Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept

September 12, 2009 at 9:07 am

This year is the 20th anniversary of the first Mazda MX-5 roadster and the Japanese company marks this event with a one of a kind concept for the Frankfurt Motorshow based on the lovely roadster. The Superlight Concept is a MX-5 unleashed! It reflects on the qualities of this car which are sporty driving, efficiency, light weight, and pure fun. Although it’s just a show car and they are not going to put it into production.

This car is a creation of Mazda’s R&D center in Europe and thanks to its extreme simplicity and advanced material it only weights at 995 kilos! “I’ve dreamed of building a Mazda MX-5 with this kind of radical form for a long time,” says Peter Birtwhistle, Mazda Motor Europe’s Chief Designer, referring to the project. “Now that weight reduction has become a dominant factor in automotive development, the time is ripe for it. We show how lightweight a car today can be.”

Mazda MX 5 Superlight Concept Mazda MX 5 Superlight 4

Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept offers genuine open-top driving thrill. It actually takes it to the next level because it has no windshield and no roof whatsoever! You and your co-pilot have to jump onto the car and into the body-hugging bucket seats where you only find a steering wheel and a gear knob. And that’s it!

While driving this car you might thing that in case of a crash the only crumple zone would be your face or if you roll it your head would act as the roll bar! But actually designers have excelled with those state of the art bars behind the cabin. Not only they affect the car’s appearance, the also have  aerodynamic purposes, and of course they should do their main job which is protecting the passenger in case they went upside down!

Mazda MX 5 Superlight Concept Mazda MX 5 Superlight 1

THe Superlight uses a MZR 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with a  five-speed manual transmission coming straight from the production car. With 93 kW/126 PS and 167 nm of torque it can do 0 to 100 kmh in 8.9 seconds. Another advantage of lightness is fuel efficiency, this Mazda only needs 6.3 liters of fuel every 100 km. Its engine has a few extras such as a Mazdaspeed cold-air intake made of polished and powder-coated aluminium and a Mazdaspeed exhaust system, both of them specific to the Mazda MX-5 Superlight Concept.

Mazda MX 5 Superlight Concept Mazda MX 5 Superlight 2

MX-5 Superlight has a sporty setup to make sure it handles as good as it looks. Its braking package consists of four-piston calipers with perforated discs, also Bilstein coilovers and Eibach stabilizers minimizes body rolls, so the specially tuned chassis can handle corners like a dream! The car has a ground clearance of 30 mm. Superlight’s set of wheels and tires also come from the standard MX-5. The 205/45  on 17 inch wheels belong to the 2.0 liter version of the car and at less than 8 kg are one of the lightest wheels on the market today.

Although Mazda is not put this concept into production, but the next production MX-5 will benefit form the experiences gained from the Superlight project.

Technical Specifications

  • Body Type : Roadster Monocoque
  • Seating capacity: 2
  • External Dimensions
    • Overall length: 4,020 mm
    • Overall width: 1,720 mm
    • Overall height (unloaded): 1,110 mm
    • Wheelbase: 2,330 mm
    • Track (front/rear): 1,540/1,545 mm
    • Ground clearance: 106 mm
  • Engine: MZR 1.8-litre petrol
  • Max. power: 126 PS (93 kW) at 6,500 rpm
  • Max. torque: 167 Nm at 4,500 rpm
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual
  • Front/rear suspension: Double wishbone/Multi-link
  • Damper (front/rear): Bilstein® monotube
  • Tyre size: 205/45 R17
  • Brake type (front/rear): Ventilated discs/Solid discs
  • Brake diameter (front/rear): 300/280 mm
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 8,9 s
  • Fuel consumption (combined): 6,3 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions (combined): 150 g/km
  • Min. kerb weight (without driver): 995 kg