On the heels of its recent milestone announcement of 900,000 MX-5 Miatas being produced, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) unveiled the 2011 Mazda 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 Mazda 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.