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04 November 2011

Mazda tailors the MX-5 as a Spyder for 2011 SEMA

Words by Christopher Kho | Photos courtesy of Mazda Motor of America Inc.
The world's best-selling two-seater roadster is trading its power-retractable hard top for a more stylish single-panel soft top at the 2011 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show. Though the designers might have compromised the passenger's comfort under rain or snow when they conceptualized the MX-5 Spyder, its sleek new grenadine-red canvas cover is perfect for warm days under the sun. And the lovely Stratosphere White paint scheme it’s paired with makes this concept the perfect test mule for some of Mazda's latest track toys. 
Rolling on 17-inch, 10-spoke ADVAN RS wheels, the MX-5 Spyder is fitted with a Racing Beat header, intake, and exhaust muffler, as well as a MazdaSpeed coil over suspension and Brembo brakes to make it track-ready. They've even installed a lightweight lithium-ion racing battery to improve its fuel economy.
The one-off Miata is powered by Mazda's MZR 2.0L engine and runs on isobutanol, making this convertible Zoom-Zoom on sustainable fuel. This powerplant is a testament to the 500 hp turbocharged MZR-R 2.0L four-cylinder used by the No. 16 Mazda/Dyson LMP1 Lola in the American Le Mans Series (ALMS) which, by the way, also runs on isobutanol. With this much potential on tap, we're keeping our fingers crossed that Mazda will have a 500 hp turbocharged MX-5 Spyder in the works.
It has received a few external modifications such as an updated front bumper, new side skirts, and LED corner lamps. Not forgetting the inside, the MX-5 Spyder's interior got spruced up as well, covered in black suede and Spider Silk Gray trim pieces. Though this concept might not reach production, the idea of having a low-slung sleek Spyder roof might inspire the MX-5's next incarnation.