The Miata M Coupé was a 1st generation Miata NA platform-based concept car designed by Mazda in Irvine California (MRA). Debuted in New York in 1996, but never made it to production. Purely meant as a styling exercise and a tool to keep the Miata image fresh since its debut in 1989. From its subtle double-bubble roof to its dynamic swooping door line, the Miata M Coupé concept’s lineage to the RX-7 was clear.
For added aggressiveness, Mazda designers also gave the car low-profile 205/55R-16 tires wrapped around 16 in. 5-spoke alloy wheels, Momo foot pedals, Remus carbon-fibre-tipped exhaust system and slimmer headlights. Under the M Coupé’s hood was the same 1.8L inline-4 found in the 1996 Miata roadster except now with bright yellow cam covers. It produced 133 hp. Since the thick piece of hand-laid fibreglass roof weighed significantly more than a conventional steel top, 0-60 mph time was 9.0 seconds, similar to the droptop counterpart. Mazda maintained that the top will be steel if the car ever saw production.
Trunk space of the M Coupé had been significantly increased by moving the space-saver spare to the underneath the body. The interior featured a handy luggage compartment and new seat covered in a soft pseudo-suede material. (Road and Track Magazine, July 1996)