Mazda MX-5 Superlight

Mazda officially reveals its MX-5 Superlight, a sports car rival to Caterhams and Atoms

Mazda is celebrating 20 years of its MX-5 sports car with this striking Superlight version.

It’s set to star at the 2009 Frankfurt motor show, and it heralds an even sharper way of thinking for a roadster that’s always focused itself firmly on being a drivers’ car. While this Caterham-esque show car is fully driveable (utilising the third-generation MX-5’s 1.8-litre entry level engine), there are no plans to put it into full production.

The good news, though, is that it represents a new, more hardcore weight-cutting regime at Mazda. In the company’s words – ‘As a study for lightweight construction and driving enjoyment, the MX-5 Superlight version is the ideal ambassador for Mazda’s brand values.’

By lightweight, it means under 1000kg, a mark that’s pretty uncharted territory for modern, NCAP-pleasing sports cars. The idea has been to remove things not vital to driving, hence the eviction of the windscreen, any form of a roof, most of the interior trim and air conditioning. Well, it’s not like you’re going to be gagging for fresh air when you’re driving the Superlight.

It helps achieve a 995kg kerbweight, which when mated to the 125bhp/123lb ft 1.8-litre engine, ensures an 8.9sec dash to 62mph while achieving 45mpg. That’s a respective 1sec quicker and 5mpg more economical than the stock MX-5 1.8.

As well as losing all that weight, the Superlight has a bespoke chassis to improve dynamics further. There’s Bilstein coil-over suspension mated to Eibach springs, with a 30mm lower ride height than standard MX-5s. The already great hydraulic power steering and short-shift five-speed ‘box of the standard car remain.

The brakes are new, though; four-piston, fixed-caliper items with perforated discs, they’re big enough to require a 50mm increase in track width. They’re surrounded by the same 17in alloys as the MX-5 2.0, items that are already bereft of unnecessary weight. As you’d expect, the car remains rear-wheel drive.

While Mazda is calling it strictly a show car, there will no doubt be intent to get elements from the Superlight into production. You can see it for yourself at the Frankfurt motor show, which we’ll be reporting live from on September 15 when it opens to the press. Click here for the latest Frankfurt news, and don’t forget to follow us on Twitter for more performance car news, too.

Extra Info


Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5 convertible

Mazda MX-5 review

The Mazda MX-5 is better than ever, a distillation of the sports car that has matured into a brilliant little roadster
19 Nov 2020

Most Popular

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now
Lamborghini Aventador LP780-4 Ultimae
Lamborghini Aventador

Lamborghini Aventador Ultimae sold out – V12 supercar calls it a day, for now

The final Aventador Ultimae and next year’s Countach are now spoken for, calling the end of fresh orders for Lambo’s V12 models
21 Oct 2021
2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week
Range Rover teaser
Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week

A new era for the Range Rover is about to be revealed, with new engines, tech and styling
20 Oct 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals Oct 20 21

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
20 Oct 2021