The Chicago Auto Show and the Mazda MX-5 Miata have quite a history. After all, the very first Miata debuted at the 1989 Chicago show, and since then, Mazda has routinely used the Windy City expo to showcase some sort of new roadster hotness.

For 2012, we've been introduced to the MX-5 Special Edition (clever name, we know), which dons a new black power retractable hard top and gunmetal wheels, among other small updates.

Underneath the skin, Mazda has fitted its standard suspension upgrade kit, which includes Bilstein shocks, while inside you'll find black accents and heated black leather seats, along with a full kit of tech options. Pricing starts at $31,225, and only 450 will be sold in the United States. Get it while it's hot.
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Limited-Run Model of World's Most Popular Roadster Offers Edgier Look at Two Seats of Luxury

CHICAGO (February 8, 2012) – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today unveiled its 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition, a limited-run model of only 450 units in the United States. With striking black accents, including an all-new black-only Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT), the Special Edition model evokes powerful luxury, with a playful wink. Dynamically engineered and enthusiast approved, the MX-5 Special Edition continues the roadster's history of being small but quick, performance-minded but affordable, uncomplicated but amenity-rich.

Available in two exclusive colors, Velocity Red and Crystal White Pearl, the Special Edition model is based on the Grand Touring model equipped with a PRHT – still one of the industry's fastest power-operated retractable hard tops at 12 seconds. Other exterior changes over the Grand Touring model include black outside mirrors, body-colored door handles and black trim surrounding the front grille and fog lamp assembly. Equipped with a body-colored-contrasting black PRHT (a first for North America) and outfitted with 17-inch Black Gunmetal aluminum alloy wheels, the 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition delicately balances the menacing nature of black to create a vehicle that is as imposing as it is sleek, sexy and simply a thrill to toss into tight corners.

The PRHT is the head-cover of choice for the Special Edition model due to its popularity and adaptability in both warm and winter climates, which is why hard tops outsell soft-top models 4:1 worldwide. In both soft- and hard-top models, no trunk space is compromised during stowage for when occupants prefer an open-air experience.

The interior further complements the exterior's refined elegance with a tastefully appointed cabin featuring supple black leather upholstery with contrasting gray stitching on the heated seats, door trim, steering wheel and parking brake. Piano black panels were added onto the steering wheel spokes as well as to the dash. The roll bar garnish also is now black with an alloy pedal set to add the finishing touch.

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 response power, means the two-seat roadster is a lightweight only in terms of size, not road prowess.

Being its largest market, there is no lack of interest in the U.S. for premium accessories – more than 75 percent of Grand Touring models sold are equipped with the Premium Package. The 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition is equipped with both the Premium and Suspension packages as standard.

The Premium Package includes a Bluetooth® hands-free phone, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio with a four-month complimentary subscription, xenon headlights, an anti-theft alarm and the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System.

For non-errand expeditions, the Suspension Package will only further accentuate the rear-wheel-drive wild child beneath the MX-5's subdued sheet metal. The package includes Bilstein shocks, a limited slip differential (LSD) and a sport-tuned suspension.

The 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition starts at $31,225 for the manual transmission and at $31,675 when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle will be available in dealer showrooms by the end of February.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      This high cost flashiness is unnecessary on a (typically) low cost car that's all about the driving experience. Still, if this were being given away, I'd not hesitate to enter the sweepstakes.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ugly. I saw a Mazda 3 with the same blacked-out on red treatment. They're both really tacky at best.
        • 3 Years Ago
        I kinda like it but to each his own. I don't like the price though
      • 3 Years Ago
      I would never spend $30k on a Miata. For this one specifically, hate the black hard-top roof, and don't care for the gunmetal wheels.
        • 3 Years Ago
      • 3 Years Ago
      This car is long overdue for a refresh...looks like the same car every year.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      $31k? What ever happened to the days of cheap sports cars? The car is not bad, though I wish there was a little more competition in the segment, but the price is just too high.
      • 3 Years Ago
      That's a pretty hot chick.. guess, that'll be the final Miata.. Sayonara Miata! I just hope the shinari will bring the same or even better driving engagement.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another cosmetic end-of-life special edition that Mazda likes to throw out. They had a million special edition RX-8s outside the US. Too bad most of the stuff you can get on a regular MX-5 Miata GT. The redesign slated to be coming up cannot happen too soon. This generation failed to really ignite a lot of passion unlike the previous two.
      • 3 Years Ago
      As a 2004 MazdaSpeed Miata owner. I have never been a huge fan of the NC. I lean towards the NAs and NBs. I wish Mazda would just spend more time on the upcoming ND. Really looking forward to seeing the Miata get back to where it started, an updated version of the original NA. I must say, my favorite NC was the SUPER20 Mazda brought to SEMA in 2010. That was beautiful. ..
      • 3 Years Ago
      I am a Mazda fan, I have owned a 1991 MX-5. Pricing is getting out of hand and I don't like the black roof. But I am looking forward to the ND with all new styling, lighter weight.
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