A US company has transformed an example of the original 1989 Mazda MX-5 convertible into a retro-inspired Speedster with Ferrari-style paintwork.
The original Mazda MX-5 sports car – launched in 1989 to great acclaim – has become a popular choice for speed shops to offer their own versions of the convertible.
But the latest example of a modified Mazda MX-5 – built by US firm Xenex Motorsport and dubbed the MX Speedster – is different from the rest.
Based on the first generation ‘NA’ Mazda MX-5 – built from 1989 to 1997 – the MX Speedster takes inspiration from ‘Speedster’ cars of the 1950s such as the Porsche 550 and 356 by removing the windshield and roof to create even more open-air driving experience.
Xenex Motorsport commissioned designer Kasim Tlibekua to create the MX Speedster’s exterior design, featuring a more rounded front bumper, wider wheel arches, large side skirts and a streamlined rear bumper compared to the original Mazda.
Uploaded in a post on InstagramMr Tlibekua showed off his creation – which was on display at a car show in Florida last week – although the silver and yellow color combination appears to be a nod to a 2018 Ferrari Monza SP1 Speedster.
It appears that the Mazda MX-5’s interior is largely unchanged aside from reupholstered leather seats, a new steering wheel and a streamlined instrument cluster.
According to the MX Speedster websitethree variants can be ordered from April 2023: the basic variant, the MX Speedster S and the MX Speedster RS.
Xenex Motorsport claims the base MX Speedster is nearly 115kg lighter than the standard Mazda MX-5 – which tipped the scales at 960kg in 1989 – while performance upgrades like racing brakes, track-oriented suspension and 17-inch wheels have also been incorporated .
When upgrading to the MX Speedster S, a supercharger is added, increasing the car’s stated power from 85 kW to 149 kW.
At the top of the range is the MX Speedster RS, which replaces the MX-5’s four-cylinder engine with a General Motors ‘LS’ V8 engine as found in Holden Commodores and US Chevrolet Corvettes from the late 1990s onwards sports car was used.
Xenex claims the V8-powered MX Speedster could develop more than 260 kW in a car that weighs less than a ton.
While exact pricing and specs have yet to be announced, the company claims that the Mazda MX-5 to MX Speedster conversion costs about $15,000 ($22,600) — if you can sell the removed parts from the standard car at the changeover.
The cost of the conversion does not include the price of a first generation Mazda MX-5. In Australia, ‘NA’ Mazda MX-5s are listed for sale between around US$10,000 and US$30,000 depending on the condition of the car and modifications made.
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