You may not realize this – I know I didn’t – but the famous Mazda Miata didn’t actually debut in Japan. Didn’t debut in Asia, or Europe, or a roadster hotbed like LA either. Coincidentally, it was at the Chicago Auto Show in 1989 that we all had our first glimpse of what would become one of the most famous cars we’ve ever seen.
You don’t have to be a math wiz to see that 1989 was 30 years ago, and it’s with that in mind that Mazda has chosen the Windy City as the stage for its latest special edition MX-5: the aptly named MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition. It’s here, Mazda says, to show its appreciation for the fans that have helped the MX-5 (Miata) to achieve over a million units sold.
Like the Ford Model T in black, you can have it in any colour as long as its Racing Orange, a new colour never before seen on the MX-5. According to Mazda, the colour “evokes the breaking dawn of an exciting new day.” Maybe so, but we’ll just go with “looks damn good, just like a MX-5 should.” The special edition also gets bespoke Rays ZE40 wheels and a special badge denoting each of the 3,000 examples’ serial numbers. There’s no missing “0” there; that’s three-thousand in soft-top or hard-top RF form combined, so get ‘em while they’re hot.
Other unique adds include orange-painted Brembo brake calipers up front and Nissan examples on the rear, Recaro seats, Bilstein dampers (only on manual transmission cars; there’s also a – shudder -- six-speed auto available), Bose audio and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto in some markets -- we're awaiting confirmation if Canada happens to be among them.
That’s all well and good – really, it is – but what we liked is hearing Mazda saying that it has “high hopes for the future of the MX-5.” So do we, and, I would imagine, driving enthusiasts the world over.