Mazda returns for this year’s Specialty Equipment Marketing Association (SEMA) show with two new show cars – the MX-5 Speedster Evolution and MX-5 RF Kuro – previewed here.

If the former sounds familiar, that is because Mazda brought back last year’s SEMA debut, but as the ‘Evolution’ in its name indicates, there are several changes. The most obvious is the switch to a White Ether paintjob from the previous Blue Ether.

More importantly, the Speedster Evolution manages to shed a further 45 kg from last year’s concept, so it now tips the scales at 898 kg, which Mazda says is approximately 159 kg lighter than a stock MX-5 soft top. That makes it weigh about as much as a manual Perodua Bezza 1.3 Premium X.


New wheels have also been fitted here, replacing the 16-inch RAYS 57 Extreme Gram Lights. Aside from those changes, everything appears to remain as before, including the 1950s open-top sports car design and lowered ride height.

Moving on, we have the MX-5 RF Kuro concept, which is based on Mazda’s retracting targa-roof two-seater. Like the Speedster, it gets a custom semi-matte metallic exterior finish called “Kuro,” which is developed in-house, meaning “charcoal” in Japanese.

The concept also gets adjustable suspension from the MX-5 Cup car, 17-inch RAYS forged wheels, and 215/45 BFGoodrich Rival G-Force tyres to boot. Both concepts were designed and built in-house by Mazda’s Design team in Irvine, California to create a “Mazda Premium” experience while paying homage to Mazda’s performance heritage.