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2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition: First Look

  • The Mazda MX-5 Miata is 30 years old.
  • This limited edition comes with a lot of great equipment.
  • Only 500 examples destined for the U.S.

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition is a reminder that time really can fly when you’re having fun. The 2-seater MX-5 Miata has been around for three decades and it was launched at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. To commemorate this notable occasion, Mazda unveiled a 30th anniversary version at the 2019 Chicago Auto Show.

It just so happens that the current MX-5 Miata is the best-ever iteration, thanks to a continuous dedication by Mazda to keep improving its top-selling convertible. The 2019 model has a boost in power to make 181 horsepower (up from 2018 model’s 155 hp) and 151 lb-ft of torque. In a rear-wheel-drive car this light, nimble and balanced, that’s enough muscle for plenty of thrills.

What Makes This Version so Special?

The 30th anniversary version comes in a new color: Racing Orange. And it’s available as a conventional convertible with a folding fabric roof, or in RF (retractable fastback) form with a folding hard top. There isn’t any extra power, but there are several desirable additions. The forged alloy wheels, for example, are from Rays, a highly respected Japanese company that makes aftermarket rims for enthusiasts and motorsport teams. These 17-in examples have a dark gunmetal finish.

Look past the spokes of those front wheels and you’ll see orange-painted brake calipers made by Brembo. This is an Italian company that supplies companies like Ferrari and Lamborghini. While we’re dropping names, the sport seats with contrasting orange stitching and piping are from Recaro (a German company whose seats are often upgrades in sporty cars). And versions with the 6-speed manual transmission have Bilstein shock absorbers (suppliers to Porsche, Aston Martin, Bugatti, Mercedes-Benz and more).

Manual transmission models also receive a front shock tower brace, for a stiffer front end that makes steering even more precise and responsive, plus a limited-slip rear differential to enhance the car’s cornering abilities.

Anything Else?

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition also comes with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto smartphone integration, navigation, satellite radio (with real-time traffic updates, weather, fuel prices and parking space availability), piano black side mirror housings, heated seats, Alcantara (simulated suede) seat covering, a leather-wrapped steering wheel/shift knob with orange stitching, a 9-speaker Bose audio system (with speakers in the headrests), blind spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, lane-departure warning and Smart City Brake Support. The main option is the 6-speed automatic transmission.

How much does it cost and when will it be available?

The 2019 Mazda MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition starts at $35,915 for the manual version with the soft top. The RF equivalent is priced from $38,515. The automatic transmission costs $499 in the former, $400 in the latter.

Only 3,000 units will be made to custom order, with 500 earmarked for the U.S. Each one will have a small plaque bearing a serial number. Prospective buyers can place their order by clicking on

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Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan
Colin Ryan specializes in writing about new cars. But he has also covered trucks, vans, 3-wheelers, even the occasional motorbike. That’s the kind of thing that happens while contributing to the Los Angeles Times, Autotrader, Kelley Blue Book, Popular Mechanics, Variety, Mazda and Lexus customer magazines, as well as many enthusiast sites and publications. He was also a staff writer at BBC Top... Read More about Colin Ryan

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