30th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Bound for Chicago

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky

Mazda’s whipping something up to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the MX-5, issuing a teaser to elicit some excitement. Unfortunately, the photo doesn’t give us much to go on. The only meaningful conclusions we can pry from the series of streaks provided by the automaker is that the special-edition Miata can still fit inside a parking garage (phew) and will have a hardtop.

Where has Mazda chosen to celebrate the MX-5’s 30th birthday? The Chicago Auto Show, naturally. That was where the Miata first debuted in 1989, and that is where the manufacturer wants to preview the special edition on its big day. While we still think forgoing a hilarious Chuck E. Cheese tie-in was a minor mistake, both roadster and brand have matured to a point where the more tasteful choice was bound to win. We also have no evidence to support the idea that the pizza party venue was ever under consideration.

However, with such little information on offer, we’re forced to speculate. We know that the special edition will premiere after the Chicago Auto Show opens its doors on February 7th, probably with an RF-like hardtop configuration, but that’s about it.

It’s hard not to expect something akin to the 25th and 10th Anniversary Edition Miatas, both of which featured unique badging, limited edition color options, and came with a free watch. Considering the probable inclusion of a hardtop, the 30th Anniversary car might have a little more going on.

Frankly, we’d rather see Mazda eek out a few extra ponies from the MX-5’s serviceable 2.0-liter than be handed a Seiko. Which is probably asking too much, as the automaker just added 26 additional horses to the model. We don’t imagine one or two more would create any meaningful improvement in terms of driving enjoyment, a facet where the Miata already thrives.

[Images: Mazda]

Matt Posky
Matt Posky

A staunch consumer advocate tracking industry trends and regulation. Before joining TTAC, Matt spent a decade working for marketing and research firms based in NYC. Clients included several of the world’s largest automakers, global tire brands, and aftermarket part suppliers. Dissatisfied with the corporate world and resentful of having to wear suits everyday, he pivoted to writing about cars. Since then, that man has become an ardent supporter of the right-to-repair movement, been interviewed on the auto industry by national radio broadcasts, driven more rental cars than anyone ever should, participated in amateur rallying events, and received the requisite minimum training as sanctioned by the SCCA. Handy with a wrench, Matt grew up surrounded by Detroit auto workers and managed to get a pizza delivery job before he was legally eligible. He later found himself driving box trucks through Manhattan, guaranteeing future sympathy for actual truckers. He continues to conduct research pertaining to the automotive sector as an independent contractor and has since moved back to his native Michigan, closer to where the cars are born. A contrarian, Matt claims to prefer understeer — stating that front and all-wheel drive vehicles cater best to his driving style.

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  • LeMansteve LeMansteve on Jan 10, 2019

    The color looks more orange than their signature Soul Red. Almost like the Spicy Orange paint they offered on the Protege MP3 back in the day, or even like on the 787B Le Mans winning car.

  • Iamwho2k Iamwho2k on Jan 10, 2019

    Just noticed. The pic of the interior is of an older Miata; it doesn't have the iPad sticking out of the dash.

  • NJRide So this is an average age of car to be junked now and of course this is a lower end (and now semi-orphaned) product. But street examples seem to still be worth 2500? So are cars getting junked only coming in because of a traumatic repair? If not it seems a lot of cars being junked that would still possibly worth more than scrap.Also Murilee I remember your Taurus article way back what is the king of the junkyard in 2024?
  • AMcA I applaud Toyota for getting away from the TRD performance name. TuRD. This is another great example of "if they'd just thought to preview the name with a 13 year old boy."
  • Jeff Does this really surprise anyone? How about the shoes and the clothes you wear. Anything you can think of that is either directly made in China or has components made in China likely has some slave labor involved. The very smart phone, tablet, and laptop you are using probably has some component in it that is either mined or made by slave labor. Not endorsing slave labor just trying to be real.
  • Jeff Self-driving is still a far ways from being perfected. I would say at the present time if my car took over if I had a bad day I would have a much worse day. Would be better to get an Uber
  • 2manyvettes Time for me to take my 79 Corvette coupe out of the garage and drive if to foil the forces of evil. As long as I can get the 8 track player working...
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