It has been almost 30 years, almost to the day, since the first Mazda MX-5 appeared at the 1989 Chicago Auto Show. Mazda Motor Corporation launched the Mazda MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition at the very same event this week.

Click here to read our Mazda MX-5 RF review and here to read about our MX-5 racecar.

A bestseller

On that fateful day in 1989, few would have guessed the unmitigated sales success that the little roadster from Japan would go on to be. In 30 years in excess of one million MX-5s have been sold worldwide. To celebrate this milestone Mazda has produced a limited edition MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition. Sales will be limited to 3 000 units worldwide including both the soft-top and RF retractable hardtop models.

A unique colour is used on the MX-5 for the very first time, dubbed Racing Orange. In addition, the MX-5 30th Anniversary Edition features Rays ZE40 RS30 forged aluminium wheels in a gunmetal grey finish. These were created exclusively for the MX-5 in cooperation with the famous alloy wheel producer. The lightweight wheels were based on a design used by all Global MX-5 Cup racers.

The soft-top version for the Japanese market is fitted with 16-inch wheels, while the RF version for Japan and all models for overseas markets get 17-inch wheels. Inside these wheels are vivid orange Brembo brake calipers. The wheels are suspended by specially tuned Bilstein dampers. A 30th-anniversary badge displaying the model’s serial number is the final exterior marker for the derivative.

Changes inside

Orange is the key element in the anniversary model’s interior. The door trim, instrument panel, shift lever and brake leaver feature orange contrast stitching, while orange piping stands out on the black seats. The seats were jointly developed by Mazda and Recaro.

Stock drivetrain

As with all other 2,0-litre Mazda MX-5 models, the 30th Anniversary features the new 135 kW version of the Skyactiv-G engine. All 3 000 units will come with a six-speed manual gearbox, strut-brace and limited slip differential.