Beloved worldwide as the best-selling two-seat roadster in the world, with a secure spot in Guinness World Records to boot, the MX-5 Miata is the vehicle motorsports enthusiasts love to drive on the weekday streets of suburbia and the weekend roads of race tracks nationwide.
Well-known is the MX-5’s single-hand-operation soft-top and segment-best 12-second Power Retractable Hard Top (PRHT) that the Mazda MX-5 Spyder is a re-imagination of the roadster and features a sweeping, single-panel grenadine-red soft-top made by Haartz Corporation. Its design, a collaborative effort between MNAO Design and Magna Car Top Systems, offers an even lower slung stance of the MX-5 without sacrificing headroom. Fitted onto the roadster’s already sleek and sexy “look at me” body style, the Mazda MX-5 Spyder has been painted Stratosphere White and features a Yokohama rubber-and-rims set of AO48 225/45R17 performance tires matched with 17-inch, 10-spoke ADVAN RS wheels in Gun Metal Metallic. But as the adage goes, there is more than meets the eye.
Under the hood is where the vehicle’s exterior treat matches wits with an interior trick. Powered by Mazda’s ever-dependable MZR 2.0-liter engine, the Mazda MX-5 Spyder is fueled by BP’s isobutanol. The significance? The biofuel supports Mazda’s mantra of “Sustainable Zoom-Zoom,” which means crafting exciting, fun-to-drive vehicles that create minimal environmental impact. A testament to this philosophy is the Mazda/Dyson Racing entry in the American Le Mans Series. The #16 LMP1Lola vehicle features a turbocharged MZR-R 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, runs on isobutanol and beat competing larger-block V-12s to win the manufacturer, team and drivers championships for the 2011 racing season. Mazda also was given the Michelin® Green X® Challenge at the Baltimore Grand Prix, a distinction awarded to category cars that prove to be the “cleanest, fastest, most efficient” in the race.
Although similar to how ethanol is produced from agricultural feedstock, isobutanol does not compromise vehicle performance for the sake of fuel economy and can be added to the current fuel distribution infrastructure without requiring modifications in blending facilities, storage tanks and retail station pumps. Isobutanol’s compatibility with existing technology and infrastructures is a significant step toward meeting the demand in renewable fuels for transportation.
Another fuel-saving, engine-efficient feature of the Mazda MX-5 Spyder is a lightweight lithium-ion racing battery made by Braille Battery. The lead-free advanced battery system is RoHS compliant and constructed of non-hazardous materials, has a high charge retention and offers a longer life cycle than comparable standard batteries. A Racing Beat header, intake and exhaust muffler as well as a MazdaSpeed coil over kit and Brembo brakes complete the vehicle’s mechanics.
The cabin area is accentuated by tanned Saddle black-leather seats with Aqua leather accents and Coal Ash suede inserts. Subtle Spider Silk Gray Metallic-colored trim pieces on the doors and dash panels tastefully adorn the mostly black interior, which is finished off with customized floor mats by Star West. A MazdaSpeed short-throw shifter adds a tasty reminder to the MX-5’s motorsports pedigree.