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Mazda unveils Miata special edition, (part of) the next Miata

Wed, 16 Apr 2014

See, Mazda did show the new Miata at the New York auto show. Just not all of it.

Mazda unveiled the chassis that will underpin the next Miata, known as the ND Miata (the current model being the NC). At a glance with the current chassis, not much has changed on the surface. The Power Plant Frame -- that trellis bridging the transmission tunnel and the rear -- looks to be taller and straighter, with larger cutouts. The rear subframe looks more compact, nestling underneath the PPF. The rear strut assembly has been simplified and runs a more aggressive angle. The engine looks like it's in the same front-midship place -- this is good. Mazda claims the center of gravity is the lowest of any Miata yet. The current model is heavily based on an RX-8 chassis; much of it might remain up front, but overall the next chassis appears less complicated.

Even the engine shows a bit of the Miata NA's valve-cover design -- a Skyactiv unit that hasn't yet been announced.

The chassis is a natural evolution of the current Miata. Mazda says that with the body, it should be 220lbs lighter.

All this bodes well for the Miata and enthusiasts in general -- because Mazda is targeting a weight savings of 220 pounds for the entire car. The current car weighs 2,480 pounds. While it won't be under that magical 2,000-pound mark, it will be daringly close to the original Miata's curb weight of 2,150 pounds.

Mazda says the Skyactiv chassis is "more in tune with its first-generation predecessor than with its heavier, larger current-day cousin." Ouch. Poor, fat NC Miata.

Luckily, the current Miata gets a special edition as it trundles its way out the door.

The special edition wears Soul Red with contrasting gloss black paint.

Just 100 examples of the 25th Anniversary Edition Miata will arrive in America, each individually numbered with that all-important commemorative badge. Every car will be painted soul red, a deeper and more metallic paint than the classic red every early Miata seemed to wear. Almond leather seats and door trim swathe the interior, along with "25th Anniversary" badges. The glossy instrument panel receives a red base coat and then piano-black paint that's applied by hand; Mazda claims that no two pieces will look the same.

It's no turbocharged Mazdaspeed, Flyin' Miata Targa or Super20 in tangible form, but hey -- the aluminum pedals are exclusive! If you get the six-speed manual, Bilstein shocks are standard. In fact, we recommend this.

Pre-orders for the exclusive Miata start in spring on Mazda's website.

The gang's all here.

The 2014 New York auto show runs April 16-27 and is expected to attract a range of production and concept cars including the 2015 Mustang convertible, BMW M4 convertible and next Hyundai Sonata. Check out Autoweek's complete coverage at

By Blake Z. Rong