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Mazda ditches the top (and plenty of weight) on two new MX-5 SEMA concepts

A focus on lightweight construction results in two concepts at the SEMA Show in Las Vegas -- the MX-5 Spyder and the MX-5 Speedster -- that are much lighter than the standard model.


The 2016 Mazda MX-5 Spyder Concept has a bikini-style soft top.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is already a very light car, ranging between 2,332 and 2,381 pounds, depending on your choice of transmission. Sometimes, very light isn't good enough -- that's why the automaker brought two new MX-5 concepts to SEMA that drops the curb weight even further.

The MX-5 Spyder is the first of these two concepts. Similar to how Porsche builds its Boxster Spyder, the MX-5 ditches a convertible top in favor of what it calls a "bikini top." In actuality, it's just a small soft top that's never meant to be a permanent staple -- this car is for open-air cruising and nothing else.

Thanks to the removal of the top mechanism and some lightweight, 17-inch Yokohama wheels, the Spyder's curb weight is down to a respectable 2,301 pounds. The leather interior probably doesn't help that figure, but it does add to the vintage-motoring theme Mazda was going for with this concept.

While the Spyder represents a sensible loss of mass, the MX-5 Speedster goes for broke. Keen eyes will notice several missing components, including any sort of top, and any sort of windshield -- thankfully, concepts don't have to worry about silly things like federal regulations.

In conjunction with carbon-fiber seats and 16-inch Rays wheels, the MX-5 Speedster weighs an astonishing 2,080 pounds. Good luck getting Mazda to sell you one of these. It should go without saying that chopping off your own windshield is not recommended.


The Mazda MX-5 Speedster concept loses the roof altogether.

Antuan Goodwin/CNET