At this year’s SEMA (Specialty Equipment Manufacturers Association) show in Las Vegas, Mazda uncovered two new concepts based off of the 2016 MX-5 Miata: The Speedster and The Spyder. These two cars bring back some of the classic while revolutionizing aspects of car design. So, how exactly are they pulling this off?
The Miata has always been known for being a lightweight roadster that’s fun to drive, and the Speedster embodies those key tenets. With this variation of the MX-5, Mazda is really going back to the good ol’ days, where the ultimate driving experience could only be achieved with the top down and the wind in your face.
Well, there’s no top to put down because the Speedster doesn’t have a top at all, or a windshield for that matter. In place of the windshield is a deflector that kicks out just enough of the wind and debris that it doesn’t hamper your experience, but it still lets you enjoy the full feeling of the open road.
Mazda has pulled out all the stops on making this the ultimate old-school roadster. The Speedster is not only dropped an inch closer to the ground than the base MX-5, but it has also gone through nearly every possible reduction to shed weight. The carbon fiber doors and seats and the lightweight tires help the Speedster shed an extra 250 pounds, bringing it down to a light total of just 2,080 pounds.
The second of the MX-5 concepts, the Spyder, hearkens back to the vintage style of the classic roadsters that Mazda has produced for decades. The bikini top is intended to provide the classic open-air experience, though not quite at the level of the Speedster.
The leather interior feels classic and vintage, but the Spyder’s grille intake and race tires remind audiences of the days when the Miata was known as the race car. At the same time, it also shows fans of the Mazda brand just how far the little racer has come.
The Spyder may seem less revolutionary and exciting than the Speedster, but it stands as Mazda’s nod to the past and how new technology can only make the vintage even cooler.
Where Is Mazda Going Now?
As Ken Seward, Mazda’s North America Operations Design Manager, has expressed, “The all-new 2016 MX-5 served as a blank canvas for our design team to create some truly one-of-a-kind cars, yet our SEMA concepts remain true to more than 25 years of MX-5 heritage.” Mazda may be looking back to the classics for inspiration, but they aren’t forgetting to apply the modern ingenuity of vehicle design.
In a world where everyone is competing for what will be the next big thing, Mazda is playing it smart in turning to the past and making something new out of something that has worked for decades. If Mazda continues in this direction, we may continue to see some impressive upgrades of these classy roadsters.