What are they saying – when you’re on a good thing, stick to it? Having sold over a million units since its launch in 1989 and winning numerous awards over the past 32 years, Mazda’s iconic MX-5 Miata is the heart and soul of the lineup. company based in Hiroshima.
This highly acclaimed sports car sparked a boom in roadsters around the world which spawned models such as the Mercedes Benz SLK, BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster and Audi TT, among others.
Now six years into its fourth generation “ND”, Mazda’s product planners have decided its time for a second update. In 2019, the company added the RF (Retractable Fastback) version to the lineup powered by a new, highly responsive 181-horsepower 2.0-liter engine. Now, in 2021, they’ve just released three bespoke versions that offer a selection of upgrades, the “MX-5 990S”, “MX-5 Navy Top” and “MX-5 RF Terracotta Selection”.
Taking the roadster back to its roots, the 990S aims for the lightest possible curb weight in a modern MX-5, tipping the scales at 990 kg or 2,182 lbs. This makes this ND Special Edition only 66 lbs heavier than the original 1989 NA generation, but the lightest of the current generation. To reduce weight, Mazda used all the options available to it. This included changing the wheels from the stock rims to Rays alloys, saving a total of 3.2 kg. And by switching to Brembo calipers and rotors, designers were able to save an additional 700 grams. They also saved weight by making the cabin more spartan and using lighter materials inside.
But without a doubt, the biggest upgrade to the 990S is the all-new Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). At first glance, this title looks like technology to promote better posture while driving. But KPC actually turns out to be Mazda’s take on brake torque vectoring. This can result in a feature that uses its ABS system to apply braking force to one of the rear wheels, depending on which side needs assistance, in order to promote tighter turns. According to Mazda, this also helps restrict some body roll. However, unlike the American-spec car which has the 181-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, the 990S is powered by a more modest and thrifty 1.5-liter generating 130 horsepower. Pricing for the 990S will start in Japan at 2.89 million yen or $ 25,100.
Based on the “S Leather Package”, the “Navy Top” edition comes with a dark blue vinyl soft top, body-color exterior mirrors and 16-inch alloy wheels. This model will go on sale in Japan for 3.19 million yen (@ $ 27,700) and will be available for a limited time from December 16 through May 31, 2022.
And third, the MX-5 RF Terracotta Selection targets “more mature buyers” who want a more classic look. This version has beautiful seats and door trim covered in terracotta-colored Nappa leather with a price tag of 3.79 million yen (@ $ 33,000). While these three grades have just gone on sale in Japan, we’ll have to wait to see what Mazda America features will be available in the US, we still have to wait until early 2022 for Mazda to reveal what features it will be. .