Friday, August 15, 2014

Mazda Roadster Coupe (2003-04)

For those yearning for a coupe version of the MX-5 (or Miata in North America), back in 2003, Mazda offered a coupe Mazda Roadster in very limited numbers and only for the Japanese market. These models were available by customer order from Mazda and Mazda Anfini dealerships across Japan. Production of the coupe was handled by Mazda Engineering & Technology, a subsidiary of Mazda that specialized in limited production models.

The Roadster Coupe was a two-seat sports coupe based on the 2nd generation NB platform of Mazda's popular Roadster. The name "Roadster" wasn't a real roadster. The shells started as roadster which were then modified into a coupe (before assembly), so it's not an entirely new shell but not a retrofit either. Adding the fixed roof actually increased the car's total weight by about 10kg, and thus made it a little slower in a straight line, though the presence of a roof did increase rigidity, which improved the car's handling. Having a roof also freed created a storage space behind the seats. These RHD-only cars were available with the base 1.6L engine (125hp, 5-speed), as well as with the 1.8L engine (158hp, 6-speed manual or 4-speed auto). 

The Roadster Coupe was available in three designs and four grades. The Base Model 1.6L and the 1.8L Type S shared the same front end as a regular Roadster. Then there were two limited models, the Type A and Type E. The actual production numbers of all three variants was said to be 179 units in total, making these coupes one of the rarest cars ever in the Mazda sports car lineup and were highly sought after among enthusiasts. (,, &


The most basic spec MX-5 Coupe models are the Base Model and Type S. Other than the fixed roof, the styling was almost identical to the regular soft-top MX-5. Engine options were the 125 hp 1.6L for the Base Model, and the 158 hp 1.8L for Type S. Manual transmission, Bilstein shocks and front strut tower brace were extra features for Type-S. Production of these two models was not limited although it was never officially sold outside Japan. Actual production numbers are said to be 53 units for the Base Model and 63 for Type S. Colours offered were red, white and silver. ( &

This unit has a Type S body and a Type A bumper (read below).

2004 Roadster Coupe TS Concept

In 2004, The Roadster Coupe TS Concept created by Mazda E&T made its debut. This car was based on a Type S (hence the name) but featured the Monocraft MM-1 retro style front end conversion and was designed to look like an old school clubman racer. TS Concept also had white Enkei Racing wheels, a safety cage, the turbo model's rear skirt, a centre exit exhaust, and rear lights and side repeaters by Zoom Engineering. (

Another version of this concept called the Circuit Trial, was fitted with a revised front bumper and the arch extensions from the Type-A model, then painted light blue and fitted with OZ Superturismo wheels for the 2005 Salon. (


The next level of trim was the Type E. The Mazda MX-5 Coupe Type E was orientated more around comfort than all out performance. Inside are electric windows and a luxurious leather trim. Under the bonnet was the 1.8L engine, however due to the use of a 4-speed automatic transmission power was limited to 154 hp. Outside, the styling of the Type E was more bland and used a silver mesh front grille, more rounded bumpers and the rear spoiler was blended into the trunk lid. Only 150 Type E models were planned to be produced. Actual number reported to be as low as 23 units. ( &

Mazda displayed a pale blue/green concept with custom colour matched multi-spoke wheels at the 2002 Tokyo Auto Salon. This car was known as the RS Coupe and would become the basis for the Type E model. (


The highest spec was the Type A which was identifiable by a deeper front and rear bumper, extended wheel arches, a rear spoiler, horizontal aluminium grille inserts, inset front fog lights and special headlights and tail-light trim surrounds. Power for the MX-5 Coupe Type A came from a 1.8L, inline four cylinder engine which produced 158 hp. Sending the power to the rear wheels was a 6 speed manual transmission. Bilstein shocks and front strut tower brace. Colour options were red or yellow. Although 200 MX-5 Coupe Type A's were planned to be produced, the actual production number was reported to be as low as 40 units. ( &

Below (L to R) Basic Model, Type S, Type E, Type A

(Photos from,,,,,, &

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