If the latest Mazda MX-5 takes the roadster back to its original then the Speedster and Spyder go further back as modern takes on vintage open-top racers.
These hotties are strictly concept-only, born in the States and revealed at the annual SEMA show of aftermarket modifications.
The Speedster flicks its windshield and A-pillars to create a speedboat-style deck all the way to the raised rear lid that hugs each of the fixed carbonfibre buckets.
Carbonfibre is also used on the doors and Alcantara on the dashboard, which also gets a starter button and stitched leather straps across the console area. On the outside the Blue Ether-painted concept flaunts 16-inch RAYS Extreme Gram Light wheels and a Racing Beat centre-mounted exhaust.
There are no changes to the 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G four-cylinder engine and six-speed manual combination in either concept, but the MX-5 Speedster weighs just 943kg – wiping 113kg off the production model and placing 100kg below the Spyder.
K&W adjustable coil-over suspension lowers the body by 30mm and brakes are upgraded to front Brembos.
Where the Speedster goes for a hardcore, focused racing vintage feel, the MX-5 Spyder aims to be a classic, touring racer.
The Spyder’s stretched tan fabric roof – called a ‘bikini top’ – and leather cabin works beautifully with the Mercury Silver paint, but hiding under all the that is still adjustable coil-overs, Brembos and 17-inch lightweight alloys – they’re actually a size larger than those on Speedster.
Mazda wanted to take the three MX-5 maxims – lightweight, fun-to-drive, roadster – to the extreme for SEMA, and the North American designers have nailed what they’ve aimed for in both cases.
“MX-5 Speedster pares the roadster back to the essentials for an unadulterated, wind-in-the-hair driving experience evocative of the open-top sports cars of the 1950s,” the brand commented in a statement.
“[Where] MX-5 Spyder is a sophisticated interpretation of the classic vintage roadster, which is designed to accentuate the open-air experience.”
Mazda adds that the designers have aimed to “create thoroughly modern, bespoke concepts for what a lightweight performance car should be.”
They certainly have. Sadly, though, we’re unlikely to see production versions.