2016 Mazda MX-5 Speedster Concept

2016 mazda mx-5 speedster concept – DOC653395

The fourth-generation Mazda MX-5 Miata is so new that it barely arrived in U.S. dealerships. Between its official U.S. launch in November 2014 and on-sale date, however, Mazda introduced no fewer than three iterations of the sporty roadster. The MX-5 Cup Racecar broke cover at the 2014 SEMA Show, the Accessories Design Concept surfaced at the 2015 Chicago Auto Show, and the MX-5 RS arrived as a Japan-only model in early 2015. With 2016 just around the corner, Mazda has announced plans to showcase two more concept cars at the 2015 SEMA Show, one of which is the MX-5 Speedster.

Details are scarce as of this writing, but Mazda says these new concept cars are “two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5. ” The company went as far as to say that Mazda designers “wanted to see what they could do if that idea was taken to the extreme,” but we won’t find out how extreme the Speedster concept really is until we can see it in the metal.

Mazda should spill the beans on November 3rd, when the MX-5 Speedster concept will break cover at the 2015 SEMA Show. Meanwhile, keep reading to find out what we already know about this special roadster.

Exterior

Mazda MX-5

Mazda released just one aerial photo of the MX-5 Speedster thus far, and from the looks of it the concept seems identical to the standard model from the waist down. What makes it different is the barchetta-style windscreen and rollover hoops. Though technically not a barchetta, as these vehicles are known to either have no or very small doors without exterior handles, the MX-5 Speedster borrows many features from 1950s roadsters. The lightweight wind deflector that replaced the traditional windshield and the prominent rollover hoops give the Miata a racy appearance.

In many ways, the MX-5 Speedster combines everything that’s cool on the Miata

In many ways, the MX-5 Speedster combines everything that’s cool on the Miata, Jaguar F-Type Project 7, and Caterham 620R in one compact roadster. And that’s just awesome!

Moving over to what we can’t see in the teaser, the Speedster might have received slightly revised front and rear fascias. Though I don’t expect anything radical in that department, the roadster is likely to feature some carbon-fiber components such as a front splitter and a rear diffuser. Mazda did say the Speedster is “significantly lighter than the 2,332-pound MX-5” and I’m guessing it should also have a set of lightweight wheels to roll on.

The Japanese company also published a list of aftermarket companies that supplied parts for these projects, including RAYS Wheels, but it’s yet clear whether the racing rims were fitted on the Speedster or the Spyder. It could be both, but we won’t know for sure until SEMA kicks off.

What I do know for a fact is that the MX-5 Speedster was painted Blue Ether, a dark shade of blue with gray accents.

Interior

Mazda MX-5

There isn’t much to tell about the interior based on this teaser at first glance, but on closer inspection I spotted a revised driver seat, a cleaner center stack, a two-tone center console with light brown accents, and a 12-o’clock stripe for the steering wheel. The dashboard is also smaller now to make way for the carbon-fiber wind deflector. As with all barchetta-style vehicles, the MX-5 Speedster doesn’t have a roof.

Drivetrain

Mazda had nothing to say about the Speedster’s drivetrain, but it’s safe to assume the concept is motivated by the same 2.0-liter, SkyActiv-G engine found in the standard model. The four-cylinder unit cranks out 155 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque in the regular Miata, and I wouldn’t be surprised if Mazda kept these figures unaltered. Because it is lighter, the MX-5 Speedster should be significantly quicker, even with a standard engine under its hood.

Because it is lighter, the MX-5 Speedster should be significantly quicker, even with a standard engine under its hood.

Despite rumors that Mazda might be working on a turbocharged version of the MX-5, I have strong doubts such a powerplant will debut on this concept. If anything, the naturally aspirated four-pot will get a few extra ponies and pound-feet.

A six-speed manual transmission is likely to route the power to the rear wheels, but Mazda could opt of a bespoke version of the Miata’s gearbox. Based on the list of suppliers involved in the project, the Speedster should feature a KW suspension system and H&R race-spec springs.

Conclusion

Mazda MX-5

When you take an already cool roaster such as the MX-5 and give it the barchetta treatment, while also making it lighter and sportier, you have a winner on your hands. Sure, we still don’t know much about the Speedster, but based on the teaser and the few details we have, I’m already annoyed that it’s only a concept car.

LOVE IT

  • Barchetta-style bodywork
  • Aftermarket, race-spec components
  • Lighter than the standard Miata

LEAVE IT

  • Just a concept car
  • Styling likely identical to the regular MX-5 from the waist down
  • Not many details to run by as of this writing

Press Release

The Mazda MX-5 Miata has been an exercise in honing the concept of a lightweight sports car for more than 26 years, created solely for driving exhilaration.

But for the 2015 SEMA Show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, Mazda designers wanted to see what they could do if that idea was taken to the extreme. What they created were two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5: The 2016 MX-5 Spyder Concept and 2016 MX-5 Speedster Concept.

MX-5 Spyder captures the character of a vintage roadster and translates it into a modern-day design, including bespoke leather interior details that were painstakingly crafted, and featuring a new Mercury Silver concept paint color.

MX-5 Speedster is a study in the extremes of lightweight, purpose-built performance, paying homage to minimalist roadsters of the 1950s. The Blue Ether-painted MX-5 Speedster is uncompromised in its approach to wind-in-the-hair driving, going so far as to eschew a traditional windshield for a lighter deflector.

Both cars are significantly lighter than the 2,332-lbs. MX-5 roadster that customers can purchase at dealers and come with a host of conceptual and aftermarket pieces and fabrication from partners including Racing Beat, Haartz Corporation, ASC – American Sunroof Corporation, Makin Industries/RAYS Wheels, KW Suspensions, Delta Seat, H&R Springs, Lusch, AC&A Manufacturing, Franks Fab Shop, Long Road Racing and SIM Specialty Interior Manufacturing.

MX-5 Spyder and Speedster concepts will be on display at the SEMA Show on November 3-6 at the in the Mazda booth, #11647 in the North Hall.

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