We've just barely had the chance of the , and already the accessories are arriving. At the Chicago Auto Show, Mazda rolled out a concept version of the new roadster sporting a full outfit of aesthetic and performance enhancements. We knew the Miata wouldn't stay stock for long.
The fully accessorized MX-5 on the Mazda stand is equal parts show and go. Painted in an immaculate shade of Ceramic Metallic, the concept wears the full body kit previously seen on , the . That means an aggressive lower air dam out front (complete with pointy protrusions for literally attacking apexes), side sill extensions, and a lower skirt for the rear bumper. Atop the decklid rests a modest spoiler, and the whole aero kit is finished in gloss black, same as on the Miata racer we saw at the car's debut.
On the performance side, the show car features a Brembo-branded front brake kit of undisclosed size, and the brake calipers on all four corners are finished in bright red so the kids on the block know you're cool. Those brakes peek out from behind an upgraded set of forged, 17-by-7-inch BBS wheels, and wearing Bridgestone Potenza RE050A summer-only performance tires, sized 205/45R-17.
Of note, that's the same size rolling stock the U.S. market will get when the Miata goes on sale this summer. And that points to Mazda's priorities: Even the company's zooted-up Chicago show car holds to the smaller-and-lighter mantra that motivated the car's clean-sheet redesign.
So no glitzy, heavy 19-inch chrome wheels here, thanks. And, notably, no engine enhancements: Mazda apparently finds the 155 horses and 148 lb-ft of torque coming out of the 2.0-liter Skyactiv-G four-cylinder to be plenty. If you appreciate zen-like balance over out-and-out assault by acceleration, you will, too.
Hell, even the Miata-spec trunklid luggage rack that Mazda showed elsewhere on its display is made from weight-shaving carbon fiber. It weighs less than two pounds, according to Mazda.
There's no word on when or if these accessories will hit the market. For its part, Mazda says the concept parts on display "were developed to give customers a look at what is possible for the new cars to make them truly one-of-a-kind." And the choice of Chicago as the venue was no accident: It's the show where, way back in 1989, the world first laid eyes on the original Miata.
It's tempting to say that a lot has changed since then, and it has. And yet, the 2016 Miata is a full 4.1 inches shorter and 150 pounds lighter than the outgoing model, bringing it within striking distance of the original 1989 model's dimensions. The fact that Mazda ignored the temptation to slap a turbo, foot-wide tires, and useless air scoops on the new MX-5 shows that the automaker is still interested in sticking to the jinba ittaii deal that drove the original car's design in the first place. And we couldn't be happier.