The two-seater mar­ket just got more de­sir­able

The Witness - Wheels - - MOTORING -

MAZDA showed two very de­sir­able Spy­ders at last week’s Spe­cialty Equip­ment Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion (Sema) Show in Las Ve­gas and the good news is, un­like most con­cept cars, these will go on sale.

The first Spy­der is what Mazda de­scribes as a “ruth­lessly ef­fi­cient MX-5 Miata Speed­ster Evo­lu­tion”, while the sec­ond is “the stealth-like” MX-5 RF Kuro, based on the 2017 MX-5 RF cabri­o­let.

The MX-5 Speed­ster is no stranger to gawk­ers at auto shows, hav­ing made its de­but at the 2015 Sema and the Good­wood Fes­ti­val of Speed in the U.K, but Mazda’s de­sign­ers in Irvine, Cal­i­for­nia, have ex­per­i­mented to see just how much lighter they could make their project.

Led by de­sign man­ager Ken Saward, the team ex­tracted what re­mained un­der­neath its dash­board and re­placed its gauges with a dig­i­tal dis­play.

They swapped its Brembo front brakes with the lighter ro­tors and calipers from the MX-5 Sport and Grand Tour­ing mod­els to fur­ther the weight re­duc­tion. Its stock lead-acid bat­tery was re­placed with a Braille GreenLite G20 Lithium bat­tery that weighs just over two kilo­grams. Ul­ti­mately, the de­sign team shaved 45 kg from the MX-5 Speed­ster, or 15% from the orig­i­nal MX-5 soft top’s start­ing weight. Now, it weighs a scant 898 kg

“With MX-5 Speed­ster evo­lu­tion, our goal was to fur­ther de­liver the essence of what MX-5 has rep­re­sented for the past 27 years — lightweight en­gi­neer­ing and pure driv­ing joy,” said Saward, who owns and races a Spec Miata. He said that in the fu­ture, the com­pany might see if it can re­duce the weight fur­ther.

The 2017 MX-5 RF will be go­ing on sale early next year. Called MX-5 RF Kuro, it is a car that also adopts much of the MX-5 Global Cup tech­nol­ogy but in a much more street-fo­cused pack­age.

“We wanted to give MX-5 RF Kuro a stealth look to com­ple­ment its sleek pro­file, pro­vid­ing sub­tlety and pur­pose,” said Saward. “As we move our brand in a di­rec­tion we call Mazda Pre­mium, we want to em­brace our long­stand­ing mo­tor-sport her­itage and reach for­ward with breath­tak­ing de­signs like the MX-5 RF.” Both Spy­der ver­sions of the MX-5 were built us­ing parts that Mazda au­tocross and race­car driv­ers can buy via Maz­daMo­tor­ for their MX5s. — Wheels Re­porter.


Mazda, al­ready cred­ited with mak­ing some of the pret­ti­est pas­sen­ger cars on the road to­day, in­tro­duced two head-turn­ers at last week’s Spe­cialty Equip­ment Mar­ket­ing As­so­ci­a­tion Show in Las Ve­gas.

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