The Mazda MX-5 Superlight version has been designed to add fun to the Frankfurt show and will not make production, the car maker has told Autocar.
"I've been looking to do something like this for ages," said Peter Birtwhistle, Mazda Europe's chief designer, "it's a bit of fun and it celebrates the 20th anniversary of the MX-5."
However he said it is unlikely the car will make production and is a design study for the direction of future MX-5s.
The Superlight weighs 995kg (down from 1080kg on the standard car), and features several racing touches: occupants sit on lightweight carbonfibre bucket seats and are held in place with four-point belts. Lightweight materials such as carbonfibre, fibreglass and aluminium also dominate the interior.
The car is powered by a 124bhp 1.8-litre four-pot with 123lb ft of torque. It remains in production-spec, but is linked to a Mazdaspeed cold air intake and exhaust system. It hits 62mph from a standstill in 8.9sec, averages 44.8mpg and emits 150g.km of Co2.
Compared to the standard MX-5, the Superlight's track is 50mm wider and its Bilstein suspension 30mm lower. It sits on 17-inch wheels. Mazda3 MPS brake servos are used to improve stopping power.
The Mazda MX-5 Superlight version was designed at Mazda’s studio in Oberursel, Germany, and is reported to be the first of several MX-5 concept cars that Mazda will roll out in coming years as it defines its direction of development.
Mazda has recently championed lightweight construction, and the Mazda MX-5 Superlight version is an extension of that theme, with its minimalist design focusing on improving driving performance, handling, fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
However, Mazda is eager to stress that these improvements can be achieved without compromising the roadster's inherently fun characteristics; hence the radical exterior design, with no windshield, and a sporty chassis set-up. However Mazda says it will fit a small aero-style windscreen for journalists to test the Superlight.