Mazda MX-5 GT Concept (2012) first official pictures

Published: 26 June 2012

Mazda's Goodwood Festival of Speed stand will be headlined by the MX-5 GT Concept - an uprated road-legal special, producing 205bhp.

Showcased by Mazda in order to gauge public reaction to a track day-friendly MX-5, it'll be joined on the stand by the Takeri concept and new CX-5 crossover.

What's so special about the Mazda MX-5 GT Concept?

Forget those hairdresser's car jibes, this is a very serious MX-5. It's inspired, says Mazda, by the podium-winning MX-5 GT racing car programme, currently competing in the 2012 British GT Championship.

Race specialists Jota Sport have squeezed 205bhp from the 2.0-litre petrol engine, without resorting to forced induction. Drive is sent through a standard MX-5 manual gearbox to the rear wheels, which are shod in road-legal slick tyres to benefit on-track performance.

Adjustable suspension allows the MX-5 GT to be tuned for any given road or track environment, while a carbon front splitter, rear spoiler and diffuser should ensure the car has the aerodynamics to remain on course. The cabin has also been festooned with carbonfibre and Recaro seats in the name of weight-saving, and there's a sports exhaust with central tailpipes to complete the makeover.

Will the MX-5 GT Concept just be a static exhibit at Goodwood?

Mercifully, no - you'll be able to hear the benefits of that sports exhaust with your own ears.

The car will be taking part in the hillclimb as part of the 'First Glance' category, while its race-spec inspiration will also attack the famous route: with a 0-60mph time of just three seconds, the race car could be one of the swiftest machines in action.

Are Mazda showing off anything else at Goodwood?

Yes, it's not just high-performance sports cars from Mazda. The Takeri concept, said to preview the look of the next Mazda 6 family saloon, will be on display, alongside the first recipient of Mazda's 'SkyActiv' design to increase efficiency and driver satisfaction: the CX-5 crossover.

Mazda will also be handing out free Le Mans books on its stand (the maker is still the only Japanese maker to have won at la Sarthe) but you'll have to be quick to come away with a copy.

The 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed runs from 28 June - 1 July 2012.

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