What do they say—when you’re on a good thing, stick to it? Having sold over 1 million units since its 1989 launch, and won multiple awards over the last 32 years, Mazda’s iconic MX-5 Miata is the heart and soul of the Hiroshima-based company’s lineup.
This highly acclaimed sports car ignited a roadster boom around the world that gave birth to models such as the Mercedes Benz SLK, BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster and Audi TT among others.
Now six years into its fourth ‘ND’ generation, Mazda’s product planners have decided its time for a second update. In 2019, the firm added the RF (Retractable Fastback) version powered by a new highly responsive 181-hp 2.0-liter engine to the lineup. Now, in 2021, they have just launched three bespoke versions that offer a selection of upgrades, the ‘MX-5 990S,’ the ‘MX-5 Navy Top’ and the ‘MX-5 RF Terracotta Selection.’
Taking the roadster back to its roots, the 990S targets the lightest curb weight possible in a modern MX-5, tipping the scales at 990 kg or 2,182 lbs. That makes this ND special edition only 66 lbs heavier than the original NA generation of 1989 but the lightest of the current generation. To get the weight down, Mazda used every option at their disposal. That included switching the wheels from the stock rims to Rays alloys saving a total of 3.2 kg. And by changing to Brembo calipers and rotors, designers were able to save another 700 grams. They also saved weight by making the cabin more spartan and used lighter materials inside.
But without doubt, the biggest upgrade to the 990S is the all-new Kinematic Posture Control (KPC). At first glance, that title looks like tech aimed at promoting better posture while driving. But KPC actually turns out to be Mazda’s take on brake torque vectoring. This can be translated as a feature that uses its ABS system to apply braking force to one of the rear wheels, depending on which side needs assistance, to help promote sharper cornering. According to Mazda it also works to restrict some body roll as well. However, unlike the US-spec car that boasts the 181-hp 2.0-liter engine, the 990S if powered by a more modest and frugal 1.5-liter generating 130hp. The 990S’s price will start in Japan at 2.89 million yen or $25,100.
Based on the ’S Leather Package’ , the ‘Navy Top’ edition is fitted with a dark blue vinyl soft-top roof, door mirrors the same color as the body 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 to May 31, 2022.
And thirdly, the MX-5 RF Terracotta Selection targets ‘more mature buyers’ wanting a more classical look. This version boasts some gorgeous terracotta tan-colored Nappa leather covered seats and door trim with a price tag of 3.79 million yen (@$33,000). While these three grades have just gone on sale in Japan, we will have to wait to see which features Mazda America available in the U.S., we still need to wait until early in 2022 for Mazda to reveal which features they will be.