First Look: 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition

By Brandon Turkus

February 08, 2012

Mazda unveiled the 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition at today’s Chicago Auto Show. The limited-run (only 450 will be produced) roadster is mainly an aesthetics package, giving the MX-5 a bit more of aggressive edge.
Black mirrors, black trim around the front grille and fog-light surrounds, seventeen-inch black wheels, and an all-black retractable hardtop round out the changes over the Grand Touring trim. The interior features black (surprise, surprise) leather upholstery, with gray contrast stitching. The MX-5 SE will be available in Velocity Red and Crystal White Pearl.
Both the Premium package (Bluetooth, satellite radio, bi-xenon headlights) and the Suspension package (Bilstein dampers and a limited-slip differential) are standard.
The MX-5 SE will be available with either the standard car’s six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic. With 167 horsepower, 140 pound-feet of torque, and a curb weight of around 2600 pounds, the SE should be just as much fun as the standard car. Only, you know, with more black.
The MX-5 SE will cost $31,225 for the manual, and $31,675 for the automatic, when it goes on sale at the end of February.
Please scroll down for the official press release from Mazda.
Mazda Debuts 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition At Chicago Auto Show
Limited-Run Model of World's Most Popular Roadster Offers Edgier Look at Two Seats of Luxury
CHICAGO (February 8, 2012) - Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) today unveiled its 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition, a limited-run model of only 450 units in the United States. With striking black accents, including an all-new black-only Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT), the Special Edition model evokes powerful luxury, with a playful wink. Dynamically engineered and enthusiast approved, the MX-5 Special Edition continues the roadster's history of being small but quick, performance-minded but affordable, uncomplicated but amenity-rich.
Available in two exclusive colors, Velocity Red and Crystal White Pearl, the Special Edition model is based on the Grand Touring model equipped with a PRHT - still one of the industry's fastest power-operated retractable hard tops at 12 seconds. Other exterior changes over the Grand Touring model include black outside mirrors, body-colored door handles and black trim surrounding the front grille and fog lamp assembly. Equipped with a body-colored-contrasting black PRHT (a first for North America) and outfitted with 17-inch Black Gunmetal aluminum alloy wheels, the 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition delicately balances the menacing nature of black to create a vehicle that is as imposing as it is sleek, sexy and simply a thrill to toss into tight corners.
The PRHT is the head-cover of choice for the Special Edition model due to its popularity and adaptability in both warm and winter climates, which is why hard tops outsell soft-top models 4:1 worldwide. In both soft- and hard-top models, no trunk space is compromised during stowage for when occupants prefer an open-air experience.
The interior further complements the exterior's refined elegance with a tastefully appointed cabin featuring supple black leather upholstery with contrasting gray stitching on the heated seats, door trim, steering wheel and parking brake. Piano black panels were added onto the steering wheel spokes as well as to the dash. The roll bar garnish also is now black with an alloy pedal set to add the finishing touch.
Both the six-speed manual transmission with short-throw shifter and six-speed Sport automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters are available to enjoy the 167-horsepower, 140 lb-ft of torque 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine (158 horsepower with the 6AT). At only 2,593 pounds (2,619 pounds for the 6AT), the MX-5's nearly 50:50 weight distribution, combined with its track-proven suspension and response power, means the two-seat roadster is a lightweight only in terms of size, not road prowess.
Being its largest market, there is no lack of interest in the U.S. for premium accessories - more than 75 percent of Grand Touring models sold are equipped with the Premium Package. The 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition is equipped with both the Premium and Suspension packages as standard.
The Premium Package includes a Bluetooth® hands-free phone, SIRIUS® Satellite Radio with a four-month complimentary subscription, xenon headlights, an anti-theft alarm and the Mazda Advanced Keyless Entry System.
For non-errand expeditions, the Suspension Package will only further accentuate the rear-wheel-drive wild child beneath the MX-5's subdued sheet metal. The package includes Bilstein shocks, a limited slip differential (LSD) and a sport-tuned suspension.
The 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition starts at $31,225 for the manual transmission and at $31,675 when equipped with the six-speed automatic transmission. The vehicle will be available in dealer showrooms by the end of February.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.