While there were some frowns on fans disappointed to learn Mazda wasn’t going to roll out its all-new MX-5 Miata at the New York Auto Show last month, you wouldn’t have known it considering the reception given to the roadster’s 25thanniversary special edition when it went on sale yesterday.
It took a grand total of 10 minutes for the maker to log 250 registrations on its special microsite – all the more impressive when you realize it’s actually going to produce just 100 of the anniversary Miatas, but wants to have an order bank just in case some of the first 100 drop out before taking delivery.
“It is no secret the MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition is a specially-crafted ‘Thank you’ to every MX-5 fan — former, current and hopefully future,” said Jim O’Sullivan, CEO of Mazda North American Operations. “Enthusiasm surrounding the MX-5 since its debut in 1989 has been nothing short of phenomenal.”
While Mazda will continue to produce the current version of the Mazda for at least another year, the anniversary edition serves as a reminder that the 2-seater’s run is quickly coming to an end. And though the replacement might have been a no-show in the Big Apple, several Mazda sources have confirmed the next-generation roadster will be making its global debut either later this year at the 2013 Los Angeles Auto Show, or next January at the 2014 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
The new model will come out of a joint venture between Mazda and the Alfa Romeo arm of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles. Look for a small roadster to land in the Alfa line-up, as well. The partners insist the two products won’t look like clones. The Alfa, incidentally, will become the maker’s only model not produced in Italy.
(For more on the 25th Anniversary Miata’s NY Auto Show debut, Click Here.)
But first, a few tidbits about the MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition. For their money, the lucky buyers will get a retracting hardtop convertible version done up exclusively in a metallic Soul Red paint with contrasting black trim and an Almond leather interior.
It is powered by the same 16-valve 2.0-liter inline-four as other Miatas, though Mazda says the special model gets “hand-selected pistons, connecting rods and flywheel to deliver an engine that revs more freely with extraordinary response and acceleration.” It still makes 167 horsepower with the manual transmission, and 158 with the automatic, torque rated at 140 lb-ft in either case.
The price was set at $32,205 with the six-speed manual, $32,655 – plus delivery charges – with the automatic.
But while that might seem a little steep, considering the rollback hardtop normally starts at $28,665, buyers will get something special along with the anniversary edition: an oversized Tourneau stainless steel watch bearing the Miata and 25th anniversary logos.
Mazda says it will start contacting the first 100 registrants in the weeks ahead, giving them a chance to complete a pre-order process. But the anniversary model won’t wind up being delivered through local showrooms until late summer, the maker says.
(Alfa Romeo makes US return official with unveiling of 4C at NY Auto Show. Click Here for more.)
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