Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution and RF Kuro debut at SEMA

Pair of concepts feature inspiration from the Global Cup car, with low weight and uprated suspension

Mazda’s North American division has unveiled a pair of unique MX-5s at the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show in Las Vegas.

Both the MX-5 Miata Speedster Evolution and MX-5 Miata RF Kuro are based on the production car - the soft-top and RF ‘retractable fastback’ models respectively, but each features a range of small changes influenced by the race-prepared MX-5 Global Cup car.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Most intriguing is the Speedster Evolution, which as the name suggests is a development of the Speedster concept that debuted at SEMA in 2015 and has since been seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.

> More: Mazda MX-5 review - latest roadster impresses... up to a point

The original car cut around 113kg from the weight of the standard production car (which weighs 1075kg in 2-litre form) but the Evolution sheds more than 45kg more, leaving the final car little more than 900kg in weight.

Now a racy white rather than the original car’s dark turquoise, the Speedster Evolution keeps the original Speedster’s vestigial aero screen and twin humps behind the cockpit. The extra weight was saved by cutting away more of the dashboard and replacing the traditional dials with a digital display.

Weight was saved on the brakes too, replacing the concept's Brembo discs and pads with conventional MX-5 ones - a step that seems somewhat retrogressive, but big brakes aren't as necessary on a lighter car - and the 11.3kg standard battery was replaced with a 2kg lithium alternative.

The RF Kuro is more conventional on the outside, based heavily on the regular MX-5 RF production car whose production got underway recently. Its semi-matte metallic paintwork inspires the name - which means “black” in Japanese - and the car sits on a set of 17x7.5in Rays forged alloy wheels.

Like the Speedster, these are wrapped in 215/45 R17 BFGoodrich Rival G-Force tyres, whose motions are controlled by adjustable suspension identical to that of the Global Cup cars. Brembo brakes are used, and a centre-exit exhaust saves about half a kilo and adds around 6-7bhp.

The 2016 SEMA show takes place at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, from November 1-4.

Recommended

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too

30 Sep 2020
BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review

18 Jul 2020
Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs

23 Jun 2020
2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport revealed
Mazda MX-5

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport revealed

27 Apr 2020

Most Popular

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp
Mercedes

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp

The Brabus Rocket is back for 2020, and this time it takes the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S with extras
23 Oct 2020
Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?
Porsche 911 coupe

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?

Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative could be coming
22 Oct 2020
KTM X-Bow GTX racer revealed with 532bhp five-cylinder engine
KTM X-BOW

KTM X-Bow GTX racer revealed with 532bhp five-cylinder engine

Following a glimpse of the GT2 derivative, KTM has now uncovered its X-Bow GTX racer in full 
22 Oct 2020
Used car deals of the week
Features

Used car deals of the week

We’ve perused the used car pages so you don’t have to. Here’s what caught evo’s fancy this week
21 Oct 2020