Friday 29 May 2015

Mazda MX-5 10th Anniversary

Ten years is a long time in the automotive world. Back in 1999, it was quite an achievement for the little Roadster to have reached its tenth birthday. Mazda celebrated the occasion with the release of a worldwide special edition known as the 10th Anniversary Model. This version of the Roadster was limited to 7500 units and featured some unique specification and trim together with collectible commemorative items for new owners.

The car was based on the Japanese 1.8 RS grade, so featured Bilstein suspension, front tower strut brace, six-speed manual transmission, and a Torsen limited slip differential as standard. The engine also benefits from specially selected components to give it an even smoother drive than standard models. The fifteen inch alloy wheels were given a highly polished finish for a premium look that complements the unique shade of blue paintwork. Innocent (Sapphire) Blue Mica has never been made available on any other model of MX-5, helping to make a 10th Anniversary easy to spot. The exterior is finished off with a numbered badge on the front wing identifying the car as one of 7500.

The blue colour scheme continues inside with a special ignition key, blue deep-pile carpets, blue roof, blue tonneau cover, blue & black leather trimmed Nardi steering wheel, blue handbrake and gear gaiters with black stitching, black leather seats with blue suede centre trim. Localisation changes gave Japanese market cars fixed back seats, whereas in the UK cars were fitted with adjustable headrest seats to accommodate taller drivers. The instruments are given chromed trim rings and the centre console features a smart carbon fibre effect trim, a feature also seen in the later Euphonic and Mazdaspeed editions.

Some markets fitted the appearance pack front lip spoiler, side skirts, bootlid spoiler, and front foglights as standard equipment, others kept them as optional dealer extras. To make the 10th Anniversary even more special a certificate of authenticity and gift set was included with the car. The gifts consisted of a pair of watches, a scale model of the car, and an exclusive keyring (different for each market) all presented in a gift box. This box is becoming difficult to find now and quite a collectible for an MX-5 enthusiast.

Overall the 10th Anniversary (often abbreviated to 10AE) is one of the better special editions and along with the red & blue Sports and Icon ranks high amongst the most wanted Mk2 MX-5 editions.