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First look: Mazda’s stripped-out MX-5 speedster

Wind in face: Mazda's MX-5 Superlight show car dispenses with the usual bug catcher.

Mazda to unfurl lightweight, windscreenless MX-5 Superlight concept at Frankfurt

6 Aug 2009

MAZDA has leapt out of left field with a stripped-out speedster version of its classic MX-5 roadster, to be officially revealed at the Frankfurt motor show in September.

Dubbed the ‘MX-5 Superlight version’, the wildest variation of Mazda’s affordable roadster in 20 years features a new body – with no roof, windscreen or A-pillars – designed at Mazda’s European studio in Oberursel, Germany.

The “pure show car” is reported to be the first in a series of radical roadster concepts Mazda plans to reveal in coming years as it explores the future design and development direction of the world’s top-selling two-seater sportscar.

It is unlikely any MX-5 derivative will ever enter production without a windscreen, but the Japanese maker could possibly produce a limited-edition version of the welterweight MX-5, which is reminiscent of the Detroit show’s limited-edition SLR Stirling Moss, just 75 examples of which will be built this year as a swansong for the legendary McLaren supercar.

The Superlight MX-5 is not likely to match the performance of the supercharged Mercedes V8-powered SLR, but its maker says it “takes the lightweight technology that Mazda is famous for to a new level, improving driving performance, handling, fuel economy and CO2 emissions”.

Mazda has offered no technical details of the MX-5 Superlight version ahead of its global public debut at the 63rd Internationale Automobil-Ausstellung (IAA) in Germany on September 15, other than revealing its has “sporty chassis settings for pure roadster driving fun”.

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