SEMA 2011: Mazda Impresses with MX-5 Spyder and Mazda 2 Turbo


AF News Desk
11-02-2011, 01:15 PM
The folks at Mazda were set to impress on the opening day of the 2011 SEMA Show in Las Vegas Tuesday with the introduction two tricked out versions of their popular MX-5 and Mazda 2.

The models – a MX-5 Spyder and Mazda 2 Turbo – offer unique styling and power that have been sought by many in the industry, specifically the 263hp 2.3 litre four-cylinder that has improved the Mazda 2’s power offering by a whopping 163hp when compared to its standard iteration.

The story from AutoWeek (http://www.autoweek.com/article/20111101/SEMA/111109991):



http://autoweek.com/galleryimage/CW/20111101/SEMA/110109913/PH/1/1/mazda-spyder-sema-front.jpg&MaxW=630

Mazda lands at SEMA show with sleek MX-5 Spyder, turbocharged 2

For this year's SEMA show, Mazda has rolled out a couple of trick new creations, beginning with a sportier interpretation of its legendary MX-5 Miata roadster and a more powerful Mazda 2 subcompact.

The MX-5 Spyder is the collaborative effort of Mazda North American Operations' design team and Magna Car Top Systems. The grenadine-color soft-top gives the MX-5 a lower-slung roofline, which Mazda says is done without sacrificing interior headroom. The red top contrasts nicely with the Stratosphere White paint job and the gunmetal Advan RS wheels wrapped with high-performance Yokohama tires.

The interior has black leather seats with aqua accents and ash-hued inserts and is finished off with silk gray metallic trim pieces throughout. For slicker shifts, a Mazdaspeed short-throw shifter is installed.

Power continues to come from the MZR 2.0-liter four-cylinder, but it's not without a twist. The engine runs on BP's isobutanol biofuel, which was also used in Mazda's Dyson Racing LMP entry in the American Le Mans Series. Finishing off the performance enhancements is a lightweight lithium-ion battery, a Racing Beat header, intake, exhaust, Mazdaspeed coil-over suspension and Brembo brakes.

When it comes to the subcompact Mazda 2, we've praised it for its sprightly handling dynamics but have always wished that it had a little more than 100 hp. With the Turbo 2, all of those problems are solved thanks to a heart transplant from the Mazdaspeed 3. Mazda installed the 2.3-liter, 263-hp turbocharged four-cylinder under the hood to quiet our power complaints. Helping to control all of the power is an HR coil-over suspension system, Corksport antiroll bars and front Brembo brakes clamping down on 13-inch vented and slotted rotors. The package rides on black 17-inch OZ Racing wheels with Yokohama Advan Neova tires.

Visually, the Turbo 2 sports a Sonic White paint job with Brilliant Black lower panels, wheel arches, side skirts and lower front fascia and bright green and neon yellow graphics. The cabin has black leather seats with Baracuda Yellow leather inserts and yellow seat piping, while the dash is fitted with an AiM Pista MXL digital racing and data-acquisition display.

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I like what Mazda has done with these models. They’ve taken two of their more popular rides and put some subtle but effective changes into them (well… as subtle as an extra 163hp can be).

While I always love seeing the conceptualized models that are designed specifically for SEMA, it’s interesting to see the models that would make sense if they were put into production and these two examples definitely fall into that category. I mean come on – who wouldn’t want a 263hp subcompact? Exactly.

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