Hardcore special edition Mazda MX-5s possible

Roadster and RF likely to form the basis of driver-focused special edition MX-5s

Mazda MX-5 ambassador Nobuhiro Yamamoto has told evo that there is an appetite within the company for a more focused take on the MX-5 sports car.

Yamamoto, who has worked with Mazda since 1973 and was involved with development of the 787B Le Mans, has long been instrumental in the MX-5 programme. Credentials such as those confirm him as a bona-fide petrolhead, and he recognises that there is scope for the current MX-5 to appeal to devoted driving enthusiasts more than it currently does.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to our exclusive new offer and SAVE 39% on the shop price, get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £20!

> Click here to read our review of the Mazda MX-5 RF

The new MX-5 RF offers a slightly more refined experience than previous MX-5s, and as a result there is a gap in the MX-5 range to be filled by a more hardcore sports car.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

However, there are no plans to expand the range beyond the two existing body styles, the Roadster and the RF. Sadly, that means we’re unlikely to see much variation from the current cars, and the Speedster and Spyder concepts shown at SEMA in 2015 will remain just show cars.

Yamamoto was also clear that the MX-5 was, at its heart, an open top car and as such a coupe version is not on the cards. Instead the Roadster and the RF will form the basis for special editions that will satisfy keener drivers.  

The MX-5’s history is full of limited edition versions, most of which are just painted special colours, fitted with different wheels or have more luxurious interior trim.

Some however had more than simply superficial changes; the Mk1 Le Mans edition, painted in the 787B’s orange and green livery, was fitted with Tokico suspension, OZ wheels and was turbocharged by UK outfit BBR but sold through Mazda dealers.

> Mazda MX-5 - Five of the best

The MX-5 GT, based on the soft-top Mk3, also received many mechanical changes. It was given 45bhp more power increasing the output to 203bhp, Bilstein adjustable coil-overs, Recaro seats and a central exit exhaust. The GT was built by British Le Mans race team Jota, but just like the Mk1 Le Mans, was fully sanctioned by Mazda.

Advertisement - Article continues below

For any future special editions to really appeal to driving enthusiasts and begin to improve some of the areas of the current MX-5 that we’ve been critical of, the changes will need to be as thorough as those made to the Le Mans edition and the GT. 

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/mazda/mx-5/202091/mazda-mx-5-refreshed-for-2020
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 refreshed for 2020

8 Jan 2020
Visit/mazda/mx-5/202077/bbr-super-220-review-modded-mazda-mx-5-hits-with-a-light-touch
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 220 review

2 Jan 2020
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/used-cars/19675/used-car-deals-of-the-week
used cars

Best used cars for sale this week

We’ve delved into the classifieds and chosen our favourite cars for sale this week
27 Mar 2020
Visit/mercedes-cla45-amg-hatchback/22953/mercedes-amg-cla-45-s-coupe-uk-review
Mercedes CLA45 AMG hatchback

Mercedes-AMG CLA 45 S coupe UK review

The more stylish version of eCoty 2019’s bronze medallist is as impressive on UK roads as it was overseas
28 Mar 2020
Visit/porsche/911-turbo/202379/new-porsche-911-turbo-gains-lightweight-and-sport-packages
Porsche 911 Turbo

New Porsche 911 Turbo gains Lightweight and Sport packages 

The 2020 Porsche 911 Turbo hasn’t been with us for long, but a raft of packages and optional extras are already in the pipeline
26 Mar 2020
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019