The 2015 SEMA Show proved to be an exciting event for Mazda MX-5 enthusiasts. We saw the Japanese automaker launch the Speedster and Spyder concepts, which took the sportiness of the fourth-gen Miata to a new level, thanks to their reduced curb weights and bespoke features. Unfortunately, Mazda doesn’t plan to produce either of the two, meaning U.S. customers are stuck with the stock version for the time being.

Not that this is bad news, but many enthusiasts have been clamoring about a more powerful (turbocharged) version or at least a couple of special-edition models.

While that’s not likely to happen in the U.S. at least until 2016, British drivers have already been granted access to a special-edition model. Dubbed Sport Recaro, the model is more of a trim update rather than a stand-alone version, but it comes with plenty of bespoke features and in fewer numbers than usual to qualify for a "limited-edition" badge.

The MX-5 Sport Recaro is based on the range-topping Sport Nav trim, which is already a well-equipped model, but its unique features help it stand out among other Miatas. Furthermore, it’s not as expensive as its limited-edition status suggests, providing more bang for the buck than similar models from other automakers. Find out more about it below.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition.

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition
  • Year:
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  • 0-60 time:
    6.5 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
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What makes the MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition special

Exterior modifications over the standard model are rather subtle, but they do enhance the roadster’s sportiness. Each Sport Recaro model comes with a Sports Aero Kit that includes slightly larger side skirts, a modified rear diffuser, and a spoiler atop the trunk lid. These parts are finished in Brilliant Black and will provide a strong contrast when paired with lighter body colors. If you want these features to enhance your Miata’s appearance, you’d better stay away from paints such as Jet Black Mica, Meteor Grey Mica, or Blue Reflex Mica.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The bundle also gets a pair of Piano Black-painted mirror caps, which given them a bit a more polished look when compared to the Aero Kit components. Rounding out the exterior is a set of 17-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels with engraved "MX-5" logos. These rims aren’t available as an option for the standard model and can’t be had with the range-topping Sport Nav trim, which is fitted with 17-inch Bright alloy rollers. These are nice too, but the Diamond Cut wheels look more upscale thanks to their more intricate design and "smoked" paint.

The exterior package is identical to the one you get with the MX-5 Club in the U.S., except for the wheels. However, while the Sport Recaro acts as an upgrade to the most expensive and well-equipped trim in the U.K., the Club splits the gap between the base Sport trim and the range-topping Grand Touring in the U.S.

Different marketing for different continents I guess...

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition High Resolution Interior
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Moving inside the cabin, the MX-5 received an Alcantara-wrapped lower dashboard, a surprising touch given that piece is usually plastic or leather. The leather steering wheel is standard, while the dashboard, door panels, handbrake and gear levers feature red contrast stitching. The highlight of the Sport Recaro’s interior are obviously the bolstered Recaro seats. They feature Alcantara cushions and seat backs with leather on the sides, as well as red piping and stitching. Customers will also get alloy pedals and custom floor mats with "MX-5" lettering.

All these features are offered on top of the equipment that comes with the Sport Nav trim this model is based on. Standard features also include climate control air-conditioning, DAB radio, Bluetooth, a navigation system with three years of free European map updates, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, a premium Bose sound system, cruise control, and Mazda’s MZD-Connect infotainment system with seven-inch color display.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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In the drivetrain department, the Sport Recaro is identical to the Sport Nav it is based on, but that’s far from bad news. Power is provided by the 2.0-liter four-cylinder, SkyActiv-G unit rated at 160 PS (158 horsepower) — 29 PS (29 horsepower) more than what the base 1.5-liter engine offers — that is routed to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential. Updates inherited from the Sport Nav trim also include a sports suspension package and a strut tower bar.

More good news comes form the pricing department. Mazda asks £24,295 (about $36,954) for the Sport Recaro, which is only £1,000 (around $1,521) more than a Sport Nav trim optioned with the 2.0-liter engine. That’s quite the bargain, as the Aero Kit, the mirror caps, the wheels, the Recaro seats, and the Alcantara are included in this premium. The Sport Recaro is limited to only 600 units, so you’d better hurry if you want one. They should sell like hot cakes.

Mazda MX-5

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Introduced in September 2014, the ND-generation MX-5 is the fourth Miata since 1989 and the first redesigned model since 2005. Created on a clean sheet, the new MX-5 is 4.1 inches shorter and 220 pounds lighter than its predecessor, making it about the same size as the first-gen model. Although it’s a bit heavier than the first MX-5, the new roadster is among the lightest in its class at only 2,200 pounds.

Motivated by either a 1.5- or 2.0-liter four-cylinder in Europe and Japan, the new MX-5 came to the U.S. with only the larger powerplant under the hood. The four-banger cranks out 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet that pushes the roadster form 0 to 60 mph in about 6.5 seconds.

Four trim levels were available in the U.S. at launch, including the Launch Edition, a batch of 1,000 examples sold in an exclusive grouping of a Soul Red exterior and a Sport Tan leather interior. The standard MX-5 lineup consists of the entry-level Sport model, the Club trim, and the range-topping Grand Touring version. Pricing starts from $24,915 and goes into $30,000 territory with the Grand Touring model.

Read our full review on the Mazda MX-5 here.

Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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Press Release

The Limited Edition all-new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro has joined Mazda’s award-winning sports car line up. Based on the 2.0-litre 160ps Sport Nav, the Sport Recaro retains the finely balanced performance and handling of the standard car, but limited to just 600 cars, it benefits from added exclusivity and sporty styling enhancements inside and out.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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The lightest MX-5 since the iconic original, the all-new Mazda MX-5 is shorter, lower and wider than the outgoing car, with the smallest overhangs and lowest centre of gravity yet. These dynamic proportions combined with Mazda’s KODO: Soul of Motion design philosophy ensure that the all-new Mazda MX-5’s styling reflects its focus on driving pleasure in an unmistakably contemporary and dynamic way.

Created with the discerning sports car fan in mind, the Sport Recaro builds on these sharp looks with a Brilliant Black Sports Aero kit that includes a rear spoiler, plus front, side and rear skirts. Piano Black door mirrors and 17-inch Diamond Cut alloy wheels with an engraved MX-5 logo complete the stand out exterior appearance.

Inside, the classy MX-5 cabin gains an Alcantara dashboard panel, alloy pedals and unique floor mats. Complementing the premium feel of the cabin, the standard Recaro seats feature Alcantara upholstery on the seat cushion and seat back, while red seat piping compliments the red stitching found on the dash, handbrake and gear lever.

Designed to deliver outstanding lumbar and lateral support, the heated Recaro seats are perfectly aligned with the Jinba Ittai concept of car and driver as one that defines the Mazda MX-5. Complementing the Mazda MX-5’s driver-focused cabin and communicative controls, the supportive Recaro seats match the fun-to-drive ethos that has made the Mazda MX-5 the best-selling two-seater sports car of all time.

Based on the generous specification of the 2.0-litre Sport Nav, the all-new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro features LED headlights, a leather steering wheel, climate control air-conditioning, DAB radio, Integrated Bluetooth®, integrated navigation system with 3-years free European map updates, rain sensing wipers, rear parking sensors, smart keyless entry, a premium Bose®sound system and cruise control, plus Mazda’s MZD-Connect connectivity and infotainment system with 7-inch Colour touch-screen display and Multimedia Commander.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro Limited Edition High Resolution Exterior
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In line with the 2.0-litre Sport Nav, the Sport Recaro benefits from a dynamic set-up that includes Sports suspension featuring Bilstein dampers, a limited slip differential and strut tower bar. Across the range, the all-new Mazda MX-5 was conceived and developed under the concept of “innovate in order to preserve”. This engineering philosophy has allowed Mazda to maintain the agility, fun and engagement that has always defined the MX-5 while at the same time meeting ever-increasing safety and efficiency requirements, alongside improved refinement.

Continuing Mazda’s long tradition of special edition MX-5s, the all-new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro is the first Limited Edition version of the all-new fourth-generation MX-5 offered in the UK, and its exclusivity is marked out by an individually numbered badge located on the centre storage box lid. With its stand out styling, sporty cabin enhancements and Recaro seats, the all-new Mazda MX-5 Sport Recaro is available to order now.

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