Yes, friends, the Mazda Miata is 30 years old. This brilliant roadster made its debut three decades ago at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show, and today, Mazda has returned to the Windy City to show off the 2019 MX-5 Miata 30th Anniversary Edition. It's very orange.
The new hue is called Racing Orange, and it was formulated specifically for this car. In addition to the exclusive paint, the 30th Anniversary gets Bilstein shocks and a mechanical limited-slip differential (the latter only available with a manual transmission), Brembo brakes and Recaro seats. The 17-inch forged Rays wheels are unique, too, inspired by the wheels on the MX-5 Cup race car and painted gunmetal gray. Also unique to the 30th Anniversary is Alcantara interior trim, with orange stitching and matching piping for the Recaro seats. It's all very snazzy.
Of course, the 30th Anniversary benefits from all the upgrades that come to the Miata for 2019, including a 181-hp, 7500-rpm gem of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder. In Japan, you can order your 30th Anniversary with the base 1.5-liter, but the rest of the world gets the 2.0.
Only 3000 Anniversary Editions will be built for the entire world, with just 500 of those slated for the US. And as Roadshow's , the pre-order for the US allocation is already sold out. Pricing starts at $34,995 for a stick-shift soft-top, while the RF starts at $37,595. The optional automatic transmission adds $500 to the soft-top, $400 extra in the RF. That base price is actually the same as a similarly-equipped MX-5 Club, which makes the 30th Anniversary seem like a deal to us.
It's hard to overstate the importance of the Miata, which in its 30 years has sold more than one million units and developed a cult following. It's a success story that deserves to be celebrated. Here's to the next 30 years.
This story was updated at 5:10 PM to reflect that the US pre-order allocation for the 30th Anniversary MX-5 has been spoken for.