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Mazda says more MX-5 specials on the way

By Louis Cordony, 15 Feb 2018 News

Mazda says more MX 5 specials on the way

Remains tight-lipped on details

Mazda Australia might have landed only a handful of MX-5 RF Limited Editions for sale but it confirmed this week more in the pipeline for its adored convertible.  

The top-of-the-line variant has debuted in Australia fitted with BBS wheels, Bilstein suspension, Brembo brakes and Recaro seats. It also gets a locally installed Kuroi sports bodykit. 

At $55,670 drive away, it’s the biggest upgrade to the MX-5 since the 2.0-litre variant was brought across from America two years ago. 

But Alastair Doak, the local arm’s head of marketing, confirmed this as the start of an “exciting” evolution of the model at the variant’s launch. 

Mazda MX-5 RF Limited Edition review

The first and most obvious question was whether the same parts might find their way to the soft-top roadster

“We’ll look at other limited editions, down the track,” he said. “We’ve done many over the history of MX-5 – at this point, we wanted to do something based on RF— again, if we do another one it will be different.”

But he slipped further hints when speaking to MOTOR, saying there’s a “very solid plan for MX-5” that has Mazda Australia “pretty excited”. 

“There will be an evolution of the car,” he said when asked what further factory upgrades like the Limited Editions are planned, “there has to be”.

Mazda Australia’s sales success means it punches well above its weight in the internal pecking order, owning one of the most comprehensive Mazda line-ups worldwide and a “big say” in product. 

However, Doak wasn’t so forthcoming about what direction future specials would take the MX-5 formula, and refused to comment on whether Mazda plans to fiddle with powertrains. 

If the fourth MX-5’s timeline is anything like the previous generation, there would be seven years still ahead of this car.

If we were to speculate wildly, we'd recall the company’s flirt with forced induction, where Australia’s own turbocharged NB-series SP inspired Mazda’s SE variant in 2003 to go global.  

Nobuhiro Yamamoto, the MX-5’s chief engineer, also did not rule out turbocharging when speaking to Australian press in 2015. And Mazda has since introduced a turbo 2.5-litre inline four in the CX-9. 

Meanwhile, the world awaits the company’s compression ignition engine, the rotary’s future, and more on its patents for an electric supercharger. 

This all, of course, only involves the MX-5 in fantasy, and the reality is Fiat’s 124 Spider already stuffs a turbocharged engine, Bilstein shocks, Brembo brakes, into the MX-5. 

Comparison test: MX-5 v 124 Spider v BRZ

But we’ll stay peeled to find exactly just how ‘exciting’ the MX-5's future transpires to be.