Mazda MX-5 Speedster and Spyder concepts evoke elements of retro sports convertibles
4 November 2015

Mazda has unveiled two MX-5 concepts at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, with a focus upon lightweight construction and retro-inspired detailing.

Both concepts feature a comprehensive list of "conceptual and aftermarket" parts, in keeping with the theme of the SEMA show. The MX-5 Speedster takes its inspiration from speedster-style cars from the 1950s, while the Spyder is a modern interpretation of the classic look.

The MX-5 Spyder's cabin features handmade leather interior trim elements, while its silver paint, passenger seat cover and rear deck are bespoke. The concept sits on 17in alloy wheels and includes carbonfibre exterior trim.

The MX-5 Speedster’s approach, meanwhile, is that of saving weight. Most notable among the changes is the absence of a windscreen, with a lighter wind deflector featuring in its place. The concept has also been lowered by 30mm thanks to new adjustable suspension.

The rear deck of the Speedster is occupied by roll bars that blend into buttresses on the bootlid, meaning that the Speedster is a full-time open-top car. Mazda says it has replaced the standard car's doors and seats with new units made from carbonfibre, as well as fitting custom 16in alloy wheels. The concept weighs in at 973kg - significantly less than the 1057kg of the standard MX-5. The Spyder weighs in at 1043kg. Both cars are powered by the 2.0-litre engine offered in the standard MX-5. 

Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to Mazda's roadster's roots, surpassing its predecessor in every area

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Both cars follow the same lightweight approach as the MX-5 Superlight that was first revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, although Mazda is keen to emphasise that the two cars are “two vastly different takes on the fourth-generation MX-5”.

Mazda design manager Ken Saward said: "Both MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster are uncompromising designs that highlight the core strengths of MX-5."

Jimi Beckwith

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Comments
1

3 November 2015
These two concepts may basically be little more than car show frippery, but they do prove once more that there is a heart and soul within Mazda which makes some other car makes look lame and pedestrian in comparison. What a sad fact if reality that ten years on from the collapse of MG Rover, the current "Fortune 500" "world's top ten car makes" "guardians" of what was once the top selling sports car make cannot make the leap to a new sports car offering.

MG Writer

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Our Verdict

Here is the fourth-gen Mazda MX-5 - the definitive small sports car

Fourth-generation MX-5 heads back to Mazda's roadster's roots, surpassing its predecessor in every area

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week