1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Project Miata Lives

November 24, 2010

97_Project_Miata_edmunds_kraftwerks_f34_dyno.jpg 

In 1994, Mazda introduced that nadir of Miata-ness, the special edition M-Edition, which persisted like a lingering sore through the '97 model year at which point Mazda mercifully euthanised the concept.

Essentially loaded Miatas with different paint, trim and hideous chrome wheels, the M-Edition was that shameless money-grab by automakers -- the badge and sticker job. M-Editions were the poodle chariots of Miatas. The wine-and-cheese version. They were given names like Fifi by the kind of people that name their cars.

They're also a goldmine for hardcore Miata enthusiasts.

Say what?

If you're befuddled, good. And I swear I'll tie this in to Project Miata, but you'll have to hit the jump first.

Being loaded, all M-Editions packing a manual gearbox also came equipped with a Torsen limited-slip differential. Meaning that unlike other trim levels, there are no questions or guesswork when you find one for sale in the classifieds or craigslist -- stick equals Torsen.

And being the range-topping frilly-frill version, M-Editions tended to be bought by affluent (read: older) buyers that maintained their cars well and drove them only as hard as they needed to get to bingo night on time.

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