The folks at Savage Geese were lucky enough to take the Mazda MX-5 Miata M Coupe concept out of the brand's archives in Irvine, California, and filmed the experience of taking the unique car on the road. Age hasn't been too kind to the machine. Still, it's a treat to see the one-off underway on the street.
Gallery: Mazda Miata M Coupe Concept Video
In an interview with designer Tom Matano, he said that the idea behind the M Coupe was to show that the Miata didn't necessarily have to be a roadster. The new fiber-glass, fixed roof featured a subtle double-bubble element and expansive rear glass. Matano also paid special attention to raise the rear fenders to match the new proportions better. A Remus exhaust is the only powertrain change.
save over $3,400 on average off MSRP* on a new Mazda MX-5 Miata
Inside, the loss of the folding roof opens up more space, and Matano's design adds a parcel shelf there. There are also trim changes like unique seats with M logos on the headrests, suede door panels, Momo pedals, and a Momo gearshift.
The Miata M Coupe was a one-off that debuted at the 1996 New York Auto Show. The team only had four weeks to put it together, according to Matano. With this in mind, it's understandable that the Savage Bees hosts have complaints about the suspension setup and fiberglass pieces adding weight in comparison to the roadster, which appears to have a detrimental effect on performance. With the proper engineering time, a production version of the coupe may have been better.