Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition is a carrot to the faithful

Following its Chicago Auto Show debut, only 3,000 examples of the Racing Orange Miata will be built, 500 of which are reserved for the US.

Steven Ewing Former managing editor
Steven Ewing spent his childhood reading car magazines, making his career as an automotive journalist an absolute dream job. After getting his foot in the door at Automobile while he was still a teenager, Ewing found homes on the mastheads at Winding Road magazine, Autoblog and Motor1.com before joining the CNET team in 2018. He has also served on the World Car Awards jury. Ewing grew up ingrained in the car culture of Detroit -- the Motor City -- before eventually moving to Los Angeles. In his free time, Ewing loves to cook, binge trash TV and play the drums.
Steven Ewing
2 min read

Hard to believe, but it's been 30 years since the original Mazda Miata flipped up its headlights and said hello to the world. The very first Miata premiered at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show , so it's only fitting that Mazda is using the 2019 show to launch a limited-production 30th Anniversary Edition of its little, two-seat sweetheart.

The 30th Anniversary Edition wears a special shade of Racing Orange paint, which Mazda says is an evolution of the yellow hue that adorned the original '89 Club Racer show car. In another nod to that 1989 debut, the standard MX-5s on display in Chicago will be painted red, white and blue -- just as the production-trim Miatas were at the roadster's original premiere.

Orange you glad it's time for a 30th Anniversary Edition Mazda MX-5 Miata?

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This special color continues to the brakes, where you'll find orange calipers at all four corners -- Brembo units up front and Nissin stoppers at the rear. Those brakes are set behind a unique set of dark-finish, 17-inch Rays wheels, and cars equipped with a manual transmission get Bilstein dampers for improved handling.

Inside, more orange accents are found on the seats, doors, dashboard and shifter, and every 30th Anniversary Edition Miata gets Recaro buckets. A Bose sound system is also along for the ride, and the Mazda Connect infotainment system has both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto standard.

The 30th Anniversary package builds on the Miata's most expensive Grand Touring trim, and adds more than $4,200 to the bottom line. If you want the soft top, it'll be $34,995, and if you want the RF, you're looking at $37,595. The only available option is a six-speed automatic transmission, replacing the six-speed manual, and adds $500 the roadster's price, or $400 to the RF.

Only 3,000 examples will be built worldwide, with different engines depending on market. Like every other US-spec Miata, our 30th Anniversary Edition will be powered by a 2.0-liter I4 engine, producing 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet of torque.

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

The 30th Anniversary package will be available on both the standard roadster and the Miata RF.


Of course, if you want one, you'd better act fast. There may be 3,000 of these Miatas for worldwide consumption, but only 500 are reserved for the US. The order books open Thursday, and there's no limit to the number of soft top or RF models available. "These will be built once orders are placed," a Mazda spokesperson told Roadshow. "There's no cap on soft top or RF."

Update: Just four hours after the order books opened, the entire US allocation of 30th Anniversary Edition Miatas have been reserved.

Yes, the 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata is better

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