Anticipation for the next-gen Miata was approaching a fever pitch before the Chicago Auto Show, but the zoom-zoom brand has managed to heat things up yet further by introducing the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Accessories Design Concept there. The car wears a mix of performance, style and function upgrades, all created to highlight the personalization potential of the world’s best-selling roadster.
And while it’s not clear when,or if, any of these upgrades will reach the aftermarket, aficionados of open-air driving should remember that the brand-new Miata is set for a summer sales debut in this country.
Launching an all-new generation of an icon like the Miata requires a bit of a balancing act, as automakers have to innovate to be successful but without forgetting to cater to their long-time fans. The 2016 Mazda Miata MX-5 Accessories Design Concept provides an example of how the brand plans to accomplish that task, with Jim O’Sullivan, president and CEO of Mazda North American Operations, saying that: “For our next-generation MX-5, our designers and engineers obsessively focused on heightening the joy that comes with driving our signature sports car. The concept parts and accessories we have showcased at the Chicago Auto Show were developed to give customers a look at what is possible for the new cars to make them truly one of a kind, adding to that excitement.”
The Miata makeover for Chicago starts with Brembo stoppers, in this case a lightweight setup for the front of the car, and also includes visible red brake calipers at all four wheels. Speaking of which, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Accessories Design Concept rides on some new ones: 17-inch forged wheels with a black finish, from BBS. The rubber is new, too, upgraded to 205/45R17 tires.
Also, while the new Miata will provide a usable trunk space, the Accessories Design Concept brings a bit more practicality with a carbon-fiber luggage rack. The unit adds less than two pounds to the minimal curb weight of the 2016 Miata, itself some 150 lbs. lighter than the 2015 model.
Capping off the accessories bundle is the gloss-black aero kit that Mazda introduced at the 2014 SEMA Show along with the 2016 MX-5 Global Cup racecar. There's also a new front air dam, side-sill extensions, a rear bumper skirt and a rear lip spoiler.
We already knew that the latest Miata was going to serve up all the classic cues of the unforgettable original, while also boasting a sophisticated Skyactiv powertrain and many of today’s top amenities. But thanks to the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Accessories Design Concept, it’s now also clear that the team expects to revitalize its aftermarket reach as well.
And Autobytel expects that’s exactly what will happen.