By on March 15, 2016

2016 Mazda MX 5 Miata Exterior

Mazda is teasing a new model reveal for next week’s New York Auto Show, and it could be a MX-5 Miata with more shade.

The invitation to the model’s world premiere later this month asks participants to help Mazda “blow the lid off.” Hmm, let’s think about that one for a minute …

The previous generation MX-5 Miata was available in power retractable hardtop form, but that option died in 2015 when the fourth-generation launched in soft-top guise only.

Reintroducing the hardtop to the stable only seems natural, but there’s good reason to believe this hardtop won’t simply operate in “up” or “down” mode.

Mazda has stated previously that a new hardtop would have a lighter and more compact mechanism, while an unconfirmed report of a targa-like top stated it roof will have the ability to be operated while the car is in motion. That could certainly differentiate this MX-5 from its predecessors. It would also prevent the vehicle from being burdened with any excess weight that could offend Miata purists, while likely freeing up more interior and trunk room than the previous hardtop.

For what remains a niche vehicle, the 2016 Miata has posted impressive sales numbers since it began driving off dealer lots last summer. It follows that a new hardtop would broaden the model’s appeal, while allowing Mazda to make a splash two years in a row in New York.

[Sources: Autocar, Wheels] [Image: 2016 MX-5 Miata, © 2015 Alex L. Dykes/The Truth About Cars]

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39 Comments on “Is Mazda Going to Tell the Miata to Put Its Top Back On?...”


  • avatar
    mikedt

    Miata Shooting Brake for the win!

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    I think that’s the best color for the current Miata, that very pearly white. There’s one in the parking garage which always catches my eye. Especially when I park a Cadillac next to it and realize how small it is.

    The last generation didn’t appeal to me, with the bubbly rounded nature. It was trying too hard IMO. This one got back to visual basics, tight and purposeful.

    • 0 avatar
      VoGo

      The lack of choice in Miata colors is frustrating.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        What sucks is that availability varies by trim level. If you want the most sporting Miata, you get the Club trim, which only has colors (black/red/white/gray). You want blue? Upgrade to the Grand Touring, but kiss the cloth seats and LSD good-bye.

        • 0 avatar
          robc123

          yes, this. I want euro style split tan & black dash with tan carpets and leather tan seats with tan canvas soft top.

          I have to go back to the 90’s to get. (no that NC was not tan but trump orange)

        • 0 avatar
          redav

          Mazda’s colors across their entire line up are weak. The pics of the new CX-9 interior look like they’re finally considering something other than black or white (about time).

          I wish interiors were available in tan, brown, and black (or charcoal), and I’d like to have real exterior color options–no one makes a good green, yellow, a decent blue, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Acd

        Agree 1000%. What is even more frustrating the lack of choice in interiors. With most of them you can any color as long as its black including leather. I don’t want any part of a convertible with a black interior for multiple reasons: fading, material deterioration from sun exposure and black seats are too hot to sit in after the sun has been beating down on them for any period of time. Where is red with tan leather? Or blue and tan? Or green and tan? Right now that’s the biggest thing holding me back from buying one.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      No way, dude…Soul Red is the best choice by far, same for any other Mazda.

    • 0 avatar
      kefkafloyd

      They had that Pearl White at my local Mazda dealer and it is quite a striking white. I’ve seen a few new Miatas in our area and I have yet to see one in an actual color. Soul Red is a good look, but I’d love it if they had a deep green or even a cinnamon orange. Unfortunately 4/6 colors for the Miata are some form of grayscale (Black, dark gray, light gray, and Pearl).

    • 0 avatar
      Irvingklaws

      Not until British green with tan leather.

  • avatar
    tbhride

    “…while likely freeing up more interior and trunk room than the previous hardtop.”

    The NC Miata’s retractable hard top variant had the exact same amount of trunk space as the soft top models.

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I was going to say the same thing. I don’t know how my hardtop is taking up any more interior room either. The two extra buttons on the dash?

    • 0 avatar
      Ltd1983

      And the weight difference was under 100 lbs too. I always thought the Miata PRHT finally eliminated nearly all the drawbacks of a retractable hardtop versus a softop, I’m surprised they didn’t sell more of them than the softop, unless the PRHT was prohibitively expensive compared.

      • 0 avatar
        robc123

        That was one of the major selling points, it wouldn’t inhibit trunk space unlike the z4, 1-series, mercs, etc.

      • 0 avatar
        Japanese Buick

        Mazda didn’t understand their market, and most PRHT models came with automatic transmissions. When I bought my ’12 PRHT new, I had to go to another state to get one with a stick in the color scheme I wanted (and as noted elsewhere, it’s not like Mazda has a lot of variety in color schemes).

    • 0 avatar
      carlisimo

      Unfortunately, trying to squeeze a simple hardtop into the soft top space resulted in an awkward look. It was visually too short. It was also a lot slower than the soft top – I wouldn’t choose it for that reason unless I were particularly worried about getting the top slashed.

      But the bigger reason it didn’t sell in large numbers was cost. The highest trim level was expensive enough to face stiffer competition, even if it wasn’t direct competition.

      • 0 avatar
        TMA1

        Why do you think the PHRT is a lot slower? It loses like a tenth of a second off the 0-60 time. Since it makes the car better in pretty much every other way, I consider it worth it.

        As for sales, they were pretty closely split between hard and soft tops. Pretty good, considering it was a $1800 option that wasn’t available on the lowest trim level.

        • 0 avatar
          Japanese Buick

          I think he meant slower than the soft top to put up or down. That may be the case within the NC generation, but in the NA you had to zip and unzip the window which wasn’t easy.

          I had a soft top NA Miata for almost 16 years and I replaced it with a PRHT in ’12. Definitely a much better experience as I got older so twisting in my seat to zip and unzip the window, and lifting the top over my head from inside, got to be problematic.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    I’m no fan of convertibles and my favorite of BMW’s Z cars was the hardtop Z4, so a fixed roof Miata would interest me more than a regular one.

  • avatar
    Funky

    I hope a power retractable hardtop (or other hardtop variant) is introduced. Good for Mazda if they do this. I sat in a 2016 model the other day and tried to open and close the current version of the soft top. Yes, it is easy to operate (at a conceptual level). But, no, it was not easy for me to operate (I am too old and decrepit, I guess) since I had trouble reaching over my shoulder (again, it’s just my problem since I have grown too old to easily do this). A hardtop (power, rather than manually operated, or a fixed hard top) might be just the thing to entice me into another MX-5/Miata.

  • avatar
    Ltd1983

    Hasn’t Mazda been teasing us with a proper Miata coupe since the NA? They did make a very limited run of NB coupes just for the Japanese market.

    I don’t understand why they don’t just do it. With as many people as track/Autocross them in the US, I think there’d be a real market.

  • avatar
    robc123

    I vote targa roof- they can look very cool. Would like to see a mockup.

  • avatar
    Kato

    Hopefully they will offer both soft and hard tops with multiple trim options. I recall pricing out a soft-top NC a while back and discovering that I could only get leather seats if I bought the PRHT, which I had no interest in. Bought a low-mileage S2000 instead. Why add weight, complexity and cost to the closest thing to an elemental roadster currently on the market? I’ll add another vote for the Miata-GT option, bet they would sell boat-loads of them.

  • avatar

    Aussie rumor has it that it’s gonna be a Porsche 911 targa like removable contraption. Not the 991 one, but more like the 930 in the 80’s.

  • avatar
    seanx37

    Another 50 hp would be better. And quite easy to get out of that 2 liter

  • avatar
    jerseydevil200

    I like targas. I LOVED my X1/9, was unhappy that I was unable to buy a Solstice.

    The MX5 needs a hardtop for me because I live in the middle of Philadelphia, and the car would have to live on the street.

    Also, BRG with tan is the only color combination I would hae.


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