Geelong Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

MAZDA re­vealed two de­sign con­cepts at the SEMA Show in Las Ve­gas, based on its new Mazda MX-5. They are an MX-5 Spy­der and Speed­ster which demon­strated vastly dif­fer­ent takes light­weight, open-air per­for­mance.

Light­weight, fun-to-drive, roadster … three things that have served as the foun­da­tion for the Mazda MX-5 since its 1989 in­tro­duc­tion and con­tinue to serve new fourth-gen­er­a­tion model.

Fo­cused, light­weight en­gi­neer­ing is a guid­ing prin­ci­ple of ev­ery Mazda ve­hi­cle made with SKY­AC­TIV Tech­nol­ogy, al­low­ing for greater ef­fi­ciency, im­proved per­for­mance and ag­ile han­dling dy­nam­ics.

But here, that sense of light­weight is taken to the ex­treme.

Mazda’s North Amer­i­can de­sign­ers harkened back to vin­tage road­sters cre­ate thor­oughly mod­ern, be­spoke con­cepts for what a light­weight per­for­mance car should be.

The re­sults are the MX-5 Spy­der and Speed­ster con­cepts.

MX-5 Spy­der’s bikini top was de­vel­oped by ASC – Amer­i­can Sun­roof Cor­po­ra­tion with the fab­ric sup­plied Haartz.

Other high­lights in­clude its spe­cially for­mu­lated Mer­cury Sil­ver paint colour, car­bon fi­bre aero kit, grille in­take and body ton­neau cover light­weight Yoko­hama ADVAN Rac­ing RS II 17inch wheels. Its in­te­rior is adorned in Spin­ney­beck “PRIMA” nat­u­ral leather, lend­ing a sense of vin­tage mo­tor­ing from be­hind the wheel.

MX-5 Speed­ster pares roadster back to essentials for an unadul­ter­ated, wind-in-the­hair driv­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, evoca­tive of the open-top sports cars of the 1950s – even go­ing so far as to lose

wind­shield be re­placed by a de­flec­tor.

The ded­i­ca­tion re­quired cre­ate such a fo­cused ma­chine led the de­sign staff build the Speed­ster with cus­tom 16-inch RAYS Ex­treme Gram Lights wheels, ben­e­fit­ing MX-5 less un­sprung weight. Speed­ster is fin­ished in a new colour called Blue Ether.

Other de­tails on Speed­ster in­clude an ad­justable coilover sus­pen­sion, which low­ers it by 30mm com­pared with the pro­duc­tion-car spec­i­fi­ca­tions, a Rac­ing Beat cen­tre-mount ex­haust, an in­te­rior re­trimmed in Al­can­tara, car­bon fi­bre Mu-Len Delta seats cre­ated ex­clu­sively for MX-5 and doors. The lighter-weight ma­te­ri­als have helped re­duce the weight of the car by more than 100kg, putting it well un­der one tonne.

De­sign­ers worked from con­cep­tion to con­struc­tion to put

SEMA con­cepts to­gether, part­ner­ing af­ter­mar­ket parts sup­pli­ers and South­ern Cal­i­for­nia per­for­mance shops cre­ate them.

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