Mazda is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year and to mark the occasion, it will launch retro-ish limited editions of its eight models on the Japanese market. Even better is that some of those may be made available in North America.
Fun fact: Initially Mazda didn't make cars. Its first model was the R360, unveiled in 1960 as a four-seat coupe, the tiny dimensions of which met the strict Japanese regulations of the time. The planned special editions are based on this humble first model.
Limited editions will be produced of the CX-3, CX-30, CX-5, CX-9, Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6, as well as the hardtop and softtop variants of the MX-5. All will feature a white exterior that's unique to the edition and a burgundy interior, though the MX-5 and CX-30 will also come with a red roof.
The 100th Anniversary logo, which combines Mazda's current emblem with the company's emblem at its creation (Toyo Kogyo), appears on the wheels and front headrests, among other spots. The white-and-red combination was one of those available with the R360's high-end versions.
None of the commemorative-edition cars receive any mechanical modifications. Which is just as well, since to pay thorough tribute to the little R360, the MX-5's 181-hp, 2.0L, 4-cylinder engine would have had to be replaced by a 356-cc, air-cooled, 16-hp, V-twin engine. And it would also have to be mounted in the trunk.
The complete 100th anniversary lineup is on sale in Japan and will be offered until March 2021. Mazda has announced its availability in other markets, such as England, but has not yet confirmed if it will offer its commemorative cars in North America due to the current "global crisis".
The UK will receive 100 copies of the Miata, CX-30 and Mazda3; the Mazda6 and CX-5 may join the list later. And in our market? If we had to hazard a prediction, we’d bet on the special edition of the MX-5.