The Mazda MX-5 has always been known for its nimble, fun-to-drive characteristics. This is largely thanks to its balanced chassis, lightweight construction and sports-tuned suspension. So how do you make a great sports car like this even more fun and interesting? The boys at Mazda show us how in two different ways.
Mazda unveiled the MX-5 Spyder and the MX-5 Speedster at this year’s SEMA Show in Las Vegas. Mazda’s North American designers worked on the concept of taking "lightweight performance to the extreme," and what better way to do that than draw some inspiration from classic euro sports cars and race cars.
The MX-5 Spyder concept embraces the back-to-basics philosophy of a classic roadster. It ditches its standard convertible top for a "bikini top"--yes, that’s what Mazda actually calls that brown tent-like roof that’s reminiscent of the Porsche Boxster Spyder’s cover.
The car's bodykit, grille and tonneau cover are all done in carbon fiber. Prima leather trim by Spinneybeck gives the cabin that cozy vintage charm. Completing the MX-5's Spyder transformation are vented front rotors with four-piston-caliper Brembos, and lightweight 17-inch Yokohama Advan Racing RS II wheels wrapped in A048 225/45 Yokohama Advan tires.
The MX-5 Speedster, on the other hand, is a modern rendition of the classic open-top race cars of the '50s--sort of like a bite-size version of a Jaguar F-Type Project 7. A wind deflector replaces the standard model’s windshield, while retro headrest fairings complete the vintage racer look.
Mazda shaved some 113kg off the standard MX-5's curb weight by shedding unnecessary items and adopting lightweight panels and components that include carbon-fiber doors and Alcantara-trimmed carbon-fiber seats. In keeping with its sports-car theme, the car features adjustable coil-over suspension, vented front rotors with four-piston-caliper Brembos, and 16-inch Rays Extreme Gram Lights wheels shod with 225/50 semi-slick Kumho Ecsta V710 tires.
Both MX-5 concepts are powered by a 2.0-liter Skyactiv engine.
While the idea of a Spyder and a Speedster isn’t original, the fact that both concept rides are based on a relatively affordable sports car makes them much cooler. Now, if only Mazda would put at least one of these into production.