Road to Fashion Rocks: Mazda MX-5 Miata’s Year Thus Far
2014 has already been an eventful and adventurous journey for the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. We look back on all the milestones on the road thus far and share our scrapbook of earliest memories of the newest generation of Roadster.
Mazda MX-5 Miata’s year in review
It all began back in March 2014 when Auto Express uncovered hints from Mazda chief designer Peter Birtwhistle that the new generation MX-5 would be “edgier.” “It’s a tight edgy little car that is going to appeal to a broader range of people,” Birtwhistle said. Mazda North America Director of Design Derek Jenkins stated that one of the goals of the new Mazda MX-5 Miata will be to lower the average age of the typical Miata buyer (currently around 60 years) and capitalize on the under-30 market. Our readers voiced skepticism that a two-seat roadster could compete with the Scion FR-S or Subaru BRZ, two of Mazda’s targets.
Later in May 2014, 100 special 25th anniversary editions were sold online over the course of a week. Well… a week was planned, but it took less than 25 minutes for all 100 special edition Miatas to be snatched up. “It is no secret the MX-5 Miata 25th Anniversary Edition is a specially-crafted ‘Thank you’ to every MX-5 fan – former, current and hopefully future,” said Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO, Mazda North American Operations. More special editions were sold in the UK in June.
Two months before the announced September 3 release date, Mazda began the #LongLiveTheRoadster campaign with a concrete date for the Miata’s official debut. Those who aren’t so into social media were given their own treat: pictures of the fourth generation MX-5’s chassis with SkyActiv technology. Rumors of turbocharged potential began hitting the web as speculation abounded over Mazda’s teaser trailer for the 2016 MX-5.
As microsites were erected to promote the revival of Fashion Rocks, co-produced by Mazda, the MX-5 Miata begins to build momentum. Remember that September 3 debut date? Apparently one of a dozen artists will unveil the new model during a private concert that night in Monterey, CA. Regarding Mazda’s participation in Fashion Rocks: “Like music and fashion, Mazda was born from passion, a deep passion for and commitment to innovation that guides everything that we do today and into the future,” says MNAO VP of marketing Russell Wager.
That’s when Mazda began the teasing, such as this Facebook offering: Draped in a form-fitting silk overlay (a fittingly-chosen shade of dodger blue), Mazda hopes to encourage easily-excitable automotive fanboys to chant, “Take it off! Take it off!” The picture might not show much, but the enticing curves of the body, the aesthetic appeal of the signature Miata form, leaks through the fabric. You just can’t help but gaze longingly at that voluptuous fender… or that perky side view mirror…
September 3 finally showed up on our calendars and Duran Duran kicked off an electrifying night in California. To introduce the vehicle’s 25th anniversary revamp, director of design Derek Jenkins took the stage for a humorous and insightful glimpse into the work that went into the iconic roadster. After plenty of hype, a pristine red roadster sailed onto the stage in the midst of laser lights, smoke blasts, and self-assured electro-rock riffs. Positioning itself on the runway, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata was the star of every audience member’s cell phone shots and tweets.
In conjunction with the unveiling of the MX-5 Miata in California, fans worldwide were treated to shiny new photos of the revamped roadster to post on their desktop. The most notable design changes included the wider and lower front end, the nose that curves nearly to the ground, the low belt-line dip, the fenders pulled back further from the front, the power concentrated on the rear wheels, and the dramatic taper into the rear bumper.
Because there had been so much going on with Mazda’s release of the MX-5 Miata, we decided that a quick overview of everything worth knowing was in order. Main points included the polarized reactions to the 2016 MX-5 Miata after it had been unveiled last week, a brief history of the Miata including its numerous awards, and the revival of Fashion Rocks, which would be airing that evening.
The final step in the MX-5 Miata’s run this season concluded in New York at the Fashion Rocks event, hosted by more advertisers than just Mazda. While we got a solid plug for the new 2016 Miata and a steady stream of Mazda commercials, the Miata’s presence was underwhelming considering the hype it received. Now to wait for the next leg of the journey: reviews and detailed specs of the Miata to be released.
Undeniably, the Mazda MX-5 Miata’s year has been a good one, and so has Mazda’s. With record breaking sales rates reported all summer, we can’t wait to see what the brand has in store for the rest of 2014.