The Roadster…that Isn’t A Roadster

I thought I’d spice this celebration of all things Mazda Roadster/Miata/MX-5 with a look at a car that remains one of the most memorable NBs I have ever driven. The year was 2004, and Mazda set up a cool drive event of a bunch of new limited edition Roadsters which, on top of the limited edition Turbo model, included this “factory” built Coupe. Not many of these cars were made, hand crafted by one of Mazda’s subsidiary coachworks companies where the metal roofs were hand welded onto the base Roadster bodies.

The result addressed what many fans of Japan’s most affordable driver’s car had wanted Mazda to do for years. The NB Roadster Coupe was only sold in Japan and remains a very rare sight on the road.

I remember the slightly customized Type A version I drove, sporting Volk Racing wheels and a simple bodykit, felt great around the handling track that Mazda set up, more rigid and precise than its open top counterpart for obvious reasons.

All Roadsters have always followed a simple recipe, where low weigh and simplicity takes precedence over power and performance, forcing the driver to push hard behind the wheel to extract the most out of the car. The 160 HP the 1.8L version of the Coupe I drove that day, may have felt a little uninspiring compared to what we are used today, but it was plenty to have enough fun with.

While the NC, that followed a year later, did come (eventually) with a hardtop foldable roof, the NB remains the only factory Roadster to have ever been offered as a Coupe and therefore an important addition to our little Roadster Festival!

-Dino Dalle Carbonare

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16 comments

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1

this is so cool, but i'd still rather have the convertible ;)

2

I love it! Although I do wish more were built, and sold internationally.

3
4

In before the obligatory asinine "not low enough" comment.

5
speedhunters_dino

@FunctionFirst Come on it was 2004 and it was a "factory" car LOL

6

I forgot which video game I saw this in, but I always assumed it was just a one-off special. I never looked into it. Thanks Speed Hunters for being awesome! Theres a reason this website is on my daily routine ;)

7

From the side it has the profile of the Lexus SC to me! I cant decide if its nice or bizarre!

8

Love the roof, but not fond of the rest of the styling...

9

@inspector_exacto I think it was Tokyo Extreme Racer Drift

10

@Dshu   @inspector_exacto YES! DRIFT! Of course! Before typing my post I looked through the car lists of Tokyo Xtreme Racer zero, 3, and Import Tuner Challenge on xbox (still tokyo xtreme racer but with a stupid name for some reason) but I completely forgot about the drift ones lol

11

I wish these were sold in the states.

12

Oh what should have been. & powered by an MZR turbo motor instead

13
Speedhunters Bryn

I like that, thanks Dino... Thinking what it would like crossed with a Spoon S2000...

14

Canadian tire special! Looks sooo gay.

15

Canadian tire special! Looks sooo gay.

16

@FunctionFirst Its not low enough.... lulz ;)

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