2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Preview

Christian Wardlaw | Feb 07, 2019
FAST FACTS
  • 3,000 examples available globally; just 500 for U.S. market
  • Convertible or RF body styles with serialized badges
  • Exclusive Racing Orange paint
  • Special forged aluminum wheels
  • Prices start close to $36,000

Introduction

In 1989, in the dead of winter at the annual Chicago Auto Show, Mazda introduced the world to the 1990 MX-5 Miata.

Fittingly, the automaker selected the 2019 Chicago Auto Show to debut the 30th Anniversary edition of its 2-seat sports car. Mazda plans to build just 3,000 examples of the MX-5 Miata Anniversary edition, in both convertible and Retractable Fastback (RF) body styles, with no more than 500 of them coming to the U.S. market.

2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary photo
2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary

Pricing reportedly starts at just under $36,000, and can rise to almost $40,000 for the RF equipped with an automatic transmission.

Exterior Features

The main differentiator between the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary edition and other Miatas is the color. That eye-searing hue is called Racing Orange, which Mazda says “evokes the breaking dawn of an exciting new day.”

This, to my recollection, is the third time Mazda has offered an orange Miata in the U.S. market. The first came along in 2000, painted Evolution Orange. The second arrived in 2005, a Lava Mica Orange applied to the Mazdaspeed MX-5. Now, Racing Orange is here, perhaps the purest hue of the three.

In addition to the expected serialized badge showing which of the 3,000 examples you’ve purchased, the 30th Anniversary edition is equipped with exclusive Rays forged aluminum wheels in a dark charcoal gray finish. They look terrific, but more importantly, they reduce unsprung weight, theoretically making the 30th Anniversary edition even more enjoyable to drive.

Interior Features

The Miata 30th Anniversary edition is loaded with equipment, including Recaro performance seats, Alcantara simulated suede trim on the seats, door panels, and dashboard, and lots of Racing Orange accents.

Under the Hood

As is true of other 2019 MX-5 Miata models, the 30th Anniversary edition is equipped with a reworked 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine producing 181 horsepower. That’s more than any factory-built Miata in history.

You can get the car with a 6-speed manual gearbox or with a 6-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. Stick with the stick, and the 30th Anniversary features the contents of the Grand Touring trim’s GT-S Package. That includes a limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and a front shock tower brace.

Brembo front brakes are standard, and at each corner, Racing Orange brake calipers peek out from behind the exclusive Rays wheels.

Safety

Mazda did not clarify whether the 30th Anniversary edition includes the company’s i-ActiveSense suite of driver assistance and collision avoidance systems. If so, the car is equipped with low-speed forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert.

Technology

In addition to i-ActiveSense, the Miata’s Mazda Connect infotainment system offers E911 Assist, which can help you get in touch with emergency responders following a collision or some other emergency. In the 30th Anniversary edition, the system is paired with a 9-speaker Bose premium sound system.

 

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