Mazda Miata and Toyota GT86 Special Editions Debut in U.K.; Headed to U.S.?

By Jacob Brown | June 27, 2012
In the U.K., two of our favorite Japanese sports cars are getting some love, as the Mazda MX-5 Miata and Toyota GT86, known here as the Scion FR-S, are getting special editions in their honor with some performance upgrades. Known as the Mazda MX-5 Kuro edition in the U.K., the Miata is receiving a black roof, black mirrors, gunmetal-colored 17-inch wheels, and black accents around its grille and headlights. Additionally, it gets a larger sport exhaust and a rear diffuser that we're sure channels air better. But it's mostly for cosmetic purposes. Mazda plans to build 200 soft top Kuro Editions and 400 of the hardtop convertible, with each model available with Mazda's 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine offered in U.S.-spec Miatas or a 1.8-liter engine not sold here. The word "kuro" means black, in case you couldn't figure it out by what all the car has to offer, and it comes with all of Mazda's bells and whistles available in addition to some neat graphics on the sides of each car. It's mostly just a "cool paint" edition car to celebrate Mazda re-entering the 24 Hours of LeMans next year, entering the British Touring Car Championship, and letting you know the company is still relevant. We're not missing much with this one. It's set to debut at the Goodwood Festival of Speed and goes on sale July 1 in the U.K.
What we are missing a little of is the Toyota GT86. As the first product from Toyota Racing Development (TRD) to hit the U.K., it takes basically what is our Scion FR-S and infuses it with larger, 18-wheels and tires, bigger brakes, some revised styling, and a new exhaust system. With the freer-flowing exhaust, Toyota says it's good for about 10 more horsepower than the standard car's 197. The power is still routed to the rear wheels via a six-speed manual transmission, but the GT86 will also come with a short-throw shifter kit to liven up response. Toyota has said before that we would be receiving hotter versions of the Scion FR-S, so this TRD version of the Toyota GT86 foreshadows what we may see here in the U.S. Like the Miata Kuro, the GT86 will make its official debut at this month's Goodwood Festival of Speed. Unlike the Miata, look for more of the TRD go-fast parts to make their way to the U.S. as dealership extras and probably in a special edition for us later down the line. Sources: Autocar via Motor Trend, Mazda U.K.