Mazda MX-5 Miata

 

M-Edition Field Guide (USA)

 

1994, 1995, 1996, 1997

 

Compiled by Noel Torchio

 

 

 

 

1996 M Edition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction

 

 

 

(Editor's note: Information in this article was compiled from, amongh other places, John Emerson's article on Special/Limited/M editions, and Chris Lambert's Miata Summary.)

 

This field guide has been prepared to cover the specifications of the Mazda MX-5 Miata M Edition series issued by Mazda USA exclusively for the US market. This series was produced during the model years 1994, 1995, 1996 and 1997 only for the NA model.  Each M Edition was produced in limited numbers with special paint colors and other exclusive features described in this guide.  Mazda has produced other NA (1990-1997) Special Editions and Limited Editions for the US market as well as other international markets in all three MX-5/Miata/Eunos Roadster generations.  These are not covered in this field guide.

 

 

The Mazda MX-5 Miata made its world debut in March 1989 at the Chicago International Auto Show.  It was a huge success.  After producing Special or Limited Editions in 1991, 1992 and 1993, Mazda decided in 1994 to produce a special series of Miatas in limited numbers calling the series M Editions (incidentally, Mazda also produced three other M Editions outside of the Miata range in 1994 as well). Each M Edition was produced in special colors and with special features unique to each year and not available in the regular line up of offerings.  The M Edition series continued through 1997 just prior to the second-generation NB introduction.  This guide will outline each M Edition Miata produced with information gathered from Mazda’s marketing brochures, various web sites and owners, highlighting specifications, features and numbers produced.

 

 

The M Edition series was developed by Mazda USA’s marketing department in 1994.  It was produced for those interested in a special Miata only available in limited production numbers made during the regular production run for a limited time. It was an attempt by Mazda to standardize a higher level of build, exclusivity and upscale content. The series consisted mostly in the application of exclusive special paint colors, luxury interior features, special wheels and M Edition badges/logos throughout the interior and exterior of each car.  The M Edition series (as produced by Mazda from the factory) does not offer any engine or suspension performance enhancements over the regular series MX-5 Miata nor were they sequentially numbered.  Their VIN numbers are scattered throughout the regular run Miatas.

 

 

 

 

Collectability?

 

The Mazda Miata M Edition series of vehicles are very desirable and sought after by Miata enthusiasts.  Searching for a low mileage clean M Edition and finding one is to may like finding the ultimate Miata.  Fairly expensive when first introduced, they can now be found priced as a regular used car, particularly if the seller has no idea what an M Edition is.  Further, the well known used car resale value guides seem to somewhat under value what Miatas are actually trading hands for.  Most clean Miatas will usually sell over blue book value, that’s not to say you can’t find one at a bargain price though.  M Editions are not sequentially numbered and their VIN numbers will be scattered throughout the regular run for each year.  A total of 12,470 M Editions were manufactured throughout the 4 year run. The colors and features will make any M Edition stand out at a gathering of Miatas and the clean low mileage ones are harder and harder to find.    

 

As for true collectability, the market will decide that in the future.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1994                  

1994 M Edition Magazine Advertisement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1994 M Edition was produced in Montego Blue Mica (color code M8) with tan leather interior, tan boot, and tan top.

 

Special Features: Nardi wood shift knob and hand brake handle, polished 7 spoke alloy wheels with locks, air conditioning, stainless M Edition sill plates, M Edition custom mats, M Edition key ring/badge/lapel pin gift set, Includes all A and B package options which included: power steering, leather- wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, alloy wheels, Torsen limited slip differential, cruise control, power windows, headrest speakers, power antenna

 

Options: Hardtop, automatic transmission, ABS (standard with automatic transmission)

 

Production: 3,000--- described in the second brochure as "special edition", and in magazine advertisement as "limited-production" model

 

Base MSRP: $21,250 plus $395 (later $425) freight, plus options

 

Brochures: There was no M Edition marketing flier in 1994.  The model was shown in a magazine ad (picture above).

 

Notes:

 

Montego Blue Mica is the only M Edition color that was used as a regular color in subsequent years through 1997.   The chrome 7 spoke wheels best identify the ’94 M as well as M Edition badging etc., but 1994 is also the last year for the real oil pressure gage.  The Montego Blue Mica color with tan interior is an option for 95-97 Miata’s; they are sometimes confused as M Editions.  If not sure your best bet is to check the VIN and give Mazda USA a call.  The lower body sills are factory painted black from the factory.  Subsequent year Montego Blues (95-97) are body color from the factory. The '94 M was the only M-edition that came with the original style of leather seats that were designed to emulate the seats in certain Ferrari models.  By '95 the seat bottoms had been revised and are slightly more streamlined, had fewer seams and less pronounced bottom bolsters.  The fact that Mazda introduced Montego Blue as a base color for the '95-‘97 model year may have hurt its value in relation to other  M editions, but some owners counter that while this may be true it's still the only M (aside from the R-package models) that was a '94- a year that is often cited by many as a favorite.

 

 

 

 

1994 M Edition Window Sticker

Montego Blue ‘94M

Front air dam is an OEM Mazda accessory added by many owners.

 

The ’94 (and ’95) M side doors did not include armrests. Nardi Shift and wood

parking break handle (’94, ’96, ’97)

 

Interior features nardi shift knob and brake knob, M Edition floor mats,

      Miata side sill plates and leather interior seats (chrome vent rings

have been added by owner)

 

 

14” 7 Spoke Chrome Wheels are unique to the ’94 M

 

 

 

1995

1995 M Edition Magazine Advertisement

 

 

 

 

The 1995 M Edition was produced in Merlot Mica (color code A1Q) with tan leather interior, low-back seats, tan boot and top

 

Special Features: Leather Nardi shift knob, 15" BBS wheels with high- performance tires, cut pile carpeting, stainless sill plates, air conditioning, CD player and 4 speakers, ABS, exterior badge, M Edition key ring/badge/lapel pin, M Edition floor mats, and the Popular Equipment Package (formerly called B package) included power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, alloy wheels, Torsen limited slip differential, cruise control, power windows, power antenna

 

Options: hardtop, automatic transmission

 

Production: 3,500--- described in press release as "limited edition" and as "special M Edition", and in print ad as "rare production".

 

Base MSRP: $23,530 plus $450 freight, plus options

 

Brochures: There was a 2-sided color flier on the 1995 M Edition, and the M was featured in a magazine advertisement (pictured above)

 

Notes: The Merlot Mica color and the BBS wheels are very popular with M Edition enthusiasts.  The ’95 M production numbers at 3,500 units is the highest for the series.  This is the only NA Miata produced for the US market with special seats featuring an adjustable headrest.  The back of the seats also have the Miata script pressed into the leather, this is somewhat hard to see.  The lower body sills are factory painted black. Mazda also removed the chrome rings from both the tachometer and speedometer. 

 

.

 

1995 M Edition Window Sticker

Merlot Mica ‘95M

 

1995 M Edition Gift Set

 

 

 

 

1995 M Edition Interior, Leather Nardi Shift Knob

 

 

Exterior showing 15” BBS Wheels

 

 

OEM Dealer or Owner installed front mud flap

 

 

 

1996

1996 M Edition Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1996 M Edition was produced in Starlight Blue Mica (color code A5) with tan leather interior, tan boot and top

 

Special Features: Nardi wood shift knob, wood parking brake handle, 15" Enkei 5-spoke wheels with high-performance tires, M Edition floor mats, blue M Edition logo on seatbacks, M Edition stainless sill plates, ABS, air conditioning, Premium Sound System with CD player, door-mounted tweeters and headrest speakers, M edition logo on tachometer, exterior M Edition badge, M Edition key fob/badge/lapel pin, security system with remote entry and the Popular Equipment Package, which included: power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, alloy wheels, Torsen limited slip differential, rear sub frame brace, cruise control, power windows, power antenna

 

Optional: hardtop, automatic transmission

 

Production: 2,968--- described in flier as "limited-edition"

 

Base MSRP: $24,760 plus $450 freight, plus options

 

Brochures: There was a 2-sided color flier on the 1996 M Edition.  No other advertisement or mention was available.

 

Notes:  The ’96 M is the first in the series to offer M Edition script on the tachometer and rear back of seats.  New black faced MSSS stereo offered with side door tweeters.  This is the only Miata ever offered with a factory installed (actually port installed) alarm/remote system.  This system frequently malfunctions and will drain the battery if the car is allowed to sit for long periods of time. The ’96 M had the most expensive sticker price of any NA Miata.  The lower body sills are body color painted from the factory.

 

 

 

1996 M Edition Window Sticker (double click to zoom)

 

Starlight Blue Mica ‘96M

Interior features Nardi shift knob and break handles, M Edition side sills

 Interior side doors revert back to original armrests

 

 

 

1994, 1995 and 1996 M Edition Gift Set

 

 

 

 

15” Enkei Wheels

 

 

 

 

 

Instrument Cluster Showing M Edition Tach (’96-’97)

 

 

 

 

 

Remote and Security System Quick Reference Guide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1997

 

1997 M Edition Flyer

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 1997 M Edition was produced in Marina Green Mica (color code 13C) with tan leather interior, tan boot and top

 

Special Features: Nardi wood shift knob, wood parking brake handle, 15" polished 6-spoke alloy wheels with high-performance tires, cut pile carpeting, stainless sill plates, air conditioning, Premium Sound System with CD player and headrest speakers, exterior badge, M Edition logo on seatbacks and tachometer, M Edition pen/key fob/lapel pin, custom floor mats and Popular Equipment Package which included: power steering, leather-wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, Torsen limited slip differential, cruise control, power windows, power antenna, rear sub frame brace

 

Optional: hardtop, automatic transmission, ABS

 

Production: 3,002--- produced from December through February Launched at February 1997 Chicago Auto Show Described in sales flier as "limited edition"

 

Base MSRP: $24,485 plus $450 freight, plus options

 

Brochures: There was a 2-sided color flier on the 1997 M Edition, and the M was featured in two different magazine advertisements

 

Notes: The last of the series, all of the interior M Edition features of the 96 M are carried over with the exception of a blank out for the cigarette lighter. The 97 M features chrome six spoke 15” wheels (different from the ’94 M seven spoke 14” wheels) the lower body sills came are body color painted from the factory.

 

 

Marina Green Mica ‘97M

 

 

15” 6 spoke Chrome Wheels

 

 

M Edition Headrests (96-97)

 

 

Optional OEM Hardtop

 

Interior of ‘97M-Cigarette Lighter was a delete item

 

 

 

 

1997 M Edition Gift Set (NEED PICTURE)

1997 M Edition Window Sticker (NEED PICTURE)

 


 

Acknowledgements:

 

Gene Mallard  94M pictures   

Tom   Howlin  95M pictures

Steve McAfee             97M pictures

Chris Lambert Miata's In America

 

Various Car Domain Sites, for information

Miata.net

 

Updates, comments, corrections, pictures etc. are always welcome. Please e-mail me at   ntorch@roadrunner.com

  

Rev04/1/2/08

 



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