Mazda updates Japanese-market MX-5 Miata roadster

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is a modern interpretation of the classic two-seat convertible sports car (remember the MGB?). Classic sports cars may not be the fastest cars on the block, but few will out handle them, and they are an absolute blast to drive and those descriptors fit the MX-5 Miata. The Japan-market Roadster gives us a quick look at the new MX-5 Miata for the US. A more aggressive front end and new detailing are featured in both the soft top and Retractable-Hardtop (RHT) models as are a new tan and black leather interior. An all-new MX-5 Miata should be coming no later than 2015 (in conjunction with Fiat/Alfa Romeo), so these changes are designed to hold us over until the next roadster is ready. More info after the jump.

Source: Mazda - Press Release after the jump.

Press Release:
Mazda to Launch Upgraded Mazda Roadster in Japan 

  • An aggressive new look and even more fun to drive
Mazda Motor Corporation has upgraded the Mazda Roadster (known overseas as the Mazda MX-5) for the Japanese market. The refreshed two-seater open-top sports car goes on sale today at all Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships throughout Japan.

The design of the upgraded Roadster distinguishes between the sporty character of the soft top and the refined character of the power retractable hard top (RHT) through the use of coordinated black and silver features respectively. The front face of both versions has been redesigned to present a more aggressive look. For the interior, a new luxury tan color is available for the genuine leather seats. In addition, revised characteristics of the throttle and brake booster (power braking device) have improved control of the accelerator in the manual transmission models and the brakes in all models. The enhancements add polish to the pure driving pleasure which has made the Roadster (MX-5) famous.

In addition, the updated Roadster features an Active Bonnet (pedestrian protection system) which raises the rear end of the bonnet in the event of an accident to reduce impact to the head.

Main features of the upgraded Mazda Roadster
A distinct character for the RHT and Soft-top version
  • The keywords guiding the design of the soft top were "tight sports". Coordinated black features express sportiness
  • The keywords guiding the design of the RHT were "premium sports." Coordinated silver features denote refined, high quality driving performance
Soft TopPower Retractable Hard Top
Front combination light bezelBlackChrome
DesignNo changeNew design for 17-inch wheels
ColorDark gray metallicSilver
Soft topNew "saddle tan" colored cloth top
(Available as an option for the RS)
Decoration panelGlossy dark gray (new)Glossy dark gray (new)
Steering wheel bezelGlossy dark gray (new)
(Available only with RS)
Glossy dark gray (new)
Inner door handleBlackAluminum color
Meter hoodCompact type (new design)Standard type
Meter ringGlossy dark gray (new)Aluminum color
Seatback bar garnishGlossy dark gray
(new to the RS model grade)
Black (S, NR-A)
Aluminum color
(RS RH and, VS RHT)
Black (S RHT)

  • Front face has a sense of depth with a larger front grille opening
  • Newly designed front fog lamp bezel
  • New front chin spoiler
  • New body color, Dolphin Gray Mica now available (Total seven body colors are available. Metropolitan Gray Mica is no longer available).
<Enhanced interior quality>
  • A lustrous and expressive new color, Glossy Dark Gray is used for the decoration panel and steering wheel bezel. (The color is an option for the Soft Top version of the S model grade.)
  • Addition of a new tan color for the genuine leather seat covers. Black on the seat sides creates a stylish two-tone design. Fabric (black), leather (tan and black) and a combination of Alcantara® and black leather seat cover materials are available.

Sports car driving pleasure taken to the next level
  • Enhanced acceleration control (manual transmission models)
    Fine adjustments to the throttle management program make it more responsive when accelerating out of corners. This creates a linear and nimble feel.
  • Enhanced braking control
    Changes to the characteristics of the brake booster (power braking device) make it easier to control the front and rear load distribution, increasing the feel of mastery over the vehicle.

Newly developed active bonnet for all model grades
  • Active bonnet
    At certain vehicle speeds, when sensors detect an impact exceeding a defined level, the rear end of the bonnet is raised. This creates a space between the bonnet and the engine which acts to absorb the energy of impact and reduces the severity of head injuries in collisions involving pedestrians.

Cutting weight one gram at a time
  • In order to keep weight down, uncompromising attention was paid to weight reduction in the design of new parts including the re-designed front bumper, the active bonnet, the new 17-inch aluminum wheels and the internal wiring.

Manufacturer's suggested retail prices for the Mazda Roadster
Roof typeGradeDriveEngineTransmissionPrice (yen)
(with tax)
5-speed MT2,330,000
NR-A5-speed MT2,450,000
RS*6-speed MT2,600,000
Hard Top
S RHT6-speed EC-AT
RS RHT*6-speed MT2,860,000
VS RHT6-speed EC-AT
  • - A separate recycling fee of 11,070 yen (models with side airbags) or 10,810 yen (models without side airbags) is necessary in addition to the prices listed above.
  • * Price of the model in the photo