What is it?
This is the Mazda MX-5 Icon, a name that shows no shortage of confidence and one that some will argue sounds better when it is bestowed by others rather than self-awarded. No matter, for Mazda has a track record here, having launched three Icon editions previously, in 2000, 2005 and 2007. As here with this fourth-generation car, all have been sold in limited numbers, and all have sold well.
This time round, just 600 examples are being made, each resplendent with a plaque between the passengers' shoulders to prove it. To all intents and purposes, the MX-5 Icon is a well-kitted, well-priced 1.5 SE-L Nav bedecked with striking paintwork on its door mirrors, rear spoiler and front skirt, some stickers down the side, and the addition of some natty alloys and a temptingly long kit list that would normally cost rather more than the additional £800 it does when packaged together here.
It would be easy to be cynical, of course: reasonable value and eye-catching paintwork do not make a great car, but it would be a mean-spirited soul that begrudged the MX-5 - perhaps the least shouty sports car in the history of the genre - an opportunity to celebrate inherent qualities that have, to date, earned it a 4.5-star road test verdict with this engine, plus a ‘junior’ handling day win in 2015, shortly before delivering a mauling to some significantly more pricey opposition in handling day proper.