The Mazda MX-5 is Japan’s most popular 2-seater convertible. It has been around for more than two decades and has sold more than 900,000 units, making it the most selling 2-seater Japanese roadster. Front engine, rear wheel drive layout and it is light in weight, making it a popular choice among those who seek a roadster that doesn’t really burn a hole in their wallets.
Mazda had revealed its MX-5 Spyder concept at SEMA recently and judging from the way it looks, it seems that less is more. My last sentence doesn’t sound really right if you don’t look at the pictures of the concept. Apparently the only contrasting difference it has, between the production car and the concept, is the new “bikini style” soft top (looks more like a tent to me).
There is no awkward looking rear spoiler, no upgrade in performance and it doesn’t spot any crazy or striking colours/vinyl wraps. Evidently, Mazda is not trying to “wow” spectators with all the abovementioned items. They are more pleased to show a concept car that doesn’t deviate from the MX-5’s traditions.
The removable soft top is designed by Mazda and Magna Car Top Systems. It gives the car a lower profile and more sleek roof lines. Judging from the pictures, my guess is that it takes lesser time to remove or unfold the soft top compared to the production car’s folding mechanism.
The car’s battery was swapped from a lead acid unit to lithium ion and the car’s wheels were replaced with much lighter Advan RS wheels, fitted with Yokohama tyres. All of these measures were made to shave more weight off the MX-5.
The Spyder is powered by a conventional 2.0-liter Mazda MZR engine, fed by isobutanol. Exterior wise, its body is finished in Stratosphere White and a dark red trim on its sides to match the roof’s material. Black side skirts, wheels and side mirrors add contrast to the white coloured car.
I doubt that the “bikini style” roof will go into production but it might be available as an aftermarket option. If the engine could receive some performance revision plus the added weight saving measures, the MX-5 will be a much attractive option to people who are looking for a rather affordable roadster.
Photo credit: MotorAuthority
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