The Mazda MX-5 Speedster Looks Like a Happily Downsized Ferrari Monza SP2

Startups may have a feeling that some people are trying to give up on fitting in with most new car buyers. It's just a hopeful presumption, but we may soon see customers fleeing the boring buy-an-SUV-and-be-happy-with-it trend. After all, not every family needs a high-riding, inefficient vehicle that gives buyers the illusion of going off-road and having a blast. Let's see if you could take your little one to school in this heavily modified Miata nicknamed the MX Speedster.
MX Speedster and the MX Speedster RS 14 photos
Photo: Xenex Motorsports / autoevolution edit
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In 2022, nearly 46% of global car sales comprised SUVs and crossovers, and the trend is poised to keep growing. Furthermore, the International Energy Agency says the US, Europe, and India led the charge in this respect. Besides that, there is an environmental movement against these types of vehicles. We have seen the "Tire Extinguishers" targeting SUVs – even the all-electric ones – because of their claimed large carbon footprint.

But what started as a deflating SUV tire movement quickly turned into something bigger and, some might argue, even more dangerous. Activists resorted to scratching these vehicles, while others even went as far as to damage fuel pumps. Some think this pushback and the overall increased ownership costs may be a catalyst for people to return to sedans, hatchbacks, wagons, and vans before looking at high-riding vehicles.

Complementing the anonymous "Tire Extinguishers," activists have joined hands internationally and are blaming automakers and new car buyers for actively working towards mainstreaming the all-electric vehicle. One of their arguments is that EVs won't fix our congestion issues or make cities friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists.

Surprisingly, elected officials like those in Texas agree that EVs aren't really going to change much. They anticipated that the state's infrastructure and highway budget might shrink and recently established a $400 initial registration fee for zero-tailpipe emission passenger vehicles. Afterward, a $200 yearly tax is applicable.

MX Speedster RS
Photo: Xenex Motorsports
So, it makes sense for up-and-coming companies to focus on the newest car trend before it turns into one by returning to basics.

Spotting the trend before it happens

I will be the first to admit that the Japanese automaker built a small open-top car that is not very practical or fast! You wouldn't take an MX-5 on a lengthy continental road trip, right? However, the eventually popular roadster Mazda gave to the world inspired many people to truly enjoy driving and traveling without worrying about expensive fill-ups, taxes, insurance, tires, service bills, and other costs associated with owning a "fun car." That's why it's so great.

This vehicle became and remained an icon. Today, it fully deserves this status because it symbolizes freedom and budget-friendly motoring fun, which everyone deserves to experience at least once. Plus, what's not to like about a small and modestly-powered roadster? It gets even more appealing when you figure out that it surprisingly encompasses even today a piece of something great that only Alfa Romeo vehicles used to have – a mechanized soul.

So, can you improve the MX-5? Xenex Motorsports thought about it and decided to attempt it at least once. That's why they created the MX Speedster. The company claims the design was inspired by the Porsche 550 Spyder and the 356 Speedster.

The '50s and the '60s were great for minimalistic, stripped-down sports car lovers. Still, we would go as far as to say that it resembles – albeit on a smaller scale – a fantastic vehicle somewhat recently created in Italy by Ferrari. It might just be what you can buy if the mighty Monza SP2 is out of reach.

If Xenex Motorsports doesn't sound familiar, you should know that they also built custom race cars. Two years ago, they showed off the Alpina 6.0 CSR concept at the Amelia Island Concours d'Elegance.

MX Speedster
Photo: Xenex Motorsports on Facebook
Based on the first generation of the MX-5 – the Miata NA – the American company created this stripped-down and wild-looking two-seater to showcase that purism is still alive and kicking. While major carmakers are ditching cars in favor of crossovers and SUVs, independent shops like Xenex Motorsports are taking it upon themselves to give something back to drivers.

Special, but not expensive

Kasim Tibekov's vision is embedded into the vehicle's body because Xenex Motorsports commissioned his company to create an entirely new, enthralling look for the Mazda MX-5 NA. That's one of the reasons why the vehicle looks properly cool! The Russian designer is known for creating some wild concepts and has made himself known through social media channels like Instagram. He recently reimagined a current-gen 911 as a single-seater widebody speedster with the driver sitting in the middle. But while the Porsche remains a concept, the MX Speedster is real.

The vehicle keeps the happy and smiling front with pop-up headlights while the body goes through an extreme diet. It loses the windshield, the roof, and the roof mechanism while attempting to play more into the hand of aerodynamics with its sculpted shoulders. It's a treat to look at, especially when you find out that it also lost nearly 250 lb (113 kg) in the process. The purpose-built unit has new front fenders, rear trunk lid, bumpers, windshield, side windows, and no soft or hard tops.

But don't get your hopes up – the creator doesn't specify precisely how heavy the modified Miata is after adding the extensive body kit. Plus, it depends on what the customer wants under the hood!

MX Speedster
Photo: Xenex Motorsports on Facebook
Xenex will provide buyers with precisely what they want. They'll be able to equip the MX Speedster with proper track-ready suspension, 17-inch wheels, better brakes, a fitting exhaust, and a couple of engine tunes.

The price for this cool-looking body kit starts from $8,750. If you don't have the donor car, the American company says it's possible to keep the Speedster's cost under $20,000. But be ready to splurge if you want to make it truly yours. For now, the company has made three MX Speedster units. They represent the base version, the "S," and the "RS." The least potent model comes with 145 hp, while the most powerful version has over 400 hp.

Finally, Xenex Motorsports says the MX Speedster S, with its bespoke supercharger kit, is a "true Cobra 289 killer on the track," while the MX Speedster RS packs an LS V8 that is plenty powerful and can turn into a track weapon.
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About the author: Florin Amariei
Florin Amariei profile photo

Car shows on TV and his father's Fiat Tempra may have been Florin's early influences, but nowadays he favors different things, like the power of an F-150 Raptor. He'll never be able to ignore the shape of a Ferrari though, especially a yellow one.
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