The third iteration of Mazda’s MX-5 Roadster, the NC, debuted in 2005. To modernise and update the MX-5 platform, the NC was redesigned from the ground up sharing no internal or external components with the preceding MX-5 NB. Along with its modern styling inspired by the Mazda Ibuki concept car in 2003, the MX-5 NC featured a new front wishbone/rear multilink setup shared with its RX-8 sibling, as well as modern-day amenities such as traction control and stability control, as well as a first for the MX-5 model, an electric folding roof to bring the MX-5 up to speed with similar sports cars in its class. While it weighed 100 kg more than the NB generation MX-5, the MX-5 NC offered more power from its 1.8L or 2.0L inline-four cylinder engines to make up for the addition of more safety and equipment, and continued to embody Mazda’s principles of ‘Jinba Ittai’, driver and car as one that defined the MX-5 chassis since the beginning.
Limited to just 3,500 units worldwide, Mazda also produced a ‘Launch Edition’ model of the MX-5 NC to mark the model’s launch into the market. Distinguishing them from standard MX-5 NCs, these models featured chrome exterior details (door handles, fog lamp surrounds, front grille, windscreen surrounding trim, and headlamp deflectors). For the interior, model-exclusive red leather seats with matching side door panels, leather heated steering wheel, handbrake lever, gear knob, aluminium-effect dashboard and a ‘Launch Edition’ centre console plaque denoting its model number. All ‘Launch Edition’ models featured a 2.0L inline-four MZR engine, mated to a 6-Speed manual transmission and a Torsen limited-slip differential as standard.
This is a 2005 Mazda MX-5 NC Launch Edition, finished in Galaxy Grey Metallic with a Black & Red interior. This example, model number 2,612 out of all 3,500 MX-5 NC Launch Editions ever made, was originally imported and sold as new as a Hong Kong market car. Modifications done to this MX-5 include an adjustable Cusco suspension setup, upgraded brass gearbox bushings (sourced from an aftermarket brand in the UK), an aluminium coolant tank, as well as upgraded brake discs, pads, and brake lines (the original brakes will be provided). This car also features a set of Enkei RPF1 wheels. Inside, the current owner has installed an Xtron Android head unit (with reversing camera and dash cam setup), as well as a Mishimoto gear shift knob and handbrake button. Recent maintenance carried out on this car under the current owner consists of regular fluid changes (engine oil, differential fluid, transmission fluid), a full wheel alignment, a replacement of the coolant expansion tank, and both windshield wipers. In addition, in July 2021, this car had a full rust-proof application done by Wai Fat Lubrication Services Co. in Causeway Bay. All of the service invoices, including the HKMI pre-purchase inspection report performed before the current owner acquired the car will be provided. The current owner does report there are some stone chips on the front, and from the HKMI pre-purchase inspection report, the rear driver’s side fender was found to have been previously repaired, though the report graded the repair work to be of professional grade, with no other issues found with the car. This MX-5 has had six previous owners, has a current mileage of 47,412 km and the current road license is valid until 22nd June, 2023.
The Galaxy Grey Metallic exterior is in great condition all around. As reported by the seller, there are only the smallest of stone chips on the front bumper from regular use over time and as reported by the HKMI pre-purchase inspection, the rear driver’s side fender was previously repaired, but this repair was done by professional standards using paint matching the original Galaxy Grey Metallic colour code – the body panel itself shows no surface imperfections. The rest of the body panels have no previous accident damage to report of and all are free of any blemishes or imperfections. The primary exterior lights – the headlights, taillights, and side markers illuminate normally. Both side doors, the bonnet and rear boot lid open and close shut without any problems. Both side door mirrors and door handles are in excellent condition. All of the chrome exterior trim pieces, exclusive to the MX-5 NC Launch Edition models have been preserved and all of their chrome surfaces still shine under light with no surface patina. All of the exterior badges – from the Mazda logos to the rear MX-5 emblem are fully intact. The manually-operated soft top roof has no surface tears or sagging in its material – it also folds down and retracts into place without any issues. While the rear passenger side wheel does show some subtle surface marks, it can benefit from a refurbishment to remove these aesthetic imperfections; the rest of the Enkei RPF1 wheels are in excellent condition.
Interior and Trim
Step inside and the MX-5’s compact interior greets both occupants – with several features exclusive to this example as a Launch Edition model. Both red leather seats are firmly supportive of both occupants and all have preserved their original red leather upholstery – as reported by the current owner, the lower driver’s seat side bolster shows some visible wear, but a refurbishment can restore its original appearance. Both side door panels are free of any surface scratches, as are both lower-side door sills and chrome-finished scuff plates. The leather steering wheel is in excellent condition. The dashboard and all of the surrounding trim are in excellent condition with no surface wear. The Xtron Android-based touchscreen head unit operates normally – the reversing camera immediately displays when the reverse gear is engaged. The Mishimoto gear shift knob is fully intact – as is the shift boot and handbrake cover. The Launch Edition plaque located in front of the gear shift lever is present.
Engine and Running Gear
Start up the 2.0L MZR inline-four and it springs to life with its spritely engine note. As expected of a typical Mazda MX-5, this naturally-aspirated unit revs easily up to the higher RPM ranges, with power delivered in a linear fashion. The 6-Speed manual transmission continues to deliver the same entertaining experience as with preceding MX-5s – enhanced with the brass gearbox bushings, gear changes are snappy and direct to do, with plenty of feedback from all the driver inputs, from the steering to the pedals. The Torsen limited-slip differential functions as it should, allowing for this rear-wheel drive roadster to remain grippy and planted as it is pushed through any degree of corners. With the upgraded brake system on this MX-5, the brakes feel even more powerful and direct to use when applied. The NC generation of Mazda’s MX-5 modernised Mazda’s roadster recipe for the 2000s – adding an updated exterior design, more comfort features, more power and an improved suspension setup to keep the MX-5 fresh for the era. Even when modernised for the current generation of enthusiasts and cars, if you are looking for a lightweight, rear-wheel drive roadster, the answer is always ‘Miata’ – just like this MX-5 Launch Edition (NC) now available at the Car Farm.
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