First Look: 2012 MX-5 Miata Special Edition

Mazda has sold 900,000 examples of its MX-5 Miata roadster globally since 1989, and the company is celebrating with a Special Edition package for the car, unveiled at this year's Chicago Auto Show. The new trim pack consists primarily of styling changes for the fun Japanese roadster.

The MX-5 Special Edition is based on a Power Retractable Hardtop model in Grand Touring trim. The hardtop is painted black, marking the first time Mazda has offered a non-body color roof in North America. To complement the dark roof, the limited-run Miata also scores new Velocity Red and Crystal White paint colors. Mazda says that the PRHT MX-5 Miata outsells the ragtop four-to-one worldwide.

There also are new 17-inch gunmetal wheels, black exterior accent pieces, black heated leather seats, black roll bars, an alloy pedal set, and piano-black interior trim. On top of that, the Special Edition Miata is fitted with the Suspension and Premium packages; the Suspension package brings Bilstein shocks, a limited slip differential, and sport-tuned suspension to the party, while the Premium package ups the lux quotient with Bluetooth phone connectivity, satellite radio, xenon headlights, anti-theft alarm, and keyless entry system.

Powering the Special Edition MX-5 will be the same 2.0-liter I-4 found in other MX-5s that is good for 167 hp and 140 lb-ft of torque (models with the automatic transmission only make 158 hp, however). Both a six-speed manual and automatic will be offered, and will send power exclusively to the rear wheels.

The company says the limited-run model continues the Miata’s heritage as a “dynamically-engineered, enthusiast-approved roadster.” Only 450 of the Special Edition cars will be produced, and they will sit atop the MX-5 Miata's lineup retailing for $32,020 (including destination) for manual transmission cars or $32,470 for automatic-equipped models. The 2012 Mazda MX-5 Miata Special Edition will be available in Mazda dealerships starting at the end of February.

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