Mazda MX 5 IPM1 SRC US 2017 HIGH RQ Darkcherry

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Gets Dark Cherry Top, Adds More Goodies

Well, that’s an interesting option. Mazda just added a bunch of stuff to their new MX-5, but the one they’re making the biggest deal about is how there’s a new color available for the soft top. For some reason, they thought red (okay Dark Cherry) would be a good color to go with. It doesn’t immediately strike me as a great idea, but the more I look at it, the more it seems to work.

More Everything Please

The 2018 MX-5 (nee’ Miata) is the fourth in the long running series of Mazda’s very successful roadsters. Although I have sadly not driven the new model yet, literally everyone I’ve talked to says they’re amazing little cars. Mazda has been able to trim the weight way down, around 2,200 lbs., while upping the engine output and adding lots of comfort and tech frosting. For example, the 2018 MX-5 Sport adds an infotainment system with a 7-inch color touchscreen, Bluetooth connectivity, USB port, and HD Radio. Further, the MX-5 Grand Touring comes standard with seemingly everything: heated, leather-trimmed seats, automatic climate control, automatic on/off headlights, Lane Departure Warning, navigation, rain-sensing windshield wipers, and additional sound absorption material in the cloth headliner.

Mazda has also tweaked the chassis a little bit for 2018. The soft top’s rear suspension and power steering have been retuned to provide even more grip and positive turn-in. Mazda also says these tweaks improve unwanted cabin noise.

Limited Edition?

Mazda has also added an Auburn-colored interior package and Nappa leather seating surfaces for the MX-5 Grand Touring. Previously you could only get that in the MX-5 RF Launch Edition. This is a great example of a typical Miata switch-er-oo, and Mazda has long done this. Make a limited-edition car with a given, usually quite attractive color, and then 6 months later, offer that color as a basic option choice. The first gens only came in three colors, white, blue, and red; then Mazda, after much clamoring from the masses, offered British Racing Green in the first ever limited M-Edition. And about 1,000 people were happy. And then six months later, you could get a British Racing Green Miata just by ticking a box and about 1,000 people were very unhappy. So I do empathize with those out there that ponied up the extra dollars for the RF Launch Edition.

Mazda MX 5RF Launch Edition
In August of 2016, Mazda said a select group of customers had been notified via email with a window of time to reserve an MX-5 RF Launch Edition before ordering opened to the public. Mazda said each vehicle was “being made to order.” Photo: Mazda North American Operations.

Joining The Club

As with Miatas gone by, the 2018 comes in three basic trim levels. The Sport is the entry-level model, the Club is the performance-oriented, factory stripper/Autocross model with all the go-fast goodies, and the Grand Touring represents the full-zoot. This goes without saying, but any of these choices will get you a very sharp knife of a car that can out-corner and out-brake 99 percent of the cars out there, but the one you really want is the Club; the MX-5 Club is an even sharper knife.

MX-5 Club now comes with heated cloth seats with red stitching, which is a great idea if you like to drive with the top down in colder weather. It also comes standard with 17-inch aluminum alloy wheels, so you can buy a much wider variety of aftermarket tires to tweak the performance further. If you opt for the six-speed manual (and you really should, because Miatas have the best gear selector outside of a Formula Ford), then you also get Bilstein shocks, a limited-slip differential, and a shock tower brace. Yes, you will notice the difference with those three performance additions.

Speaking of performance additions, the MX-5 Club has an available Brembo/BBS Package which now includes a RECARO Package with heated cloth RECARO sport seats. You will also notice the aerodynamic side still extensions, a rear bumper skirt, forged 17-inch BBS wheels, and front Brembo brakes. That translates into a car that can stop on a dime and give you nine cents change. See what I mean? The MX-5 Club is the one you want.

Pricing & Availability

Pricing for the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata starts around $25,000 for the Sport with a manual, up to over $31,000 for the Grand Touring. The Brembo/BBS and Brembo/BBS RECARO packages will tack on roughly another $3,700 to $4,500. The new MX-5 is arriving at dealerships now with nationwide availability by next month. If you buy one, you know which one. Yeah, that one!

Tony Borroz has spent his entire life racing antique and sports cars. He is the author of Bricks & Bones: The Endearing Legacy and Nitty-Gritty Phenomenon of The Indy 500, available in paperback or Kindle format

Photos & Source: Mazda North American Operations.