Image credits: © Mazda.

MAZDA REVEALS EXTREME LIGHTWEIGHT DESIGN CONCEPTS AT 2015 SEMA

• MX-5 Concepts Display Two Different Takes on Staying True to Pure, Lightweight Sports Car Philosophy


LAS VEGAS (November 3, 2015) – Mazda revealed two design concepts today at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas, based on its all-new 2016 MX-5 Miata—MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster—demonstrating two vastly different takes on lightweight, open-air performance.

Lightweight. Fun-to-drive. Roadster. Those three tenets have served as the foundation for the Mazda MX-5 Miata since its 1989 introduction and continue to serve the new fourth-generation model. Focused, lightweight engineering is a guiding principle of every Mazda vehicle made wîth SKYACTIV Technology, allowing for greater efficiency, improved performance and agile handling dynamics.

But what if that sense of lightweight performance were taken to the extreme? What if Mazda's North American designers harkened back to vintage roadsters to create thoroughly modern, bespoke concepts for what a lightweight performance car should be

The results would be the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster concepts.

'Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5,' said Ken Saward, design manager, Mazda North American Operations. 'The all-new 2016 MX-5 served as a blank canvas for our design team to create some truly one-of-a-kind cars, yet our SEMA concepts remain true to more than 25 years of MX-5 heritage.'

MX-5 Spyder is a sophisticated interpretation of the classic vintage roadster, which is designed to accentuate the open-air experience. Its bikini top was developed by ASC – American Sunroof Corporation wîth the fabric supplied by Haartz.

Other highlights include its specially formulated Mercury Silver paint color, carbon fiber aero kit, grille intake and body toneau cover and lightweight Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II 17-inch wheels. Its interior is adorned in Spinneybeck 'PRIMA' natural leather, lending a sense of vintage motoring from behind the wheel.

MX-5 Speedster pares the roadster back to the essentials for an unadulterated, wind-in-the-hair driving experience, evocative of the open-top sports cars of the 1950s—even going to far as to eschew a windshield for a deflector. In the same vein, the utter dedication toward creating such a focused machine led the design staff to build the Speedster wîth custom 16-inch RAYS Extreme Gram Lights wheels, benefitting MX-5 wîth less unsprung weight. MX-5 Speedster finished in a new concept color called Blue Ether.

Other details on MX-5 Speedster include an adjustable coilover suspension, which lowers it by 30mm compared wîth the production-car specifications, a Racing Beat center-mount exhaust, an interior retrimmed in Alcantara, carbon fiber Mu-Len Delta seats created exclusively for MX-5 and carbon fiber doors. In all, the lighter-weight materials have helped contribute to a weight loss of more than 250 lbs., wîth MX-5 Speedster weighing 2,080 lbs.

Saward and other designers worked from conception to construction to put the SEMA concepts together, partnering aftermarket parts suppliers and Southern California performance shops to create them. Partners include:

AC&A Manufacturing
ASC – American Sunroof Corporation
Delta Seat
Franks Fab Shop
Haartz Corporation
H&R Springs
KW Suspensions
Long Road Racing
Lusch
Makin Industries/RAYS Wheels
Racing Beat
SIM Specialty Interior Manufacturing

Specifications for each vehicle are as follows:

MX-5 Spyder

Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder wîth VVT
Wheels: Custom Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II 17 x 8 (42mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers wîth vented rotors
Tires: Yokohama ADVAN A048 225/45/17
Shocks Springs: Adjustable coil-overs
Weight: 2,301 lbs.
Exterior Color: Mercury Silver
Interior: Seats, doors, trimmed in Spinneybeck 'PRIMA' natural leather

MX-5 Speedster

Engine: SKYACTIV-G 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder wîth VVT
Wheels: Custom RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights 16 x 8 (45mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers wîth vented rotors
Tires: Kumho Ecsta V710 225/50/16
Shocks Springs: K&W adjustable coilover suspension
Weight: 2,080 lbs.
Exterior Color: Blue Ether
Seats: Lightweight seats developed by Mu-Len Delta Seat exclusively for the 2016 MX-5, constructed of Carbon Fiber and trimmed in black Alcantara

Source - Mazda
Rumor to be designed after the Lotus Elan, the Mazda Miata is the world's best selling sports car. With over 720,000 produced between 1989 and 2005, production proves Mazda held its title consistently.

The history of the Miata is one of interest and success. Unveiled in 1989 as the 'Eunos Roadser', prior to the name change to the Miata, it was a designed collaboration between the USA and England. Created to be a basic roadster without unnecessary weight, it was an instant success with over 23,000 sold by the end of its first year. With a starting price of $13,800, the Miata, despite its small design, made a sizeable impact in the success of Mazda's future.

The shell of the Miata is all steel with an aluminum bonnet. Weighing in at over 2,380 pounds, the Miata confirmed its small roadster appeal. The trusswork is uniquely called the 'Powerplant Frame', which connects the engine to the differential, creating a more firm and responsive feel. It's quick and responsive handling is helped due to independent double wishbone suspension on all four wheels with an anti-roll bar at the front. Optional paddle shifting was available with the six speed automatic versions of the Touring, Sport, and Grand Touring models. With power to the rear wheels, drivers thirst for corners even if they're beginners.

The Miata's appearance ranks among attractive qualities. Its cozy, subtle, curved design helped to propel sales to customers of all ages to a higher level. The bright color palette offered during production accented the appearance and still turns heads today, making onlookers yearn to get behind the wheel of this convertible on owners pine for the summer months.

A 'Special Touring Option Edition' was also offered, which included stainless steel scuff plates, Twilight Blue paint, and 15 inch Enkei wheels. The 'Club Spec' version was available with 16 inch alloy wheels and four wheel disc brakes with ABS, but also offered a limited amount of color options: Winning Blue Metallic, Marble White, and True Red.

The interior, though tight, beckoned stereo enthusiasts and those who revel in the appeal and stigma of leather. Optional passenger-side airbags and standard drivers–side airbags provided safety without drastically impacting the beauty of the interior.

With the introduction of the 'M Edition' came a wood shift knob and chrome wheels with Montego Blue paint. The option of a wooden parking brake handle was available on this edition for complete look. Other editions such as the 'Touring Package' included power steering, a leather wrapped steering wheel, power mirrors, aluminum alloy wheels, and power windows. Also, the available 'Club Spec' model included CD player with speed sensitive sound, four speakers, black cloth trimmed upholstery, power windows, locks, and mirrors and black vinyl top.

Engines for the Miata were available with a 1.6L, 1.8L or 2.0L. The 1.6 L dual overhead cam inline four-cylinder engine produced 120 horsepower with 0-60 times consisting of 8.2 seconds and a top speed of 119 miles per hour.

The 1.8L produced 140 horsepower with help of the raised engine compression ratio and the additions of domed pistons. The additions also helped the 0-60 time, which was marked at 7.9 seconds with a top speed of 123 miles per hour. In 2005, the 2.0L was the latest engine thrusting the Miata. The 16 valve engine produced 170 horsepower with a 0-60 time of 6.5 seconds, bringing the Miata to a fast finish when production ceased in the same year.

Even though all 3rd generation 2006 models all over the world now go with the name 'MX-5', the Miata will always be the true coupe that helped to accelerate the sports car appeal with today's roadsters.

Kyle McMullen
 
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