The light fan­tas­tic

Mazda’s MX-5 con­cept car is full of sur­prises, writes PAUL GOVER

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Front Page -

THE 20th an­niver­sary of the Mazda MX-5 has thrown up some­thing spe­cial as a cel­e­bra­tion. The Su­perlight is an ex­treme show ma­chine which demon­strates how much is left in the world’s favourite sports car.

The stripped-down, funked-up MX-5 does without a roof and any cabin lux­u­ries to be­come a road racer well be­yond the brief of the orig­i­nal de­sign.

The Su­perlight con­cept comes as a com­plete sur­prise, even to the top man at Mazda Aus­tralia, and was not even built at the MX-5 cen­tre in Ja­pan.

In­stead, it is the prod­uct of Mazda Europe, cre­ated at the com­pany’s Euro­pean de­sign cen­tre at Oberursel in Ger­many.

‘‘I have to ad­mit I knew noth­ing about it,’’ Mazda Aus­tralia manag­ing di­rec­tor Doug Dick­son says. ‘‘But it looks like a fan­tas­tic lit­tle car. I’d have one in my drive­way to­mor­row.’’

Un­for­tu­nately, that’s un­likely be­cause the body mod­i­fi­ca­tions mean the MX-5 Su­perlight would not com­ply with the Aus­tralian De­sign Rules that ap­ply to all cars sold here.

The Su­perlight will be un­veiled next month at the Frankfurt Mo­tor Show, when Mazda will re­veal the changes which it says have made big im­prove­ments to per­for­mance, han­dling, fuel econ­omy and CO2 emis­sions.

Dick­son be­lieves there is no chance of the Su­perlight go­ing into full-scale pro­duc­tion.

‘‘I’d have to say if it were some­thing Mazda was go­ing to do glob­ally we would have been con­sulted.

‘‘It’s not some­thing we’re con­sid­er­ing. But it looks very nice.’’

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