Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evo And RF Kuro Concepts Wheeled Out For SEMA

Mazda has used the Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas this week to wheel out a pair of concepts based on its MX-5 roadster.

One of the concepts will be familiar to Mazda fans, as it’s a new take on the MX-5 Speedster concept from the same show last year.

The Speedster was designed as a ‘minimalist’ approach to the already-minimalist MX-5, with weight-saving and efficiency the main goals.

But Mazda has ramped the program up for 2016, with the new Speedster Evolution being even lighter and more “ruthlessly” efficient than before.

Weight has dropped from 946kg for the Speedster to just 901kg for the Speedster Evo. The Speedster was 11 percent lighter than the standard MX-5 soft-top, while the Evo is 15 percent lighter.

To achieve this, Mazda engineers examined where further weight could be shed from the Speedster.

The gauges were replaced with a digital display, the Brembo front brakes were ditched for the front brakes from the MX-5 Sport and the 11kg standard battery was swapped-out for a 2kg lithium battery.

While the gun brakes from Brembo may have been sacrificed, the MX-5 Speedster Evo still knows how to have fun.

Features include adjustable suspension from the MX-5 Global Cup race car program and BF Goodrich g-Force Rival R1 grooved racing slick tyres wrapped around 17-inch wheels.

“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,” Design manager Ken Saward said. “In the future, we might see if there is anywhere else we could take out weight.”

Joining the Speedster Evo at SEMA is the MX-5 RF Kuro – designed to promote the new MX-5 RF (‘retractable fastback’) ahead of its arrival in US showrooms next year.

This concept also has MX-5 Global Cup DNA in its automotive veins, but the package has been softened for use as a daily driver on regular roads.

Adjustable suspension, Brembo dual-piston front brake calipers and a Satin Black Metallic with semi-matte black metallic highlights ensure it isn’t too soft.

“We wanted to give MX-5 RF Kuro a stealth look to complement its sleek profile, providing subtlety and purpose,” Saward said. “As we move our brand in a direction we call ‘Mazda Premium,’ we want to embrace our longstanding motorsports heritage and reach forward with breathtaking designs like the MX-5 RF.”

The 2016 SEMA show wraps up tomorrow, Australian time.

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