• Feb 9th 2011 at 9:00AM
  • 36
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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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.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 4 Years Ago

      And BMW thinks they can create a competitor to this ????

      Maybe they're drinking a little too much of the Bimmah brand Kool-aid in Munich these days.
        • 4 Years Ago
        yes a 2009 great car
      • 4 Years Ago
      Always loved the MX-5. 900,000 units is a testament to Mazda's commitment to keeping the car squarely focused on its original goal, an affordable enjoyable roadster. Kudos to Mazda. I look forward to seeing them celebrate the 1,000,000 milestone in a few short years.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Look if Porsche can charge $204,000 for the speedster, which is ostensibly a body kit and new windshield and exclusive paint color on a car you could otherwise spec closely yourself for under $100k...

      What's wrong with a $31k MX5?

      Besides, this a loaded '11PHRT GT with both packages stickers for just under this anyway, so you get a unique color combo for your trouble.

      Not to beat the horse even more, but a Mini Cooper S - a $23k car on its own - can easily push past the $30k barrier if you get carried away with options and the JCW treatment. Hell a Cooper S Works Convertible can push $40k!

      I don't see anything wrong with Mazda's approach. If it's too rich for your tastes, theres a base Sport/SV waiting for you.
      • 4 Years Ago
      I currently own 2 Miata's. An '03 Splash Green Mica and an '09 Competition Yellow. Both are great cars. When the ND cars come out I'll probably add it to my stable of affordble sports cars. If you think $31K isn't affordable compare them to other 2 seat roadsters. For the money their handling and performance can't be beat.
      • 4 Years Ago
      A gray on gray convertible? otherwise black on gray?


      How boring of a car do you want to drive on a sunny day?

      The 20AE version in europe is RED, WHITE, OR BLUE... what was so wrong with that, that they can't offer the 20AE, or the 2011 SE in those colors?

      Black doesn't belong on a convertible car. Too sunny for a solemn color, and gets too hot on a day that a convertible should be used.

      Gray should at least have a red interior or something... The world is gray for half the year around here, why would I want a gray car on an otherwise sunny and colorful day? to remind me of the depths of winter?

      I am so glad the Miata I have is bright red. No way I would replace it with a gray over gray miata. That is the antithesis of a "special" edition. Special depression edition, maybe.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I think the grey interior looks nice.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Anyone who buys this $31k miata will soon feel like a total boob when the next gen comes out. Even more so when the mazdaspeed version appears (im counting on you mazda!)
        • 4 Years Ago
        A faster car doesn't equal a better car. Similarly, a faster car doesn't equal more of a car.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Why? I've driven all three generations and a second generation MazdaSpeed MX-5 and every single one was a total blast to drive. To be certain the Speed version was the fastest but this isn't the kind of car where raw horsepower is the primary goal. Every single generation has been good for an immensely rewarding drive.
        • 4 Years Ago
        WHY? cause it's $31k! if you care about the miata experience then get a soft top for under $24k. And if you are purchasing a new miata now, you may want to wait a little cause the next one will get back to its roots. Lighter weight and even more driver focused. I cant wait! .... well actually i can cause it will be that much better than the current gen, and its not too far off.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Does anybody even know for sure when the ND is coming out? I think the colors look okay in pictures, but will really need to see them in person.
      • 4 Years Ago
      @ Erik's response: "Really? They all look pretty much the same to me. It's like saying you love the looks of a Wrangler YJ but hate the looks of a TJ - they don't look different enough to warrant such a difference in opinion."

      I think you illustrated my point for me. lol The first gen Miata, with its flip-up lights, more rounded body, simpler interior, etc, was far more pleasing to the eye, IMO. Later variants with fixed lights, clear tails, more luxurious interiors, etc, kinda lost the old-school British roadster look that I adored on the first gen Miata. And while its true that the YJ and TJ are similar enough, there was plenty of differences between the two that pissed off Jeep afficionados. For instance, the YJ's square headlights. While it was instantly recognizeable as a Wrangler, it still didnt look quite right. So they fixed the headlights and made them round again for the TJ, but ditched the leaf spring suspension and went with coils instead, which also pissed off the afficionados. Anyways, the changes that have occured to the Miata's styling over the years havent really done much for me. The first iteration was perfect, IMO. It was down on power, but with 50/50 balance, telepathic steering, and a gearbox from heaven, Mazda nailed the roadster PERFECTLY.

        • 4 Years Ago
        I liked the pop-up headlights too, but they no longer passed pedestrian safety tests, so all the subsequent models became fixed. I see it as one less motorized part to maintain—just like the top. I love the manual top, if the retractable hard top can be made manual, I'd definitely get one. But until the ND comes out, I'll hang onto my NB.
      • 4 Years Ago
      31K is obscene. Considering all of the great cars you can get into for the low to mid 20's (Mustang V6, Genesis coupe, WRX...) this is not a bargain - hard top or not. It's not oozing with tech or expensive parts so why not start it at $19,999?
        • 4 Years Ago
        What I'm saying is that traditionally, one of Miata's biggest selling points has been the low price.

        If you take that low price away, as the have done here by pricing this edition at 31k, the Miata is much less attractive proposition.

        Basically, I am agreeing with you.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Yup. A major factor of the Miata's attractiveness is the low price. Take that away and it's a hard sell.
        • 4 Years Ago
        I'm not sure what you're getting at. It doesn't have an attractive price. Problem is it doesn't have roadster competition anymore until you get up to the Z4.
      • 4 Years Ago
      Mazda lost me after the 2nd gen Miata debuted. I think the 1st gen was such a classic, timeless design, much like the British roadsters it mimicked. The last few designs have left a bad taste in my mouth. I cant wait to see the next one.

      Mazda, good job on keeping the soul of the Miata in tact, but lets work on the exterior a bit here! The first MX-5 was deliciously good looking. The last few? Not so much.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Really? They all look pretty much the same to me. It's like saying you love the looks of a Wrangler YJ but hate the looks of a TJ - they don't look different enough to warrant such a difference in opinion.
        • 4 Years Ago
        Correct. The first generation was pure and simple. The second (and later) tried to really emulate British car lines, which I find uncongruous when compared to flowing body styles of Italian roadsters of the period. A word of advice Mazda: Stop porking it up and increasing dimensions. Time to tighten up the beltline.
      • 4 Years Ago
      1990 called and they want their car back !

      This is the most outdated piece around !!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      The 8 just got dropped, when is the 7 coming back out????? RE power dammit!!!
      • 4 Years Ago
      I have a 2006. It could use more low end grunt, better seats (more lumbar, a little wider, ventilated, lighter color leather), smooth, soft door panels instead of the intrusive cup holders, same with the console for us cruise controllers. Otherwise, about perfect.
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