale later this Spring, and when we say limited edition, we really mean it; only 100 units of the 25th anniversary model will be sold in the US.
Now, you’re probably wondering what actually sets the 25th anniversary MX-5 apart from the standard production model. Not much has changed about the exterior from the existing model; it gets a two-tone Soul Red Metallic and black paint job reminiscent of the original 1989 model, along with new 17-inch gunmetal alloy wheels. The interior has been made more luxurious with off-white and black leather upholstery and trim throughout, along with red stitching to match the exterior and a “hand-finished decorative panel” which makes each individual model slightly unique.
The aesthetic revisions are all well and good, but the biggest improvements can be found beneath the hood. The 2.0L naturally aspirated engine has been retuned with better pistons, rods and a new flywheel. As in the production model, that engine can be paired with either automatic or manual transmissions, but the manual also gets new Bilstein shock absorbers. As Mazda describes it, they’ve essentially updated the current model’s mechanics with better individual parts for lighter weight, a freer rev and an all-around improved response.
In addition to the 25th anniversary edition of the Mazda MX-5, the Japanese automaker has also revealed the SKYACTIV chassis of the next-generation Miata. The new chassis is lighter with a lower center of gravity than the outgoing model while also keeping the engine closer to the middle the car. This allows the next-generation Miata to be the most compact one yet, and Mazda hopes to trim 100 kg from the outgoing model.
All in all, it’s safe to say that the 2014 New York Auto Show has been a booming success for Mazda. The limited edition MX-5 looks spectacular, and we envy anyone who can get their hands on one of the 100 models. At the same time, we absolutely can’t wait to see the next-generation Miata; from the looks of it, it’ll be their best one yet!
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