MX-5 RF Kuro and Speedster Evolution unveiled by Mazda for 2016 SEMA

Article by Christian A., on November 4, 2016

Mazda revealed that it has long been committed to providing customers with a driving experience that is free from any trappings in addition to being lightweight.

Thus at Las Vegas’ 2016 Specialty Equipment Market Association (2016 SEMA Show), Mazda will be unveiling two sporty MX-5 concepts, namely: the MX-5 Speedster Evolution Concept and the MX-5 RF Kuro.

Mazda MX-5 Speedster Evolution Concept

First off is the Speedster Evolution concept, which for some of those who were present during the 2015 SEMA Show is nothing new. In addition to last year’s SEMA, this same concept car was presented during the summer’s Goodwood Festival of Speed held in England.

So how is it different this time around? The version being exhibited at the 2016 SEMA is lighter as the engineers at Mazda managed to bring the total weight down to 898 kg (1,980 lbs.), a reduction by as much as 45 kg (100 lbs.).

One reason for the lower weight is that instead of using the standard battery, the engineers instead utilized the G20 Lithium Braille GreenLite battery which only weighs 2 kg (4.5 lbs.). In addition, rather than the usual Bembo brakes in the front, the rotors and the calipers used on the MX-5 Grand Touring and Sport were the ones installed as they are observed to be lighter.

In terms of visuals, the Speedster Evolution is fitted with a suspension that is adjustable with the wheels having the G-Force Rival R1 BFGoodrich grooved racing tires. The exterior is finished in a White Ether color.

According to design manager Ken Saward, the objective in modifying the MX-5 Speedster Evolution was to take the spirit of what the MX-5 has been for 27 years and take it to new heights in terms of driving fun and lightweight engineering. He added that in the future, the brand is likely to look into what other components it could remove in order to lower the weight.

Mazda MX-5 RF Kuro

The second concept is the MX-5 RF Kuro which is mainly based on the 2017 MX-5 RF but presented in a package that is more street-focused. Both the dual-piston Brembo brake calipers in the front and the adjustable suspension equipped in it are the same as the ones seen in the MX-5 Global Cup race car.

Other features of this concept vehicle are the Global MX-5 Cup 17-inch wheels fitted with the Rival G force BFGoodrich tires and the OpenFlash Performance center exit exhaust. In addition, the exterior is finished in satin black metallic.

Saward shared that when it came to the MX-5 RF Kuro, Mazda wanted its appearance to be stealthy and complemented by the sleek profile. This allows it to have purpose and a hint of subtlety, he added. Considering that the brand is moving towards what is known as “Mazda Premium”, Mazda wanted to embrace its motorsports tradition and move forward with exciting designs like that of the MX-5 RF, Saward continued.

Press Release

Mazda Previews 2016 SEMA Concepts: MX-5 Miata Speedster Evolution and MX-5 RF Kuro

Always mixing performance and polish, Mazda North American Operations (MNAO) is offering a glimpse of its 2016 Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) concept cars ahead of their formal debut. Borrowing style and speed from the Mazda MX-5 Global Cup racecar, as well as elevating Mazda's iconic and lightweight sports car with premium details, are the MX-5 Speedster and MX-5 RF Kuro concepts.

Mazda first introduced the MX-5 Speedster to the world at the 2015 SEMA show, taking the base car's lightweight ethos to a new level. For this year's show, Mazda's design team took a big step forward, creating the Evolution, painted White Ether, taking the concept a step further with more than 100 lbs. removed from last year. Now just under 2,000 lbs., MX-5 Speedster Evolution is approximately 350 lbs. lighter than a stock MX-5 soft top.

Mazda also is displaying the MX-5 RF Kuro concept, based on the 2017 MX-5 Retractable Fastback that will be on sale early next year. MX-5 RF Kuro is painted in a semi-matte metallic concept color developed in-house called "Kuro," which means "charcoal" in Japanese. It rides on 17x7.5-inch RAYS forged wheels, 215/45R17 BFGoodrich Rival G-Force tires and the adjustable suspension from the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup Presented by BFGoodrich.

Both concepts were conceived by Mazda Design Americas to showcase contrasting directions that create a "Mazda Premium" experience while paying homage to Mazda's performance heritage. They were designed and built in-house by Mazda's Design team in Irvine, California.

MX-5 Speedster Evolution and MX-5 RF Kuro concepts will be on display at the SEMA Show on November 1-4 in the Mazda booth, #11647, in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Mazda North American Operations is headquartered in Irvine, Calif., and oversees the sales, marketing, parts and customer service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States and Mexico through nearly 700 dealers. Operations in Mexico are managed by Mazda Motor de Mexico in Mexico City. For more information on Mazda vehicles, including photography and B-roll, please visit the online Mazda media center at

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