Convertibles

Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition headed to Chicago

The evergreen roadster is going back to where it all began.

30 years of Mazda's iconic roadster have gone by in a blur.

Mazda

Has it really been that long? Mazda has just announced plans to reveal a special 30th Anniversary Edition of its 2019 MX-5 Miata roadster at next month's Chicago Auto Show. The venue couldn't be more appropriate, as the now-iconic two-seat sports car debuted in the City of Big Shoulders three decades ago. 

Perhaps more than any other car from a mainstream automaker, the Mazda MX-5 Miata has remained immune to changing tastes, fads and the ravages of time. Indeed, its current fourth-gen model, the ND, is essentially the exact same package size and weight as the original that bowed in Chicago, a model that came on the scene the same year that the Berlin Wall came down and Driving Miss Daisy won the Academy Award for Best Picture. 

Since that time, Mazda has sold well over a million of its little smile machines globally.

Mazda hasn't revealed much about what this 30th Anniversary Edition MX-5 Miata will look like, other than to show the blurry teaser image above, which suggests it will wear a classic red paint job -- a much brighter red than the crimson-tinged Soul Red paint that's presently available. (It's also possible that it'll be orange, although that would be a break with tradition). The photo depicts a Miata RF, the retractable folding hardtop model, though that doesn't meant the model won't also be offered in a traditional soft top. 

Whatever it is, it also figures to be a limited edition, judging by a second photo of a serialized dash plaque displaying four digits. The last major special edition Mazda, 2015's 25th Anniversary Edition, saw just 100 of them offered to the US -- the model sold out in 10 minutes. 

Throughout this timeless convertible's life, Mazda has serially released special-edition variants, and in truth, many of them have amounted to little more than unique paint. Yes, some have featured different seats, wheels, and interior trims, but in terms of powertrain, nearly all have hewn very closely to the standard car. 

We'll have to wait and see if the 30th Anniversary Edition is more than skin deep, but considering the 2019 MX-5 Miata just received an updated 2.0-liter engine with a boost to 181 horsepower (+26 hp), we wouldn't expect a lot more on the performance front. That's alright, though: the Mazda MX-5 Miata is already one of our very favorite automobiles. 

Stay tuned. Roadshow's auto show crew will be on the ground in Chicago when the sheet is pulled on this new Miata. Look for it on Thursday, February 7.

More about 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata