By on August 25, 2014


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.

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53 Comments on “Will The Next-Generation Mazda MX-5 Finally Have A Coupe Variant?...”

  • avatar

    Well, slap-in a Wankel and call it an RX-7! But seriously, a 2100lb target weight in this day an age is an achievement!

    • 0 avatar

      I’d like Mazda to use more rotaries or just kill it entirely. Using it one small volume model after another just means it never gets the investment it needs.

      Put it in anything with sporting pretensions to start – any new RX, the Miata, and any Mazdaspeed… Solve the oil problem through putting in a better oil sensor telling your exact level and making it even easier to top off (e.g. put a gas-type spout somewhere on the car or something).

      • 0 avatar

        I’m not really certain if the rotary is a worthwhile tech at this point in time now that 4-cylinders have very high RPM potential. Yeah, the oil issue in the RX8’s is ridiculous, I don’t ever think my two RX-7’s ate oil like they do.

    • 0 avatar

      A 2100 pound _actual_ weight is an achievement. Even land whales cite low target weights until they realize diet shakes don’t taste as good as donuts…..

  • avatar

    That would be highly tempting.

  • avatar

    Should be nice: it worked well on a Triumph GT6. The Solstice hardtop must be rarer than hen’s teeth because I don’t remember seeing one.

  • avatar

    Haha as a Miata lover for let’s see… 15-20 years now, this is one of those magic fairy things that is always coming at some point but never actually does… Sorta like a 2nd Gen NSX.

    So I’ll believe it when I see it.

    Though I personally don’t understand the appeal. Yeah if you race maybe OK. But the Miata loses a ton of charm on those unfortunate days when you have to drive it with the top up. So I don’t see the point in what is supposed to be a fun car.

    The rotary…. This is what I have always been waiting for and have never understood why it hasn’t been done. Rev happy torqueless engine? Makes the most sense in a 2100lb sports car. Light motor low and center? Makes sense in a pure sports car like a Miata. And of all customers who could 1) understand the rotary and it’s idiosyncrasies and maintenance requirements and 2) might have some forgiveness when it needs some work… The home – mechanic car nut Miata lover is going to be far more forgiving than someone who buys an RX-8 because it looks cool and drives nice and you can put a car seat in the back.

    A rotary Miata, for me, would be my “shut up and just take my money” kinda car. That’s the one they need to release.

    • 0 avatar

      This in spades. I’ve thought about getting an older Miata for a rotary swap but honestly I lack the finances and fabrication skill to do it right.

      I’d want the coupe though.

    • 0 avatar

      The biggest problem with the rotary is that there’s no way to make it fuel efficient. The biggest reason is that the optimum combustion chamber would be spherical, and that of the rotary is necessarily practically flat, like a pancake. But there are various other reasons.

      I wrote about this for one of the trade pubs in ’04, and in so doing, dissuaded myself from getting an RX-8, despite the fact that I had use of a press car while I was writing the article, and loved it.

      If you’d like to see a copy of my article, email me at [email protected]

      • 0 avatar

        I think the gist of Jerome’s argument, is that there are few small cars out there with as many fans ready to overlook ill fuel consumption (and other idiosyncrasies) as the Miata. Many Miata owners no doubt do care more about reliability and economy of operation, but there are still hordes who would love 250hp from an engine with less weight than a 150hp I4.

    • 0 avatar

      Here’s another Miata owner who would jump at the chance to get a rotary Miata.

      I would’ve thought the NC would’ve been a good opportunity with its platform and many of the powertrain bits shared with the RX-8, but oh well. I still have my hopes for the next generation, even if the chance is slim.

      As for the coupe variant… meh.
      Why bother when there’s already a retractable hardtop model available?
      A non-convertible version would also require more than a new body to make it work as a whole car.

      The last Roadster Coupe were generally reviewed to be quite polished and was noticeably stiffer than the standard convertible, but the overall balance of the car was ruined in the process, making it less fun than the original (based on various Japanese magazine reviews).

    • 0 avatar

      I’m the opposite kind of Miata owner. I’ve had my ’95M for over 15 years now, but haven’t taken the hardtop off in years. Also, I have no use for a rotary…unnecessary complication and expense for little return.

      Just keep it small, reliable, and fun. That’s all I demand.

    • 0 avatar

      At least, thank goodness, it seems Mazda has the sense to stick to proper NA engines, instead of some soulless turbo concoction…

  • avatar

    How about a GT version?

  • avatar

    Return of the 1st Gen RX7?

  • avatar

    I guess another name for a Miata coupe would be Ginetta. They race those, don’t they?

  • avatar
    Cameron Miquelon

    I can wait another year for a fixed roof.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    But, would it be a hatchback as well?

    • 0 avatar

      The day this happens is the day I buy a Miata. And if they add a turbo I’ll put down my money NOW!

      I live in FL and have no desired for a convertible, its too hot most of the time, and the folding top is a pain, it takes up too much room when put away, is still too loud in the car with the “roof” up and the chassis is all squishy due to the lack of support. A hatchback/shooting brake configuration is perfect in my book, heck the reason I own a non-convertible 350Z.

      I know purest hate turbos, but I was driving my wife’s Volvo C30 last week and was quickly reminded what a hoot the boost on/off effect. Sure my Z has good torque and pulls strong through the whole RPM range, but that little Volvo turbo is just so much fun once spooled up. There is this sudden rush or surge of power around 3K, its like a sling shot effect. Modern turbos has such low lag is just not that big of a deal any more. Once your in the boost a quick shift keeps you there yet, yet when driven with a light foot you still get good MPGs.

  • avatar

    I can’t wait for the LS swappage to commence.

  • avatar
    Sammy B

    A coupe/shooting brake would be pretty cool. We get so few convertible days in Cleveland that a coupe makes it a lot more practical.

    In a perfect world, there’d also be a 2+2 variant. With three kids, being able to fit the kids in a pinch is important. I won’t hold my breath for that, though. Actually in a MORE perfect world, Mazda would continue to offer the 6 Wagon here and I’d be a happy camper.

    Note: I put my money where my mouth is – I had a 2006 6 wagon 5MT for about 5 years

  • avatar

    It’s a real mystery as to why they DIDN’T make an FRC option.

    I know low weight is the goal. Someone else can buy the “pure” version. I would love a 2+2 FRC Miata with the 2.5L. They could even call it the MX-6 if a 2+2 Miata made teh purists angry. Even with all that, if the base roadster is 2100lbs, a longer FRC version would prob be 2500-2700lbs, which would fly with a torquey 200-220HP. It would basically be what Toyobaru should have made

    Like the 2nd gen NSX though I’ll believe it when I see it at a dealership.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    It seems like we are on the verge of discovering yet another case of Brown Diesel Manual Transmission Syndrome. Something that at least provides some solid sales data for Mazda is the folding hardtop Miata. Of course, it could be posturing since I think we all read about the rumors of the convertible version of the FR-S BR-Z … The Consonant Twins.

  • avatar

    Close to 2100 lbs? Yeah, I’ll believe that when I see it. That’s hundreds less than an Alfa 4c with its CF chassis construction. The series 2 Lotus Elise weighs in at between 2000 and 2100 lbs and is, to say the least, spartan. I doubt that even an imaginary all-aluminum Miata could achieve such a low weight unless also stripped of all safety and comfort equipment.

  • avatar

    Puh please! I’m guessing the new Miata will be bumping up on 3,000 once we add in all the air bags, the entertainment/bluetooth/navi system, power windows/locks/mirrors, a-s warmers, 600 pounds of insulation, and all the other “goodies” the U.S. demands. Hopefully it’ll have a sequential manual transmission and not a traditional slushbox or CVT.

    • 0 avatar

      Most of that stuff adds next to nothing, except for the 600lbs of insulation you reference (I can do without that, too). Lotus actually claims their power windows are lighter than the manual windows.

  • avatar

    I don’t believe the talk of a coupe, regardless of the source’s credibility. Are they looking at doing it? Yes, as always. Will they? No, as always.

    I don’t believe the weight will be 2100 lb. I don’t know exactly where the same-as-first-gen rumor started. They have stated a goal to drop 100 kg from every new model generation of every car–and that would get them close to 2200 lb–however, they’ve admitted they can’t cut that much from the Miata while maintaining the price point. I could see it at 2300 lb, but not much less. Perhaps they will have a track-stripped version at that weight, but not a regular one.

    And “bespoke” means “made to order.” That certainly could apply to the one coupe they did make, but it definitely doesn’t apply to the new Miata platform. It’s unique to itself, but that’s completely different than “made to order” or even “custom.”

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    Miata coupe?

    There’s essentially my dream car right there. Now hopefully they don’t screw up the looks of the thing with a bunch of kodo-derived cues. Those flame surfaces and silly fake curves don’t work at all.

    • 0 avatar

      Kodo definitely works on THIS artist’s rendering:

    • 0 avatar

      I like the Kodo 3. And love the 6. And this is coming from someone who feels the 2002, the E21 and E30 3-series are the greatest designs in the history of autodom. By quite some margin, to be honest.

      Full on Kodo treatment may be too busy and frivolous on a small car like the Miata, though. Although perhaps not…..

      • 0 avatar

        Mazda insiders have said that all the current Miata renderings are way off-base. They talk about returning to the oval grille and not using most of the features people associate with Kodo.

        It very well may look more like an original Miata that’s a bit more manly (tension, ready to pounce, speed) than the current crop of Mazdas.

        It’s a shame the person who snapped the photos of the camo’d Miata didn’t bother to get a view of the front end.

  • avatar

    I love the Miata, but coupe won’t work for me unless it is also a 2+2 (for another 10 years or so when the kid is big enough to ride up front anyway). Kudos to them if they can hit 2100 lbs. That is a lofty target these days.

    Somewhat related, I picked up my FR-S on Friday and the kiddo and I proceeded to put 500 miles on it this weekend through WV roads. I’m smitten. It isn’t super fast, but good lord, it is an enjoyable car. Gas mileage was well over 30mpg for the trip (readout says 35mpg from when I filled up 200 miles ago) and it fit all of my daughter’s stuff for a weekend at the grandparents’ (pack-and-play, carryon suitcase, toys, etc.)

  • avatar
    el scotto

    Stop. Just stop right now. An E-type? Perhaps if one had their fanboi goggles on really, really tight or were squinting through one intoxicated eye. To paraphrase Katt Williams: “It look like an E-type until an E-type pull up.”

  • avatar

    2500-2600 lbs, minimum, if you’re lucky, the 2100-2200 lbs boat has sailed. 2.0L min., or a little more. Thank goodness Mazda isn’t playing with turbos anymore, that would really ruin it. And there will be no Wankel. The Wankel is dead, and for good reasons, because it sucks. Convertible hardtop but no coupe, no one would buy it. And 2+2? Are you out of your mind? It’s a Miata, put your kids in the minivan.

    • 0 avatar

      I wasn’t saying it should be a 2+2. It was more of an observation that making the miata a coupe doesn’t do a ton to broaden the appeal. It has a nice niche where it is with the two convertible tops. Expanding to another small niche (2+2 coupe, 2 sweater coupe) doesn’t do much for the car’s business case.

    • 0 avatar

      I’d raise you 2300-2400…. :) Maybe some JDM Gymkhana version with a Kei engine and no top at all at 2199……

  • avatar

    I want a 3,000 lbs Mustang GT and a 120 lbs gf.

  • avatar

    Mazda has always been very wary of mission creep with the Miata, but the partnership with Fiat is probably forcing some forcing some compromises. My guess is that Fiat demands whatever Fiat/Alfa this becomes be offered as both a convertible and coupe. As long as that versatility is being forced into the platform Mazda might as well please the fanboys also.

  • avatar

    Will this kill the retractable hardtop? I always thought that was a good compromise…until I saw one with the top up and the cut lines standing out like sore thumbs on a silver one. My Boxster is fun, but I really would have preferred a Cayman (yeah, let’s not go there with IMS talk…just couldn’t pass up the deal on the Porsche). But I really would have preferred a Miata coupe in my land of unicorns and pixie dust.

  • avatar

    I’ve been using my daughter’s 2010 for a week. Really a nice little car, all I would change is about 2 inches more legroom and a seat about an inch wider, with better lumber support. Make the 2.5 available as well; an extra 30 HP would really wake it up. The rotary was an interesting technical exercise, but the fuel economy and durability issues would kill the Miata as dead as the RX.

  • avatar
    its me Dave

    The lack of a coupe option kept me out of a Miata for years. I generally just don’t like the convertible experience – neither top up nor down. That completely changed for me when I broke down and bought a used NB.

  • avatar

    5-door hatchback and I’m in, but I’m not their target audience.

    A coupe WOULD explode sales numbers, though.

    Maybe I could grey-market a 5-door HB BMW 128 from Europe………..

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