There is a version of the Mazda MX-5 Miata that you’ve probably never seen at your local Mazda dealer. It’s called the Self-Empowerment Driving Vehicle, and it’s sold locally in Japan. This version of the MX-5 features right-hand drive and is specifically designed to assist people with disabilities in enjoying what the Miata has to offer.
The Impractical Becomes Practical
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is probably one of the most impractical cars on the market. It’s a two-seater coupe that’s even smaller than many of its rivals, with a cramped cabin and small cargo area. However, its appeal has always been that it’s an affordable sports coupe that’s fun to drive.
The Self-Empowerment version sold by Mazda in Japan has actually been around for a while, but it’s always a good idea to highlight whenever automakers adapt vehicles to those who have physical impairments. Most conversion vehicles of this type are larger, like minivans, so it’s also exciting to have something like the Miata as a choice. This version of the Miata is sold with either a fabric roof or a Targa top.
One big change for the Self-Empowerment version of the Miata is the control grip next to the center console. This lever basically replaces the brake and accelerator, so instead of using pedals, you would pull it to speed up and push it to slow down. There is also an optional knob on the steering wheel, sort of like a joystick, that you can use to steer with only one hand.
A wheelchair can be stored in the passenger seat, and a cover is available, as well as a side support to assist in getting in and out of the car. This version of the MX-5 comes only with a six-speed automatic transmission. In Japan, the car is marketed as the Roadster and Roadster RF. The Self-Empowermentadditions cost about $2,500 in US currency at the current exchange rates. Mazda also sells the MX-30 crossover EV, the CX-5 crossover, and the 2 supermini with these additions.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata is All Sold Out
In other news, it might be hard to find any Miata model at a Mazda dealer in Japan for the remainder of the year. Mazda Japan has announced that it’s no longer accepting orders for the MX-5. According to the web pages for the Roadster and Roadster SF, sales of the vehicles will end as soon as the stock at the store is exhausted. It also adds that stock at the store may be sold as-is and specific options and body color requests might go unfilled.
The current generation of the MX-5 Miata has been out for quite some time, so an update is expected on the little roadster soon. A test mule was recently spotted and seemed to include some exterior design updates, including a wider stance. Mazda has confirmed that the next MX-5 will continue to run on a RWD platform and a gas engine, but a mild hybrid powertrain might be in the works as well.
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