Not just anyone will be able to buy the MX-5 RF Launch Edition.
Not so long ago we wrote about how Mazda is moving upmarket. In that piece we highlighted its two newest cars, the CX-9 and MX-5 RF, as examples of how the automaker was ready to shed its affordable image. Now Mazda has taken yet another baby step towards the "near-premium" (its own words) segment with the MX-5 RF Launch Edition. The car itself is not all that special. It's the way Mazda will go about selling it that's worth talking about. Not any old schmo can get their hands on this thing.
Only 1,000 MX-5 RF Launch Editions will be brought to the US, with Mazda selecting who gets a crack at them. The automaker will be emailing its most-valued customers invitations to purchase the car. If that sounds like a familiar strategy it's because many luxury car companies have been doing the same thing with limited edition vehicles for years. Mazda obviously doesn't fancy itself in the same tier as Ferrari or Lamborghini, but the Japanese automaker does want to start branding itself as a more upscale option. What better way to do that then by curating the launch of its newest car? As for the car itself, well it's basically the exact same as the one that was shown off at the 2016 New York Auto Show.
That means it will have Machine Gray paint and Auburn Nappa leather on the inside, with the interior featuring all the bits and bobs available on the MX-5 Grand Touring, the top-tier Miata we reviewed not so long ago. As far as first edition models go Mazda isn't offering that much here. But to ensure these cars stand out just a bit each one will come with black roof panels (as seen on the New York model) and special badges. It'll be interesting to see who Mazda chooses to let buy the MX-5 RF Launch Edition, and how many of its first 1,000 customers go for the manual over the automatic.