Editorial: Don't Get Your Hopes Up For A New Mazda MX-5 Debut
Mazda has some big news for Miata lovers at the New York Auto Show, with an exhibition of some of their favorite Miatas over the car’s 25 year history. Both myself ( 97 C Package, 2003 Shinsen) and Jack (former owner of a 93 ) will be attending, and we will make sure to get detailed photographs of everything – but don’t be surprised if we come back empty-handed when it comes to the 2015 MX-5.
The latest in a long line of silly rumors ( diesel MX-5? puh-leeze) is that the new MX-5 will make a surprise debut at the New York Auto Show. As much as I’d love for this to happen, I am not getting my hopes up.
Why? Because Mazda doesn’t typically make big reveals at auto shows. The 3, 6 and CX-5 all made debuts on their own schedule, and for Mazda, this is a smart play. They are a small brand and don’t have a lot of money to spend on marketing. By launching them on their own terms, they can own whatever time slot they choose, rather than having to dole out big marketing bucks on fancy preview dinners or social media campaigns.
The New York Auto Show, while rising in importance, is also not the preeminent auto show to launch the new MX-5 at. A look at the debut calendar will also show what the MX-5 would potentially be up against: a new Dodge Challenger, Hyundai Sonata, Acura TLX and Chevrolet Trax (or other B-Crossover) are just some of the vehicles that the MX-5 would have to compete with for media and public attention. 25 years ago, the Miata’s debut at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show was a jolt of electricity to an auto market that had not seen a fresh new two-seat roadster in years. Today, the MX-5 is, frankly, an afterthought in the minds of the general public.
Based on Mazda’s past patterns of behavior, I’d say that they’ll launch the MX-5 when they are good and ready, and able to dominate the conversation around the car. If it’s going to be an auto show, then Tokyo or Detroit would be more fitting for such a major reveal.
Then again, I hope I’m wrong.
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A fun-to-drive, reliable sports car for $25k? Yes! Given that Alfa-Romeo will be showing their 4c or whatever the latest vaporware coupe is called, it's imperative that Mazda bring the new Miata to the party. Besides, New York City is where the Jaguar E-type made it's debut. It's only fitting that the Greatest Roaderster In the World that the British Couldn't Build be revealed in New York City.
If I could make only one design improvement to my '94, it would be to slap on a sixth gear meant for highway cruising, buff books be damned. That improvement has yet to be made. If CAFE concerns force Mazda's hand, then I'll be mildly interested in replacing my 20 year old toy. Five properly-spaced gears are plenty for autocrossing. Let that sixth gear be for the drive home.