Mazda Unveils Lightweight Miata Concepts
Mazda Motor Corp. took the wraps off two new MX-5 Miata-based design concept models—the Speedster and Spyder—at this week’s Specialty Equipment Market Association show in Las Vegas.
The Speedster weighs 2,080 lbs, which is about 250 lbs less than the current production Miata. Much of the reduction is achieved by eliminating the car’s windshield and replacing it with a low-profile deflector.
Other weight-saving features include the use of carbon fiber doors and seats. Custom 16-inch Rays Extreme Gram Lights wheel lowers the car’s unsprung mass, while an adjustable coil-over suspension lowers ride height by an inch.
Featuring a tent-like “bikini top,” the MX-5 Spyder concept weighs in at 2,300 lbs. Other goodies include a carbon fiber aerodynamic package, grille intake, tonneau cover and 17-inch ADVAN Racing RS II wheels wrapped around in Yokohama tires.
Both concept cars are fitted with Brembo four-piston front calipers with vented rotors.
Once the playground of exotic car makers, the definition of a niche vehicle has expanded to include image vehicles for mainstream OEMs, and specialist models produced on high-volume platforms.
A young(ish) guy that I’ve known for a number of years, a man who spent the better part of his career writing for auto buff books and who is a car racer on the side, mentioned to me that his wife has a used Lexus ES Hybrid.
Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.