Having tested each version of the MX-5, from Lotus Elan-inspired inception to Samurai-influenced newcomer, I must be honest and state that, standing at two metres tall, I am NOT the archetypal MX-5 customer. My legs are too long and peering over the top of the windscreen upper rail is not exactly conducive to enjoying the moments. Yet, my heart is full of admiration for Mazda, a company for which I harbour immense respect.
In its latest 30th Anniversary guise, complete with Guantanamo orange paint job, which is actually reminiscent of the firm’s factory racing cars, whether in convertible, or RF, forms, a fitting birthday party is not an excuse. Only 3,000 examples will be available worldwide, with a corking 400 drop-tops and 200 RFs destined for our shores, which provides a measure of how important the model is to our market.
In addition to its Racing Orange paint, the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition features forged aluminium Rays wheels that have been developed especially for the cars, in conjunction with Rays Co Ltd, and a 30th anniversary badge displaying the model’s exclusive serial number. Other orange-highlighted features include the brake callipers and, for the first time in the UK, Brembo front brakes.
The bespoke feel continues with orange accents on the seats, door trims, the dashboard, steering wheel, air vents and gear lever, while Recaro seats and Alcantara trim on the door cards and instrument panel enhance its appeal. The 30th birthday model also features Apple Carplay and Android Auto connectivity.
Marked out by its black two-tone roof, the Retractable Fastback (RF) is priced from £29,895, while the convertible is £28,095, both prior to any discounts being made available. The boss of the UK company, Jeremy Thomson, stated categorically: “In the three decades since the launch of the original model over 130,000 Mazda MX-5s have found enthusiastic owners in the UK. This is a sports car that has resonated with British drivers since the outset and four generations after its initial launch, it is as popular as ever. Yet, it has remained true to the original principle of being an affordable, lightweight and, above all, fun-to-drive roadster. Today it is the very essence of the ‘Jinba Ittai’ driver-and-car-as-one philosophy that is built into every Mazda.”
With its unique detailing, generous equipment levels, relative exclusivity and bold Racing Orange paintwork, the 30th Anniversary Edition is the perfect way to celebrate three decades of an iconic sports car. As with all 2.0-litre 2019 Mazda MX-5 models, the 30th Anniversary features the new 181bhp version of the Skyactiv-G engine and both body types drive through a deliciously slick six-speed manual gearbox, with Bilstein dampers maintaining chassis balance, a strut-brace enhancing the car’s crisp handling and a limited slip rear differential for added stability and playful dynamics. UK customer deliveries will commence in the summer.