Mazda Premieres 2016 MX-5 Cup As Pace Car

Here is the hardcore Mazda MX-5 we all been waiting for. We know from a Mazda official that the new MX-5 won’t have a more powerful variant, but this is a non-street-legal, race-focused little devil, and this is what makes it quite interesting.

The MX-5 isn’t only the perfect little inexpensive roadster, but the inexpensive track-car as well. Back in 2014 Mazda announced the new Global Cup racing series, held specifically for these little things, and that’s when we first saw the ND track car for the first time. Still, it was just a prototype, but the Japanese car manufacturer finally unveiled the official finished variant and it looks gorgeous. In fact, it looks the same.

Mazda debuted the automobile at Monterey’s annual Rolex Monterey Motorsports Reunion car fest, during the Monterey car week. Still, with the 2016 Global Cup racing series many months away, Mazda placed the first production race car into pace car duties at the Mazda Laguna Seca Raceway.

Mind you, this car is nearly identical to the regular MX-5 cup variant, but it does sport some emergency lights and a custom decal design, completed by Mazda Design Studio in Irvine, California.

“We are celebrating our motorsports heritage on the track with our vintage race cars. We are showcasing our current line-up of race-inspired products in our consumer display in the paddock, and with this pace car, we are giving a glimpse into the 2016 racing season when the latest MX-5 Miata will be racing in the Global MX-5 Cup,” noted John Doonan, director of motorsports for Mazda North American Operations.

Although the spec sheet is still under wraps, we can imagine what cool track stuff the car can bring to the table. Stiffer chassis, less unsprung weight and you can allready see the massive rollcage in it. Power-wise, it’s possible the car will have a close-to-stock output, just to make matters more interesting.

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