It might seem like only yesterday that the Mazda MX5 hit the market, but the iconic roadster actually celebrated its 20th birthday on the U.S. Market last month (March in Japan). In order to commemorate two decades of the best-selling two-seat sports car in the world, Mazda has released a special edition in Japan, but the prospect of something even more special looms at this year's Frankfurt Motor Show where an MX-5 Superlight version will be unveiled with a radical exterior design requiring no windshield.
The MX5 is currently sold in approximately 60 countries. The Roadster (MX5 in non-Japanese markets) was certified as the world’s most produced two-seat, open-top sports cars by Guinness World Records when production reached 800,000 units. Total production of the Mazda Roadster now stands in excess of 860,000 units.
Based on the RS soft-top model with a six-speed manual transmission, the Roadster 20th Anniversary went on sale last week in Japan with the option to include Mazda's VS Power Retractable Hard Top (RHT) hard-top foran extra USD$2650. Special equipment includes unique red and black RECARO bucket sport seats, exclusive ‘20th Anniversary’ badges, five-temperature heated seats, and clear front fog lights. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (including sales tax) is 2,860,000 yen (USD$30,000) for the soft-top version and 3,110,000 yen (USD$32,650) for the RHT model.
All 20th Anniversary models come in Crystal White Pearl Mica (a color used for the first time on the Mazda Roadster).
The coming Frankfurt show car is the one with the most appeal though, as Mazda seeks to test public opinion on what the next take on its affordable roadster might look like.
The Mazda MX-5 Superlight version was designed at Mazda’s studio in Frankfurt, Germany. A pure show car, it takes the lightweight technology that Mazda is famous for to a new level, “improving driving performance, handling, fuel economy and CO2 emissions” according to the scant information Mazda has provided so far. This is combined with a radical exterior design requiring no windshield, and sporty chassis settings for pure roadster driving fun.
If the car is ever produced, it will be interesting to see just what kerb weight Mazda can achieve. The original MX5 weighed in at 940 kg, adding 50 kilograms in its second generation version, and growing to the current 1095 kilograms of the third generation.
The new Mazda MX-5 Superlight version will be unveiled on September15 at the 63rd Frankfurt Motor Show.