Japanese carmaker Mazda has announced it will unveil a special lightweight version of its MX-5 roadster at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September.
The car is called the MX-5 Superlight, but Mazda is keen to point out that it is just a show car and we shouldn’t expect to see a production version any time soon.
The idea behind the concept is to emphasize Mazda’s lightweight engineering philosophy, as evidenced in cars such as the current Mazda2, Mazda3 and Mazda6 – which all weigh less than their predecessors.
No windscreen, lightweight seats
The MX-5 Superlight takes this to the extreme. Although there are no details of precisely what Mazda has done to create the concept model, you can see from the official image of the car that its engineers have made radical modifications to the exterior.
These include entirely removing the windscreen and replacing it with a tiny aerodynamic fairing ahead of the driver, streamlining bodywork, integrating the roll-over hoops – and there’s absolutely no sign of a roof. Thin-backed, lightweight racing seats indicate one change to the interior, while the chassis gets sportier settings.
A greener sports car
Reducing weight and improving the aerodynamics in this manner is obviously good for performance. But it also boosts the MX-5’s environmental credentials by lowering CO2 emissions and increasing fuel economy.
Full details of the Mazda MX-5 Superlight will be revealed during a press conference at Frankfurt on 15 September.
Given that 2009 is the MX-5’s 20th anniversary, we wouldn’t entirely bet against a surprise announcement that Mazda is actually going to build a few and sell them to the general public.
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