Thursday, 7 February 2019

Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary

This year's Chicago Auto Show saw Mazda unveil their 30th Anniversary special edition of the MX-5. Chicago was chosen for the live-streamed reveal event as this is where the original MX-5 was first shown back in 1989. Bob Hall and Tom Matano, some of the key people involved in the design and development of the original car, were on hand at the show for photos and questions. I wonder if they ever imagined the MX-5 project would sell over one million cars and still be around thirty years later.

The 30th Anniversary model will be limited to 3000 units worldwide with 500 allocated to the USA, which seems quite a small number to me given the USA is by far the car's largest market. Here in the UK we are allocated 600 models (400 convertible, 200 RF).

The main selling point for this model is the unique Racing Orange paintwork. We have seen orange ND models before, Murakami Motors and 949 Racing are just two examples, and I've always thought the colour suits the shape well. After several years of muted colour tones, it's nice to see something a little brighter from the factory.

Most cars will use the new 180bhp 2.0 with the 1.5 engine available for Japanese market only. Standard equipment includes Bilstein suspension, a limited slip differential (manual models only), numbered badge just in front of the rear wheel, the familiar Brembo front brake upgrade with colour coordinated calipers, Nissin rear brakes, and 17" forged Rays ZE40 wheels finished in gunmetal with 30th Anniversary branding. The interior gets heated leather and Alcantara Recaro seats with matching orange piping, and Alcantara interior trim pieces with orange contrast stitching.

There is no mention of specially chosen engine components or souvenir gifts like with previous Anniversary editions, but I'm sure more details will follow soon.

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