This year’s SEMA Show features not one, but two sporty Mazda MX-5 concepts meant to demonstrate the automaker’s commitment to lightweight, frills-free driving experiences.
First up is the MX-5 RF Kuro, a new concept based on the 2017 MX-5 RF, though with an overall more street-focused package. The RF Kuro also shares its adjustable suspension and Brembo dual-piston front brake calipers with the MX-5 Global Cup race car.
“We wanted to give MX-5 RF Kuro a stealth look to complement its sleek profile, providing subtlety and purpose,” said design manager Ken Saward. “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 RF Kuro concept also comes with an OpenFlash Performance center exit exhaust, 17″ Global MX-5 Cup wheels, BFGoodrich Rival G force tires and a satin black metallic finish.
As for the MX-5 Speedster Evolution concept, some might remember its debut at last year’s SEMA Show as well as its appearance at the Goodwood Festival of Speed over the summer. Now however, Mazda engineers have managed to shave even more weight off – approximately 100 lbs (45 kg), bringing the total to a scant 1,980 lbs (898 kg).
The design team also extracted what remained underneath its dashboard and replaced its gauges with a large digital display. Furthermore, they swapped its Brembo front brakes with the lighter rotors and calipers from the MX-5 Sport & Grand Touring models and replaced its stock battery with a Braille GreenLite G20 Lithium battery that weighs just 4.5 lbs (2 kg).
Aesthetically, the MX-5 Evolution features an adjustable suspension, BFGoodrich g-Force Rival R1 grooved racing slicks and a White Ether finish.
“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,” explained Saward. “In the future, we might see if there is anywhere else we could take out weight.”