It’s now twenty-five years since the Mazda MX-5 was launched. Who would have thought that this little red two-door convertible, which took its inspiration from the glorious Lotus Elan of the sixties, would go on to become iconic in its own right?
Yet that’s exactly what happened, as MX-5 was embraced by over 940,000 car buyers worldwide, earning it a Guinness Word Record as the best selling two-seater sports car.
Now a 25th anniversary edition is on its way. Like all limited editions, it sports some special features, not least a ‘soul red’ body colour, black roof, black paint on the windscreen pillars and door mirrors, and gunmetal grey alloy wheels.
The exclusive theme continues with the off-white leather upholstery and door trim, a red-stitched black leather-wrapped sports steering wheel and manual gearshift, and a hand-finished dashboard. The anniversary models will also be badged and numbered.
There will be changes in the driving experience, too. According to BBC Top Gear reporters, the updated ‘Skyactiv-Chassis’ will bring the engine closer to the car’s centre and lower the overall centre of gravity. It’s also 100kg lighter.
Mazda chief Takashi Yamanouchi explained that reinvention has always been part of the deal with this model. "The original concept behind the MX-5 was so simple, to offer the pure joy of a lightweight sports car that moves precisely as the driver intends. We have had to continually reinvent the MX-5 – far beyond simple evolution – in order to stay true to that original ideal."
With many intriguing details already released, the world’s MX-5 lovers will have to wait until the anniversary version is unveiled at the Paris Motor Show in September. Yet it seems that dedicated collectors and enthusiasts don’t need to see the finished version. When news of the limited edition was first issued at the New York motor show earlier this year, the numbers allocated to the US and Japan sold out within hours.
There’s still time to purchase one in Australia, but if you’re interested, you’d better move quickly. With just 1,000 being made worldwide, a mere 40 will be shipped to our shores.
That may seem low, but don’t complain, as we’re actually doing quite well. Australian sales have accounted for just over 1.7% of the car’s worldwide sales, coming in at 14,000. If we were to receive the same percentage of the anniversary version, that would be just 17 cars.
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