Naked attraction?

Gorgona Cars’ Concept NM (for naked monoposto) is a novel reworking of the Mk1 MX-5


DID YOU THINK THE CRAZE FOR OPENTOP cars without a windscreen was a) reserved for those with money to burn and b) a fad you’d hoped would go away? We’ve bad news if you did, because here’s another.

Yes it’s a gen-1 Mazda MX-5 (NA in MX-5 speak) without a roof, windscreen or passenger seat. It has been created by Rome-based Gorgona Cars and is called the Concept NM (for ‘naked monoposto’) and it’s inspired by a similar concept Mazda produced soon after it launched its iconic roadster.

To create the NM, Gorgona has not only removed the ’screen, but has also welded both doors shut from their midway point down to the sills to increase rigidity and body stiffness (the top of the door still opens to aid entry and exit). The rigid tonneau that covers the passenger area of the cockpit also tightens things up. Within the Jaguar D-type-esque fairing behind the driver is a roll-over hoop, while beneath the bodywork there are reinforcem­ents to the chassis and subframes. As a result, the company claims a doubling of the standard car’s rigidity.

Despite the strengthen­ing, it also claims the car’s weight has been lowered. Partly this is due to the removal of the roof but also to the fitment of optional lightweigh­t components – bonnet, front wings and doors can be specified in carbonfibr­e if you wish – for a claimed 830kg dry weight.

Beyond the reinforcem­ents, the chassis work continues with the fitment of new adjustable (compressio­n and rebound) coilover suspension, stiffer bushing, a more powerful braking system and 15-inch Enkei RPF1 alloys fitted with Yokohama AO52 tyres. Aerodynami­c modificati­ons include a flat floor, rear diffuser and a front splitter to help balance the aero over and under the new body.

Inside is an Alcantara-lined cockpit with no radio or air-conditioni­ng but the welcome addition of a

RCC race seat and Momo steering wheel. Minimalist on a maximum scale, if not quite to Caterham levels.

And then there’s the engine, which comes from the latest-generation MX-5. It’s the 2-litre Skyactiv-g four, and with the optional power kit fitted there’s a claimed 225bhp and 166lb ft available. Drive is via Mazda’s six-speed manual gearbox with a mechanical limited-slip diff.

More good news is that, unlike the recent batch of windscreen-less barchettas, Gorgona isn’t charging a seven-figure sum for its NM. Although this doesn’t mean it’s exactly giving them away either, and many will probably question the wisdom of ‘investing’ €70,000 plus VAT (call it £73k) on a base car (which you have to provide) that you can buy for as little as £1000. But man maths and cars have rarely made sense, which is why someone paid £730,000 for a Mk3 Escort recently. That makes this little sports car almost cheap at a tenth of the price.

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 ?? ?? Above: conversion turns gen-1 MX-5 into a single-seater trackday special; the area where the passenger seat once sat is now covered by a rigid tonneau
Above: conversion turns gen-1 MX-5 into a single-seater trackday special; the area where the passenger seat once sat is now covered by a rigid tonneau
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