What If Mazda Built an MX-5 Miata Wagon? It’d Look Like This

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On the whole, the automotive media has been enthusiastic—to say the least—about every Mazda MX-5 Miata derivative, no matter the generation. The smiles-per-dollar ratio has always been high across four distinct models, and for most the ability to stow all (or in the case of the MX-5 RF, some) of the roof is at least a bonus if not the major selling point. But there’s always been a small, vocal contingent that has wished for the rigidity or looks of a permanently fixed top.

And Mazda has sometimes fed that fire. The M Coupe Concept of 1996 lit it, and the extremely rare production 2003 MX-5 Coupe fanned it white hot. Just 22 pounds heavier than the roadster, the second-generation NB production Coupe seemed like a car that could become a reality in the States. And given the relative  success of the later Toyota 86 and Subaru BRZ, in retrospect maybe it could have. But instead, Mazda came up with a couple of compromises: the power-retractable hardtop version of the NC, and now the ND MX-5 RF with its fascinating targa roof.

But there’s no factory fixed-top ND-generation MX-5, and there’s not likely to be. That’s too bad, because these renders by Spanish artist José Antonio Aranda are exactly the sort of thing that gets us riled up. First, there’s the look itself. The shooting-brake body style has a long history in non-American markets, so there’s a bit of forbidden mystique about it. There’s also the promise of extra rigidity to reward the driver and improve performance on a track or canyon road. And finally, that extra bit of utility in the covered cargo area makes a weekend getaway with a friend or partner easier and more comfortable.

There’s more than a little of the car enthusiasts affectionately refer to as the Clown Shoe in the design, too: the Z3 and M Coupe, which never looked quite this sleek but have a rabid following particularly in M form. To be fair, Mazda would like to move its entire brand upmarket, and a shooting brake derivative could justify a higher price tag, fancier interior bits and mechanical components, and possibly a stouter drivetrain without influencing the regular Miata’s carefully studied minimalism.

Don’t hold your breath, though. Mazda’s come this far without truly satisfying American fixed-roof fans, and we’re not mad. The regular MX-5 is great. But we can daydream about what might be along with this particular artist.

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