Automobiles

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.

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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.

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

Antuan Goodwin/CNET