If Mazda Built an MX-5 Miata Wagon, It’d Look Like This
Overall, the automotive media has been enthusiastic – to say the least – about every Mazda MX-5 Miata derivative, regardless of generation. The smile-to-dollar ratio has always been high on four separate models, and for the most part, the ability to stow everything (or in the case of the MX-5 RF, some) from the roof is at least a bonus if not the main point of sale. But there has always been a small vocal contingent that wanted the rigidity or the appearance of a permanently fixed vertex.
And Mazda sometimes fueled this fire. The 1996 M Coupé Concept lit it up, and the extremely rare production of the 2003 MX-5 Coupé made it heat white. Barely 22 pounds heavier than the roadster, the second generation NB production coupe appeared to be a car that could become a reality in the United States. And given the relative success of the latest Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, in retrospect, it could have been. Instead, Mazda offered a few compromises: the electrically retractable hardtop version of the NC, and now the ND MX-5 RF with its fascinating Targa roof.
But there is no factory-built ND generation MX-5 with a fixed roof, and there probably isn’t. It’s a shame, because these renderings of the Spanish artist José Antonio Aranda are exactly the kind of things that agitate us. First, there is the look itself. Shooting brake body style has a long history in non-US markets, so there is a bit of mystique out there. There is also the promise of additional stiffness to reward the driver and improve performance on a track or canyon. And finally, this little extra utility in the covered cargo space makes a weekend getaway with a friend or partner easier and more comfortable.
There are more than a few car enthusiasts who affectionately refer to the clown shoe in the design as well: the Z3 and M Coupé, which have never been so elegant but which have a rabid following, especially under form of M. To be fair, Mazda would like to upgrade its entire brand, and a firing brake derivative could justify a higher price, more sophisticated interior elements and mechanical components, and perhaps a more robust transmission without influencing the carefully studied minimalism of the Miata.
But don’t hold your breath. The Mazda’s have come this far without really satisfying the American fixed roof fans, and we’re not crazy. The regular MX-5 is great. But we can dream of what could accompany this particular artist.