I'm a huge Mazda fan. I think the Miata is a great car all around and Mazda's most recent SKYACTIV technology is delivering great fuel economy along with performance and darn good looks. The new MX-5 (Miata) pulls all of that together for what the automotive press is very excited about after initial test drives.
In a recent release from Mazda, they describe some of the upgrades that might be available on the car including Brembo brakes, BBS wheels, and a body kit. While I think these are going to sell really well with the consumer looking to buy all the typical, "cool to have" upgrades, the true enthusiasts will not be satisfied. Not often are light-weight little Miatas short on braking power and the body kit most likely wouldn't produce the usable aerodynamic performance actually needed in motor sports. These upgrades just won't provide a ton of real benefit (though I admit they do look pretty cool).
While this might sound like a criticism, I'm actually glad to see Mazda is going this route. While myself and the true enthusiast community wants to see some power upgrades or an ultra light weight stripped down model, these "just for show" upgrades should make the cars more appealing to the mass market and bring in a lot of money.
I am confused by Mazda trying to sell accessories or option upgrades to make the car more marketable to general consumers without addressing the real big issue...the Miata does not stack up against even it's nearest rival, the BRZ/FR-S as it lags so far behind in power. Most people just want to talk power and straight line speed and in no world does 150hp sound good. While it realistically offers good power and performance with the light weight and agile chassis, is it really good enough? The twins put down 200hp from a 2.0 liter, so why can't Mazda's 2.0 do the same? Let alone the 2.5 scheduled to go in the Miata.
If history has shown anything, the Miata is good out of the box, but given a little more power it's fantastic and a real track weapon. Mazda, why can't we get that amazing performance without going to the aftermarket? The previous Mazdaspeed Miata came close and after 10 years to think about it, I'm sure you can give us something that will actually look better on paper than the other hot hatches and sports cars available and entice some new buyers to the roadster market. Great work on the options in the current line up but let's see some real performance to go with it!
See Mazda's press release here.