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Red-hot retro roadster revealed

Mazda has pulled the wraps off a red-hot, retro-inspired roadster based on the popular MX-5

9 Dec 1999

MAZDA recently unveiled the first concept car based on its hot-selling second generation MX-5, a race-inspired one-seater that harks back to the 1950s.

The radical, retro MX-5 draws several styling cues from Jaguar's legendary D-type and lightweight Lotus 11 racers.

Mazda says the Mono-Posto is the ultimate expression of the "oneness between horse and rider" theme.

Designed purely as a concept, the Mono-Posto makes no concessions to practicality. It features half doors, a minimalist windscreen, aluminium rollbar, air intake in the bonnet and a centrally-mounted rear view mirror.

The only body panels carried over from the production version are the headlights, tail-lights and boot lid.

The Mono-Posto's visual impact is maximised by its striking Red Pearl Mica paintwork.

It is not just a showpony though, with performance to match its racy profile.

Power is increased considerably by the addition of an HKS turbocharger and intercooler, reprofiled intake and exhaust manifolds and a free-flowing steel exhaust.

The figures tell the story: power is up from 106kW to 142kW at 6100rpm while torque jumps from 165Nm to a whopping 329Nm at 4100rpm.

Complementing the uprated straight-line performance are massive alloy wheels (18x8-inch at the front and 18x9.5-inch at the rear) shod with chunky, low-profile rubber.

Stopping power comes from race-derived four-wheel discs and the suspension also benefits from an HKS coil-over setup.

The race-inspired theme is carried over to the interior which features a Formula One-style Sparco steering wheel, one-piece racing seat and custom-made instrumentation.

"The Mono-Posto is for the one who wants to be alone with the road, focused purely on driving," Mazda design chief Mr Tom Matano says.

"The idea of this concept was to take the fun of driving an MX-5 to the extreme." Sadly, the red-hot engine that powers the Mono-Posto will never be offered in the road-going MX-5, even though the roadster's well-balanced chassis seems up to the task.

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