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Mazda MX-5 goes from drop-top to chop-top

The Mazda MX-5 Superlight version will see its world premiere at the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt.

Mazda MX-5 superlight concept
Just a little off of the top, please. Mazda

Mazda has announced that it will debut a superlight show car version of its MX-5 as part of an ongoing celebration of the roadster's 20th anniversary. So, how do you make the bantamweight Mazda MX-5 lighter? As it is, the roadster is already so spartan that there's not much to hack off of it.

rendering of superlight interior with sarcastic caption
Sadly, nav and iPod connectivity are still not options. Mazda

Mazda's designers started by tossing the retractable roof, shaving the wing mirrors and door handles, and--from the looks of it--gutting the interior. But they didn't stop there. They also lopped off the front windscreen to dramatically lower the vehicle's curb weight and center of gravity. Bring your own full-faced helmet, unless you like the taste of bugs.

Less weight should improve driving performance, handling, fuel economy, and carbon dioxide emissions. Don't expect to see navigation among the list of the Superlight's improvements, and don't expect to ever see this vehicle on a public road.

The Mazda MX-5 Superlight show car will debut at the 2009 International Motor Show in Frankfurt.