Mazda's MX-5 Speedster and Spyder concepts
LIGHTWEIGHT. Fun to drive. Roadster. Tenets describing Mazda's MX-5 to a tee, from its 1989 introduction right through to the recently launched fourth-generation model.
But there's always room to amplify such fundamentals away from the constraints of producing a mass consumption sports car, as witnessed by some tantalising concept efforts recently revealed by Mazda.
Las Vegas's SEMA Show saw the reveal of the MX-5 Spyder and MX-5 Speedster - evocative names both - which Mazda said demonstrated "two vastly different takes on lightweight, open air performance".
The Spyder looks to the classic vintage roadster for inspiration, designed to accentuate the open-air experience with a "bikini top" in stretched tan Haartz fabric, a cabin awash with Spinneybeck natural leather and a specially formulated Mercury silver paint.
One for cruising to the theatre on a warm California evening with a fashionable starlet alongside you'd think, but with a carbon fibre aero kit too, the Spyder hints at a desire to tackle the winding canyon roads on the way home as well.
Then there's the Speedster. Windscreen and A-pillars gone, lightweight 16-inch RAYS wheels, carbon fibre doors and seats all help shed the kilos, and dressed in a new concept colour called Blue Ether it looks a stunningly good fun little toy.
Critics of the road-going MX-5's "user friendly" suspension will delight in the more hardcore adjustable coilovers which lower the Speedster 30mm when compared to the production car specifications, while an Alcantara retrimmed dashboard, centrally mounted exhaust and Kumho Ecsta slick tyres all up the desirability.
As aftermarket specialist creations, there's no possibility of any production examples, but the cult of the MX-5 only grows stronger with such desirable concepts.