Chicago Auto Show Debut: 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition
Mazda's iconic and sporty MX-5 Miata recently surpassed the 900,000 mark for global sales since it first went on sale in 1989, and to commemorate this milestone, Mazda unveiled the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. Although almost one million Miatas have been sold to date, Mazda says that this commemorative model will be limited to just 750 units. Although Mazda did not announce when the MX-5 Miata Special Edition will be available, it did announce pricing which starts at $30,925.
Having that kind of exclusivity, one might expect to pay quite a premium for the MX-5 Miata Special Edition, but actually this car is quite a bargain relatively speaking. Based on the top-of-the-line 2011 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring (which starts at $29,650), the Special Edition comes standard with the Premium Package and Suspension Package that are options on the Grand Touring model. Interior features exclusive to the Special Edition include leather-wrapped seats, steering wheel and parking brake with contrasting gray stitching, heated seats, chrome trim on the instrument panel and aluminum foot pedals for models with manual transmissions. The exterior also gets some added styling thanks to the unique v-spoke alloy wheels and the exclusive exterior colors: Sparkling Black Mica or Dolphin Gray Mica. Like all 2011 MX-5 Miata Grand Touring models, the Special Edition will only be available with the Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT). Packaging for the MX-5 Miata Special Edition is likely a result of some of the car's more popular features as Mazda says that 70 percent of Miatas sold in the United States come with the PRHT and of these cars, 50 percent are equipped with the Premium Package.
The Premium Package normally goes for $1,650 and includes Xenon high-intensity discharge (HID) headlights, keyless entry with push button start, Bluetooth, Sirius satellite radio, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) with Traction Control System (TCS) and an anti-theft alarm. Equipment available with the $500 Suspension Package adds a limited-slip differential and a sport-tuned suspension with Bilstein shocks. Altogether, the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition comes standard with $2,150 worth of options for just $1,275 more than a standard MX-5 Grand Touring, although there is sure to be a healthy markup once these cars hit Mazda dealership showrooms.
With so much standard equipment, the only real option available for buyers looking at the 2011 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition is the choice between a manual or automatic transmission. Stepping up to the automatic transmission (which includes shift paddles mounted to the steering wheel) will add an extra $600, but either way, the curb weight is right around 2,600 pounds with a nearly even 50/50 weight distribution for optimal handling. Power is produced from the 2.0-liter inline-four that puts out 167 horsepower and 140 lb-ft of torque. Even as an exhilaration sports car, the Miata still gets a respectable 28 miles per gallon on the highway.