NEW YORK, April 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Mazda North American Operations today debuted the MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition during a press conference at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). A global announcement, this limited-edition automobile will be sold as a 2015 model with only 100 vehicles being slated for sale in the United States. The anniversary edition was built not only as a tribute to the unassuming diminutive roadster that sparked a large automotive impact but also to celebrate every owner and car enthusiast it's won over throughout its 25-year history.
"The original concept behind the MX-5 was so simple: to offer the pure joy of a lightweight sports car that moves precisely as the driver intends," said Takashi Yamanouchi, chairman of the board, Mazda Motor Corporation. "While responding to increasing safety and environmental requirements, in the 25 years since its launch we have had to continually reinvent the MX-5 – far beyond a simple evolution – in order to stay true to that original ideal. The history of the MX-5 is one of changing everything in order to stay the same, a history of innovating in order to preserve."
On February 9, 1989, the Chicago Auto Show witnessed the global introduction of a vehicle so unexpected yet so secretly coveted that 25 years later in New York that same initial buzz continues to loudly surround a car that inspired the rebirth of a once-dismissed segment and inspired countless competitors. With the genuine aim of crafting a lightweight, fun-to-drive sports car, the MX-5 Miata was born. And not a vehicle limited to only the deep-pocketed select few but one built and produced specifically for anyone with a steady heartbeat for driving. If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, MX-5 is continually humbled for being a fun-to-drive benchmark for the last two-and-a-half decades.
25 Years in the Making
Inspired by famed British roadsters of the 1960s, MX-5's first generation (model years 1990-1997) was sincere in focusing on Mazda's mantra of the Jinba Ittai driving experience, or "oneness between car and driver," and creating a distinct appeal to one's senses.
The result was a lightweight and compact open-top two-seater with a front mid-ship engine on a rear-wheel-drive platform. With a nearly 50:50 front-rear ratio weight distribution and a low yaw inertia moment, the MX-5 was a driver's dream. Add a distinctive design – its retractable headlights defined this generation – and an entry MSRP of $13,8001, the MX-5 Miata became an affordable dream.
Its layout and design dedicated to balance and precision, the first-generation MX-5 was given a powertrain focused on smooth, linear accelerator response rather than raw power. Offering a 1.6-liter engine (and later a 1.8-liter engine), the decision paid off with the best possible outcome of exhilarating direct handling and superb control. And consumers and critics took notice with the MX-5 Miata garnering several "Car of the Year" and "Top Ten" distinctions.
The second-generation MX-5 Miata (model years 1999-2005) was announced in October 1997 at the Tokyo Motor Show and featured a power boost, standard glass rear windows and fixed headlights. MX-5 was later certified as a Guinness World Records-holder for "best-selling two-seater sports car" in May 2000 when production reached 531,890 vehicles.
Announced at the Geneva Motor Show in February 2005, the third-generation MX-5 (model years 2006-present) was awarded the highly-respected Car of the Year Japan award. A complete redesign, this generation saw the introduction of the 2.0-liter MZR engine. Global production reached 900,000 units in February 2011, which resulted in an update of the Guinness World Records books.
With each subsequent generation, the basic principle of fun-to-drive-for-all remained but also had to be adapted for changing consumer expectations, advancements in technology and global safety requirements. The Jinba Ittai driving experience evolved and improved as well, to the point where its essence is now an essential part of every Mazda built, from sub-compacts to SUVs. The 25-year history of the MX-5 Miata showcases the absolute pursuit of a unique driving feel in which the car and driver become one, and also is a chronicle of how far Mazda has grown to establish its own unique style of driving exhilaration.
A Roadster Worth Celebrating
Nearly one million MX-5 Miata fans can't be wrong, and without their dedicated enthusiasm the MX-5 would not be the iconic road-and-track ready convertible it has become. This heartfelt passion is the reason there is a 25th anniversary to celebrate and a golden future in the form of an all-new SKYACTIV®2-CHASSIS to lead into another generation of Zoom-Zoom. As a result, the MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition was crafted as a sincere "Thank You" to every enthusiast – past, present and future.
With an acolyte's attention to details, meticulous attention was paid to the weight and balance of the engine's moving parts. While components such as pistons, connecting rods and flywheel are already preferably lightweight with low inertia and their original tolerance is set extremely fine, even within these acute tolerances Mazda engineers hand-selected the lightest, best balanced premium parts for inclusion in the engine. The result is an engine that revs even more freely, delivering an extraordinary response, precision acceleration and a deeply satisfying engine note. Lastly, Bilstein® dampers are standard on six-speed manual transmission-equipped vehicles.
Outfitted only in a Soul Red Metallic premium coat, the depth of this deep red symbolizes the multi-faceted nature of the fiery fiend within. Creating a striking contrast are the Brilliant Black A-pillars, windshield surround, outside mirrors and MX-5-signature Power-Retractable Hard Top (PRHT). Other ebony-inspired exterior elements include black front combination lamp bezels and 17-inch Dark Gunmetal 10-spoke aluminum alloy wheels, which are wrapped in grippy Bridgestone® Potenza RE05A 205/45R17-84W tires.
The interior opens up brightly as a luxury lounge with its standard Almond leather seats and door trim. A liquid metal-like satin chrome finish is used on the louver rings, gauge cluster meter rings and inner door handles. Immediately a more soothing atmosphere compared to its ready-to-rumble exterior disposition, looks are almost always deceiving as detailed hints abound to MX-5's rascal nature. Brilliant Black is expressed in the form the seatback garnish with Piano Black commanding the steering wheel spokes. Genuine black leather wraps the steering wheel, parking brake lever, armrests and manual transmission shift lever booth.
To continue the exterior's contrast-color theme, distinctive red stitching is used throughout on all premium touch points. Another minute but hardly minor detail is the instrument panel. This panel features a red base paint but is delicately hand-painted a Piano Black gradation, meaning no two vehicles will feature the exact same texture. Also, only the anniversary edition will be equipped with aluminum alloy pedals.
But no limited-edition anniversary model is complete without the proper badging. The 25th Anniversary logo is pronouncedly etched into the leather headrests as well as on the stainless steel door scuff plates. On the exterior, a single 25th Anniversary badge is mounted onto the driver's side front fender and features an identifying serial number. As the soul of the sports car continues to be reinvented, this MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition is only the beginning of another 25 years and beyond of daily driving, weekend racing and all the excuses in between to get behind the wheel.
On sale later this spring, all 100 2015 MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition models will be made available for pre-order exclusively via MazdaUSA.com. Details on final timing and the pre-order process will be released via Mazda's social media platforms in the coming weeks.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.
1 Starting price is manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) for lowest trim level. MSRP does not include destination fee, title, taxes, license, options and dealer charges. Actual prices set by dealer and may vary.
2 SKYACTIV is a registered trademark of Mazda Motor Corporation (MC).
SOURCE Mazda North American Operations