Wednesday 12 June 2013

Mazdaspeed Roadster

In 2001 with the launch of the revised and facelifted NB, a Mazdaspeed special edition was released for the Japanese market. This exclusive Roadster model was limited to just 200 and featured many optional accessory parts as standard combined with some unique Mazdaspeed branded parts. The base car underneath was the 6-speed 160PS 1.8 RS grade.

The first thing you'll notice is the colour. That's Starry Blue Mica and would not be seen on any other roadster model. It looks a little bit like an evolution of the 10th Anniversary's Innocent/Sapphire Blue, and combined with the gold painted 16" RS wheels gives the car a very distinctive appearance. The Mazdaspeed Roadster also has the full optional aero kit, consisting of front airdam, large sideskirts, rear underskirts, and the adjustable rear spoiler. As a finishing touch you also get the front and rear light bezels, and a gold Mazdaspeed decal on the left front side.

The interior has a few subtle additions to separate it from a regular model. There are blue instrument rings on the speedometer and rev counter, and a carbon fibre effect centre console trim (similar to the 10th Anniversary model). The seats, though finished in black cloth not leather, have blue contrast stitching. An mp3 compatible Kenwood stereo was standard equipment.

There were quite a few performance upgrades fitted to the car which makes it a much nicer special edition as opposed to the usual changes of colour trim and wheel design on most others. Starting in the engine bay, you'd find a body coloured front strut brace, Mazdaspeed uprated engine mounts, and a Mazdaspeed exhaust manifold. There were also Mazdaspeed uprated differential mounts, Mazdaspeed rear exhaust silencer, and four-level adjustable Mazdaspeed suspension. These upgrades made the car sound and handle better than the standard car.

Since only 200 were produced exclusively for the Japanese home market, this car is one of the rarest models in the whole line up. As far as I'm aware only a handful ever made it to the UK, and it would certainly be worth a premium over any other model for the exclusivity factor alone. Here is the original brochure from 2001.