They were teased last week, now they’ve been revealed at the 2016 SEMA Show. The pair of driver-focused Miatas will never see production, but they exist to show what is important to the company, and to offer two wildly different takes on how to accomplish the same purpose — carving the road with a stupid grin plastered to your mug.
The Miata RF Kuro takes one of the new “retractable fastback” NDs and turns it into quite possibly the ultimate nighttime touge stealth bomber. If you can look past the murdered out paint, they’ve replaced what’s under the skin entirely with a suspension pilfered from a MX-5 Global Cup race car.
Whether its just the bolt-ons like adjustable dampers and swaybars or the more aggressive suspension geometry as well is almost irrelevant. The point is that this is the closest you’ll ever get to a track-bred Miata Coupe. If you dream about menacing your local touge with an air of Stig-like mystery, this is the Miata for you.
We, however, prefer to have a car distilled to its essence rather than butched up, and in the Miata’s case that means lightening the car as much as humanly possible. Mazda says the Miata Speedster Evolution is an ND pared down to its bare essentials. It’s a progression of the MX-5 Speedster that debuted at SEMA last year but with an extra 100 pounds somehow shaved off, bringing the total to a scant 1,980 pounds.
It too has an MX-5 Global Cup suspension, but also a Racing Beat exhaust, 17-inch Rays Gram Lights 57Transcend wheels, and a beautiful paint job Mazda calls White Ether. There is no windshield, the door handles are leather straps, and the nacelles behind the seats open to reveal helmet storage for both driver and passenger.
Sure, a car with no windshield or roof will never make it to the public, so you might be wondering what the point its. Well, mere yards away from the Mazda booth was Kia, whose cars and colored lights represented everything that gives SEMA a reputation for being utterly ridiculous. This included a Sorrento that had been converted to some kind of autonomous ski gondola and a Sedona made into a rock and roll studio (because nothing says rock more than a minivan, right?).
Mazda’s minimalist booth, in comparison, looked almost old school, but it shows where the company’s head is at. Oh, and the best part? Each car had a tiny detail on the rear deck that was easy to miss.
It says “Matsuda,” the proper Japanese pronunciation of Mazda, and “Established 1920” underneath. It’s a subtle nod to the Hiroshima company’s nearly 100 years in existence. Which Miata would you take?
Bonus Images. Click to enlarge.