2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition
2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition – Click above for high-res image

900,000 units is a heck of a milestone, and that's precisely the production benchmark the Mazda MX-5 Miata has reached over the course of its 22-year lifespan so far. And to celebrate, Mazda is launching a commemorative special edition.

Launched at the Chicago Auto Show, the MX-5 Miata Special Edition features an interior decked out in a unique gray leather color scheme with gray top-stitching and aluminum trim. It's based on the PRHT model, so it's got a retractable hard top, and comes standard with the otherwise optional Premium and Suspension packages along with special 17-inch alloys.

Buyers can choose from Sparkling Black or Dolphin Gray Mica, with either automatic or manual six-speed transmissions. Only 750 examples will be made, exclusively available in North America, with prices starting at $30,925. Full details in the press release after the jump.

[Source: Mazda]


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MAZDA UNVEILS MX-5 MIATA SPECIAL EDITION AT CHICAGO AUTO SHOW
Limited-run model conveys luxurious side of the world's most-beloved two-seat roadster


CHICAGO (February 9, 2011) – On the heels of its recent milestone announcement of 900,000 MX-5 Miatas being produced, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today unveiled the 2011 MX-5 Miata Special Edition, a limited-run model of only 750 units. The Special Edition continues the MX-5's history of being a dynamically-engineered, enthusiast-approved roadster whose price doesn't discriminate and whose luxuries are not stripped.

Special Edition-exclusive interior touches include gray door trim and heated leather seats with gray stitching, a black leather-wrapped parking brake and steering wheel with contrasting gray stitching, chrome treatments to the air vents and instrument cluster as well as aluminum pedals (6MT only). Special Edition models are only available in Sparkling Black Mica or Dolphin Gray Mica, two new MX-5 colors, and are packaged with 17-inch Bright Finish aluminum alloy wheels.

The MX-5 traditionally has appealed to higher income households as its purchase reason is not as the practical daily driver but as the additional "fun" car, such as for those long, winding road-hunting weekends. Originally available in three trim levels – Sport, Touring and Grand Touring – the Special Edition is based off of a fully-equipped Grand Touring model but is only available with the industry-leading, easy-to-use Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT).

Popular in both warm and winter climates, PRHT models go from rain-deflector to sun-worshipper in 12 seconds – with trunk space to boot – and outsell soft tops 4:1 worldwide. In the United States, there also is no lack of interest for premium accessories as 70 percent of Grand Touring models sold are PRHT-equipped, of which 50 percent are optioned with the Premium Package. The Premium Package is standard on the Special Edition and includes a Bluetooth® hands-free phone system, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio with a six-month complimentary subscription, Xenon headlights, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with a Traction Control System (TCS), an anti-theft alarm and the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry and Start System.

It is no secret that on any given weekend more Mazdas and Mazda-powered vehicles are road-raced than any other brand. Performance and tuning are dynamically engineered into every Mazda and the MX-5 Miata Special Edition retains its sports car soul but with a few niceties not meant for the bumper-to-bumper love taps of the track.

The Suspension Package, optional on Touring and Grand Touring models, is made standard with the Special Edition and includes Bilstein® shocks, a limited slip differential (LSD) and a sport-tuned suspension. Both the six-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter and six-speed Sport automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are available to enjoy the 167-horsepower, 140 lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (158 horsepower with the 6AT). At only 2,593 pounds (2,619 pounds for the 6AT), the MX-5's nearly 50:50 weight distribution, combined with its track-proven suspension and responsive power, mean the rear-wheel drive sports car is a lightweight only in terms of size, not road prowess.

The 2011 MX-5 Miata Special Edition starts at $30,925 for the manual transmission, and $31,525 when equipped with the six-speed Sport AT automatic.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.