LAS VEGAS -- Mazda makes a big deal about how light the 2016 MX-5 Miata is, and with good reason -- the featherweight is a boon to the roadster's overall performance.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

For the 2015 SEMA show here, Mazda has made the roadster even lighter with a pair of concepts that shave even more mass in the pursuit of performance.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

First is the MX-5 Spyder, which ditches the mechanical elements of the retractable top in favor of a stretched bikini-style cover.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Spyder's bikini top was developed by the American Sunroof Corporation with the fabric supplied by Haartz.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The stretched fabric connects to the windshield hoop at the front using the stock ragtop hardware and locks in at the rear beneath the trunklid.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Peek beneath the bikini and you'll see a custom tonneau covering the opening left by the stock roof's departure.

It also appears that Mazda has eschewed the MX-5's side glass for additional weight savings.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The interior is treated with a Spinneybeck "Prima" natural leather upgrade, which lends a vintage aesthetic to match the minimalist exterior.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The body gets slathered with specially formulated mercury-silver color paint and accented with a carbon fiber aero kit.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The front grille is also a custom job and features integrated driving lights.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Lightweight Yokohama Advan Racing RS II 17-inch wheels save a bit of unsprung mass and hide custom-painted Brembo brakes. The rollers are shod with sticky Yokohama tires.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Mazda's second concept takes an even more extreme approach to reducing the MX-5's weight.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Dubbed the Speedster, this MX-5 concept is more than 250 pounds lighter than the standard MX-5 Club.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Mazda, again, starts by ditching the folding soft top.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

In its place, there's a double-hump tonneau that smooths out the roadster's aerodynamics.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

I'm told that there's storage for a pair of helmets and two sets of goggles beneath the carbon fiber tonneau's humps.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Next, Mazda ripped off the MX-5's windshield, smoothing over the gap with more carbon fiber.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The Speedster's doors are carbon fiber as well, but painted to match the body's custom blue ether color. Frankly, I'm surprised Mazda didn't skip the paint to save even more grams.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

The grille is a minimalist piece with the word "Speedster" molded in.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

An adjustable coilover suspension lowers the roadster by 30mm (1.2 inches) when compared to stock.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Custom 16-inch Rays Extreme Gram Lights wheels fill the wells and are shod with super sticky Kumho Ecsta racing slicks.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Inside the cabin gets a makeover to match the spartan exterior design, including custom carbon fiber Mu-Len Delta seats, Alcantara trim, and a total deletion of the dashboard infotainment.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

In place of the Mazda Connect infotainment knob, the customizers have installed a large "Engine Start" button. The center console has also been wrapped with leather.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Not even the side mirrors could escape the lightening. These units are smaller, lighter and more aerodynamic than the stock safety equipment.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET

When all's said and done, the MX-5 Speedster tips the scales at just 2,080 pounds (943 kg). That should boost performance nicely, even before the slight horsepower boost provided by the Racing Beat center-mount exhaust.

Caption by / Photo by Antuan Goodwin/CNET
Published:
Up Next
2018 Hennessey Ford Raptor 6x6 at S...
19