Our friends in the U.K. should be looking forward to this one

As the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic, Mazda is giving loyal fans a reason to celebrate with the launch of the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition. Available only in the U.K., the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition is a fresh take at the beloved roadster, complete with exclusive touches in the exterior and interior.

The Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition is a fresher and bolder version of a roadster that’s not lacking in impressive design qualities. Only 150 units of the special edition MX-5 will be available. Each model is priced at £27,700, which converts to around $34,600 based on current exchange rates. It’s unclear if the special edition MX-5 will be sold in the U.S., though knowing how these things work, don’t get your hopes up.

Exterior

  • Polymetal Grey paint finish
  • Grey fabric roof
  • Set of 16-inch RAYS gunmetal alloy wheels

What’s so fancy about the Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition?

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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When you look at it, the Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition doesn’t particularly stand out compared to standard MX-5 units. There are no outlandish aeros, no effects-driven paint colors, and certainly no significant suspension tweaks.

The exclusive roadster’s distinguishable features are largely found in the exterior and interior.

The most noticeable of these features is the Polymetal Grey paint finish that comes standard on all 150 units of the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition. You can still get this new paint on a standard MX-5, but it’s only available as an option, meaning you’ll have to pay extra for the chance to dress up your MX-5 in this new shade.

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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Of course, the new paint deserves a fabric roof of equal priority. For the R-Sport Limited Edition, Mazda is using a grey fabric roof that’s finished in a slightly different shade of grey to accentuate the difference with the body paint. A set of 16-inch RAYS gunmetal alloy wheels complete the special edition look of the exclusive MX-5.

None of the touches pop out from a visual standpoint, though that’s not by accident. Mazda’s goal with this limited edition MX-5 is to give it a classy and understated look that doesn’t compromise its performance capabilities. That said, the Japanese automaker did add some color to this model. You just have to go inside to see it.

Interior

  • Burgundy Nappa leather
  • Silver stitching act as contrast
  • Interior layout remains the same

What does the Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition’s interior look like?

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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It’s still the same interior in the sense that the standard layout remains the same. But there’s a reason the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition is limited to just 150 units.

Despite the normal configuration, the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition is dressed as an exclusive model thanks to the burgundy Nappa leather found on the seats, dashboard, and doors.
2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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Mazda also added silver stitching on the burgundy Nappa leather upholstery to provide the necessary contrast. The result is a sophisticated-looking cabin that seamlessly combines the MX-5’s natural sportiness with touches of class and elegance. This is the kind of interior that you’d want to be seen sitting on.

Powertrain

  • No engine upgrades
  • 1.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine
  • 130 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque
  • 8.2 seconds 0 to 60 mph
  • 127 mph top speed
  • Chassis and suspension remain stock

Does the Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition come with any engine upgrades?

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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The Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition does not come with any engine upgrades. I know, right. Boo. Then again, it’s not like there were any expectations that there’d be any. Mazda doesn’t typically perform engine upgrades in any of its special edition MX-5s. The R-Sport Limited Edition is not an exception.

In lieu of any engine upgrades, the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition still comes with a 1.5-liter SkyActiv-G engine that produces 130 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. The specific engine tells you that the R-Sport Limited Edition is based on the entry-level version of the MX-5. I’m probably not the only one who believes that Mazda could have applied the special edition treatment on higher-spec versions of the MX-5, but that’s neither here nor there. Mazda chose the base-spec model, and that’s what our friends over at the U.K. are getting.

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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The good news is that even if it’s the base model, the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition remains a spitfire. It’s capable of sprinting from 0 to 60 mph in 8.2 seconds before peaking at a top speed of 127 mph.
Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition specifications
Engine 1.5-Liter SkyActiv-G
Horsepower 130 HP
Torque 112 LB-FT
0 to 60 mph 8.2 seconds
Top Speed 127 mph

The MX5’s award-winning chassis and suspension setup remain unchanged so you can expect the same amount of fun and dynamic handling that the MX-5 is capable of.

Pricing

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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The Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition starts at £27,700. That converts to around $34,600 based on current exchange rates. All 150 units of the special edition MX-5 are earmarked for the U.K. market so, at this point, there’s no way for us here in America to get a hold of one unless we buy it through an importer.

As for our friends across the pond, you can register online to show your interest in the limited edition roadster. Be advised, though, that deliveries of the MX-5 R-Sport Limited Edition aren’t expected to begin until after retail restrictions in the U.K. that are in place due to the coronavirus pandemic are lifted.

Final Thoughts

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport Special Edition
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The Mazda MX-5 is one of the most popular sports cars in the world. That’s held true for a long time, and it continues to hold true today and, presumably, in the future. The MX-5’s combination of dramatic styling, dynamic performance and handling, and affordable price tag has made it a go-to model among those who are looking to score a great performance car on the cheap.

The MX-5’s appeal is also a big reason why Mazda continues to roll out special edition versions of the popular roadster. The R-Sport Limited Edition is the latest in a long line of special-edition MX-5s, following the trail left behind by equally impressive models like the Levanto, Yamamoto Signature, 30th Anniversary Edition, and, most recently, the Eunos Edition.

These special edition models have their distinct differences — the 30th Anniversary Edition wears a splashy orange hue — but at their heart, they’re all the same MX-5 ND models. The R-Sport Limited Edition is no different; it’s an MX-5 in its roots, but the exclusive touches provided by Mazda gives the roadster that all-too appealing special edition vibe.

I’m a big fan of the configuration Mazda chose for this model. The grey-on-grey paint-and-fabric roof combo is tremendous. It’s classy and understated, but it doesn’t strip the roadster’s sporty and dynamic design. The colors look great on the MX-5, and when you throw in the burgundy Nappa leather and the silver stitching found in the interior of the roadster, you have as legitimate of a special edition MX-5 as any past SEs that Mazda has released.

  • Leave it
    • Not available in the U.S. market
    • Some prefer more flashiness
    • Based on the base model so power’s limited to just 130 horsepower
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert - kirby@topspeed.com
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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