In the final year of the second-generation NB Miata’s life, Mazda offered a limited edition “Roadster Coupe” hardtop. Offered for sale in Japan only, the Coupe carried a hefty pricetag for what was essentially some bespoke bodywork and a stiffer chassis – but no extra power. Even so, Miata enthusiasts have long lusted after the E-Type-esque hardtop Miatas. They might finally get their wish.
The news of a Miata coupe is something that appears constantly in the automotive media rumormill, but our information comes from a reliable source. Ryan Beene, who, until recently, covered Mazda for Automotive News (and is now their Washington correspondent), is reporting that “Mazda will release a hardtop MX-5 that will have a unique, fastback-style silhouette.” Having known Beene for a number of years, I can say that his information is to be trusted more than the typical buff book “anonymous sources” accompanied by some fanciful colored pencil sketch or computer rendering.
Beene is also claiming that the new car will have a 2.0L Skyactiv motor and a curb weight close to the original 1989 Miata’s 2100 lbs. The new softtop will go on sale in the summer of 2015, while the coupe should debut a year later. Although we’ve long heard rumors about an MX-5 hardtop, the economics of offering such a car finally make sense. The MX-5’s bespoke platform is expensive, and adding a coupe means even more volume, and a previously untapped market. Not everyone wants a convertible, but a coupe MX-5 would give Mazda a rival to the Scion FR-S and Subaru BRZ, to to mention a new pool of customers who may have wanted an MX-5, but not an open top car.