Cribbing the same formula that created the iconic Porsche 1600 Speedster more than half a century ago, the Mazda MX-5 Speedster concept is designed to emphasize the raw fundamentals of driving and little else. Wearing a small wind deflector in place of a windshield and finished in a bespoke shade named Blue Ether, the MX-5 Speedster concept clearly is intended to heighten the intensity of the man-and-machine ethos that already defines the production MX-5 Miata.
Weight savings is key to the speedster philosophy, and this MX-5 addresses the tenet via several methods. Unsprung weight is reduced via custom 16-by-8-inch Rays Extreme Gram Lights wheels wrapped in Kumho Ecsta V710 225/50 tires (with vintage-style lettering!), while carbon-fiber doors, synthetic interior leather trim, and custom carbon-fiber Mu-Len Delta seats all contribute to a claimed weight savings of 250 pounds. As it sits on the stand at SEMA, the MX-5 Speedster weighs in at a sprightly 2080 pounds. Buttresses added behind the seats nod to rollover protection.
Power comes from the production Miata’s 2.0-liter, 16-valve four-cylinder, but a Racing Beat center-mount exhaust has been fitted to funnel spent gases out the back. A nearly 1.2-inch suspension drop comes courtesy of a K&W adjustable coil-over kit, and Brembo provides four-piston calipers for increased stopping bite.
Ken Saward, design manager for Mazda’s North American operations, and his team handled conception and construction of the MX-5 Speedster concept, as well as the MX-5 Spyder concept also debuting at this year’s SEMA show. “Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5,” says Saward.
The Miata Speedster’s pure, unfettered mission appeals to us greatly. While the chances of federalizing a windshield-free car for sale are slim, we hope that some of the components will trickle down to consumers as accessories.
2015 SEMA Show Full Coverage