Mazda MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster concepts
  • Image Credit: Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Spyder concept front
  • Image Credit: Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Spyder concept rear
  • Image Credit: Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Spyder concept profile
  • Image Credit: Mazda
Mazda MX-5 Speedster detail
  • Image Credit: Mazda
Ever since Mazda dropped the first teaser on us last week, we've been looking forward to seeing what it had in store for us at SEMA this year. Now we've seen it what Mazda has dubbed the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster, and they were worth the wait. The Spyder goes vintage with a silver paintjob and a brown top stretched overhead. It also has an aero kit, grille, and tonneau cover done up in carbon fiber, rides on 17-inch wheels, and features a natural leather interior.

The blue Speedster, meanwhile, goes for the stripped-down, wind-in-your-hair experience. It has no roof or windshield, just a tiny deflector at the front of the dashboard. It's dropped an inch closer to the ground on an adjustable coilover suspension with 16-inch alloys, and features a center-exit exhaust. Carbon fiber helps trim 250 pounds from the curb weight, along with a stripped out interior trimmed in Alcantara.

Both look pretty slick, and disappoint only in so far as they (like so many of their predecessor concepts) won't be heading for production. If they were, we'd be hard pressed to choose between the two. Which would you go for?

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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 with 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 with 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 with custom 16-inch RAYS Extreme Gram Lights wheels, benefitting MX-5 with 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 with 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., with 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 with VVT
Wheels: Custom Yokohama ADVAN Racing RS II 17 x 8 (42mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers with 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 with VVT
Wheels: Custom RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights 16 x 8 (45mm offset)
Brakes: Front Brembo four-piston calipers with 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

MX-5 Spyder and Speedster concepts are on display at the SEMA Show on November 3-6 at the in the Mazda booth, #11647 in the North Hall.

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