Mazda has given SEMA goers something to get excited about this week with this MX-5 Miata concept. The MX-5 Miata Spyder Concept (above) has done away with the standard car's folding soft top or retractable hard top mechanism in favor of a lightweight grenadine-red canvas covering à la the Porsche Boxster Spyder. The look lends the already lithe roadster an even more svelte appearance, and the Spyder's 17-inch Advan alloys and Mazdaspeed coilovers ensure that the driver should have plenty of fun when the road turns twisty. Mazda has also rolled in quite a few excellent details, including etched brushed stainless Spyder badging on the front fenders and a clean MX-5 Spyder logo on the passenger-side dash.
While the 2.0-liter MZR four-cylinder underhood looks familiar, Mazda says the MX-5 Spyder runs on isobutanol, the same biofuel that powers the Mazda/Dyson Racing car in the American Le Mans Series. To further the company's "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom" effort, the Spyder also has a lightweight lithium ion battery, among other changes. Word is that Mazda is particularly keen for the roadster's next iteration to go on a substantial Skyactiv-branded diet in the name of improved efficiency, so perhaps it's testing the waters with some of the eco-minded features on this Spyder showcar.
Does the Spyder have a chance at production? Probably not the isobutanol powertrain, but a lighter model with a similar top configuration might have a shot. As Mazda's design director, Derek Jenkins, notes "...because the stock models are extraordinarily versatile, who's to say some elements of these SEMA concepts can't be ready for public consumption?" Sign us up.
Low-Emissions, Lightweight MX-5 Spyder and MAZDASPEED-Infused Turbo2 Headline Mazda's Lineup at Annual Automotive Aftermarket Trade Show -
LAS VEGAS (November 1, 2011) – Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) is known for its Zoom-Zoom dynamism, which is evident in the brand's lineup of distinct design and divine drivability, and brings to this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show a fleet of vehicles highlighting Mazda's motorsports heritage, efficiency aspirations and daily-driver potential.
"There is no limit to one's imagination and when applying that to the already dynamic design and punchy performance of Mazda vehicles, the end result is nothing short of a well-crafted vision," said Derek Jenkins, director, MNAO Design. "And because the stock models are extraordinarily versatile, who's to say some elements of these SEMA concepts can't be ready for public consumption?"
MX-5 Spyder Beloved worldwide as the best-selling two-seat roadster in the world, with a secure spot in Guinness World Records to boot, the MX-5 Miata is the vehicle motorsports enthusiasts love to drive on the weekday streets of suburbia and the weekend roads of race tracks nationwide. Well-known is the MX-5's single-hand-operation soft-top and segment-best 12-second Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) that the MX-5 Spyder is a re-imagination of the roadster and features a sweeping, single-panel grenadine-red soft-top made by Haartz Corporation. Its design, a collaborative effort between MNAO Design and Magna Car Top Systems, offers an even lower slung stance of the MX-5 without sacrificing headroom. Fitted onto the roadster's already sleek and sexy "look at me" body style, the MX-5 Spyder has been painted Stratosphere White and features a Yokohama rubber-and-rims set of AO48 225/45R17 performance tires matched with 17-inch, 10-spoke ADVAN RS wheels in Gun Metal Metallic. But as the adage goes, there is more than meets the eye.
Under the hood is where the vehicle's exterior treat matches wits with an interior trick. Powered by Mazda's ever-dependable MZR 2.0-liter engine, the MX-5 Spyder is fueled by BP's isobutanol. The significance? The biofuel supports Mazda's mantra of "Sustainable Zoom-Zoom," which means crafting exciting, fun-to-drive vehicles that create minimal environmental impact. A testament to this philosophy is the Mazda/Dyson Racing entry in the American Le Mans Series.
The #16 LMP1Lola vehicle features a turbocharged MZR-R 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, runs on isobutanol and beat competing larger-block V-12s to win the manufacturer, team and drivers championships for the 2011 racing season. Mazda also was given the Michelin® Green X® Challenge at the Baltimore Grand Prix, a distinction awarded to category cars that prove to be the "cleanest, fastest, most efficient" in the race.
Although similar to how ethanol is produced from agricultural feedstock, isobutanol does not compromise vehicle performance for the sake of fuel economy and can be added to the current fuel distribution infrastructure without requiring modifications in blending facilities, storage tanks and retail station pumps. Isobutanol's compatibility with existing technology and infrastructures is a significant step toward meeting the demand in renewable fuels for transportation.
Another fuel-saving, engine-efficient feature of the MX-5 Spyder is a lightweight lithium-ion racing battery made by Braille Battery. The lead-free advanced battery system is RoHS compliant and constructed of non-hazardous materials, has a high charge retention and offers a longer life cycle than comparable standard batteries. A Racing Beat header, intake and exhaust muffler as well as a MAZDASPEED coil over kit and Brembo brakes complete the vehicle's mechanics.
The cabin area is accentuated by tanned Saddle black-leather seats with Aqua leather accents and Coal Ash suede inserts. Subtle Spider Silk Gray Metallic-colored trim pieces on the doors and dash panels tastefully adorn the mostly black interior, which is finished off with customized floor mats by Star West. A MAZDASPEED short-throw shifter adds a tasty reminder to the MX-5's motorsports pedigree.
Turbo2 When introduced to the North American market in 2010, the Mazda2 was referred to as Zoom-Zoom Concentrated. The Turbo2 can almost be defined as Zoom-Zoom Concentrated, Extra Strength. Outfitted with a MAZDASPEED3 MZR 2.3-liter Direct Injection Spark Ignition (DISI) turbo engine, the Turbo2 is as potent as it is practical. Start the engine and the subcompact cat doesn't purr – it growls. Its sinister snarl pulsates through the cockpit and injects itself into your rev-happy feet. A five-passenger subcompact with flexible storage and seating capacity, the Turbo2 leaves a small footprint but lives big.
Always known as the spunky little sport of the Mazda lineup, the Turbo2 adds to the Mazda2's toss-me-around-and-you'll-still-be-grinning attitude with an HR coil over suspension kit, Corksport sway bars and customized Brembo front brakes with 13-inch ventilated and slotted rotors. The rear brakes remain Mazda stock parts. Yokohama ADVAN Neova 215/40R17 performance tires are mounted onto shiny black 17-inch OZ Racing wheels.
The vibrant Sonic White tri-coat exterior features Brilliant Black on the lower panels, wheel arches, side skirts and lower front fascia. Unique bright green and neon yellow graphics and trim pieces further highlight the Turbo2's compact and svelte physique. The exterior's sunshine happy theme follows through into an interior commanded by Katzin black leather seats featuring Baracuda Yellow perforated leather inserts and Sunrise Yellow seat piping.
Customized floor mats are by Star West and the dash is outfitted with an AiM Pista MXL digital racing performance and data acquisition display.
MX-5 Super20 Introduced during last year's SEMA Show, the MX-5 Super20 is back and with a new 'do, so to speak. Now blazing in a Hyper Orange Mica exterior treatment, the MX-5 Super20 retains its darker, edgier Mr. Hyde attitude in comparison to its more sociable Dr. Jekyll MX-5 Miata persona.
With its soft-top replaced with a stationary glossy black hardtop, and matching orange stripes, the MX-5 Super20's interior also was modified and fitted with a color-matched roll bar, lending to a Grand Touring-inspired feel and function. The black leather seats feature suede seat inserts and channel stitching, which provide improved grip for drivers. Orange contrast stitching adds the finishing touch to the sporty seat profile.
Additional modifications include a DPTune reflashed ECU, Racing Beat 304-stainless steel header and exhaust, Racing Beat hollow front and rear anti-roll bars, ACT organic street clutch, MAZDASPEED coil overs and a shock tower brace, Power Slot slotted brake rotors, StopTech stainless steel brake lines and street performance brake pads, SpeedSource front brake ducts, black 16-inch Enkei RPF1 twin-spoke racing wheels, Toyo Proxes RA-1 245/45ZR16 high-performance tires and 20mm H&R Track+ bolt-on wheel spacers in the rear with 15mm Sparco wheel spacers in the front.
3dCarbon Mazda2 Sharing only the colorful spirit of green with its Turbo2 SEMA Show sibling, the 3dCarbon Mazda2 has an identity all its own. Its 3dCarbon/Air Design body kit is manufactured in high-pressure polyurethane injection molding and either pre-primer or pre-painted in all-factory colors. The customized body kit includes a front air dam, side skirts, a rear lower diffuser and Mazda2 Touring-spec upper rear spoiler.
The Spirited Green Metallic paint is further styled with a vinyl graphic design courtesy of Sticky Fingers Design. With darkly tinted windows, the small statured vehicle simply pops. 3M Color Stable Metal-Free Window Film is used on the side and rear windows while the front windshield features 3M Crystalline Nanofilm.
An Eibach® Springs Pro-Kit improves handling as well as visual appeal. Eighteen-inch FIVE:AD S6:F Gunmetal wheels wrapped with Yokohama S.drive 215/35R18 tires add the finishing touch.
Mazda5 Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (MRLS) Support Vehicle Infamous as a practically perfect people-hauler and un-famous as a race track icon, the Mazda5 MRLS Support Vehicle proves that mini-minivans can go racing, too. Developed by Mazda Design, this particular Mazda5 features lowering springs with height-adjustable perches – ideal for custom tuning to any performance situation. Menacing flat-black-painted 19-inch Mazda RX-8 R3-spec forged aluminum wheels add to the street-turned-track look, complete with MRLS logo orange dots. Custom graphics highlighting the world-famous Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca racing circuit emblazon the Mazda5's landscape as a nod to the orange theme continues – from the MRLS logo on the front doors, icons on the MRLS track map and a striking line along the side skirts – complete the racy package.
Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif. and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States, Canada and Mexico through nearly 900 dealers. Operations in Canada are managed by Mazda Canada, Inc., located in Ontario; and in Mexico by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City.