Now in its fourth decade of production, the Mazda MX-5 Miata seems to have a unique recipe that makes it unbeatable in the sports car segment. It all revolves around minimalism and an analog driving experience, but what if the Japanese carmaker tried to throw a coupe into the mix? We’ve brought along a pixel work that explores this avenue under the MX-5 Miata Hot Hatch banner.
A hot hatchback, a coupe, a shooting brake—we need not get lost in labels here, which is why we made room for two of them in the title. The idea is that this 3D creation takes the current fourth-generation (ND) Mazda Miata and gifts it with a fixed roof and a hatch.
As always, digital artist Sugarchow (aka sugardesign_1) delivers a mature take, with the seamless integration of the new styling cues perfectly resembling a production car. Would it work, though?
Mazda has built an MX-5 Coupe in the past, but only briefly
Ever since the 1989 introduction of the MX-5, there’s never been a body style that disappointed buyers. Mazda has flirted with the idea of a coupe in the past. It all started with the NA-gen M Coupe Concept of 1996, while the NB generation even got a production model, albeit with just 179 units of the Japan-only 2003 MX-5 Coupe being built.
Back in 2006, the NC-generation Miata got a Power Retractable Hard Top version. And it would be another decade before the company introduced the ND MX-5 Miata RF (Retractable Fastback), essentially the Targa version of the current car. However, Mazda has stopped short of building a fixed-roof version of its compact sports car on a large scale.
The competition for such a Miata derivative is there, though. Now, enthusiasts took to the comments section of the Instagram post below to suggest that the MX-5 Miata Hot Hatch, as the artist labeled it, would serve as a budget-friendly alternative to the now-retired FF and GTC4Lusso shooting brakes Ferrari used to prepare the world for the upcoming Purosangue crossover.
We had a good time reading that, but out there in the real world even thinking of the also-departed BMW Z3 (M) Coupe (aka The Clownshoe) is a bit of a stretch, since that kind of Bavarian machine isn’t coming back.
Mazda MX-5 Miata Coupe vs Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ
Instead, the Toyota GR86 and Subaru BRZ, now in their second generation, would serve as the main rivals of the Mazda (not this GR86 “Land Cruiser” that Sugarchow envisioned, though). The Toyobaru duo and the Miata are already rivals (just check their MSRPs and you’ll notice they start at about $27,000), but the overlap is just partial.
However, the Mazda is lighter, only seats two and, of course, comes with an open top. Meanwhile, the GR86 and BRZ are less scale-friendly, pack a meatier punch and come in 2+2 coupe form.
Given that sports cars aren’t great sellers in general, we don’t see Mazda adding a hot hatch/shooting brake/coupe derivative to the MX-5 Miata range, even though this would be a breath of fresh air for a model that’s been in production since 2015.
Instead, the carmaker is expected to stick to the open-air mix that has ensured a top position for the affordable sports car since its introduction. Hey, even Porsche tried to one-up the Miata with the Boxster, but ended up with an upmarket offering that arguably caters to a different audience.
Honda S2000? It grew into an icon, but it hardly gave the MX-5 a hard time and it’s been off the market for over a decade—this CGI work talks about an electric revival for the S2K. Speaking of which, while Porsche is almost ready to introduce its first production battery-powered sports car, Honda is also expected to pursue this path. As for Mazda, the automaker has already confirmed that the next iteration of the MX-5 Miata will be electrified, albeit without mentioning the extent of the battery power.