The press events here at the Chicago Auto Show have been, for the most part, excruciatingly formulaic. Even when they had a live band, even when they had a dancing robot situation, those standout moments only came into relief against the backdrop of a very standardized look and feel: One man, a presenter, reads from a teleprompter and says a bunch of stuff that you would never mistake as anything other than a scripted speech. It’s catchy, it’s vigorous, it’s hyper-optimistic (Even when it probably shouldn’t be. Oh hey, Mitsubishi). There’s always a video, and music to get you PUMPED. UP. Basically, it’s the worst.
Mazda’s news conference this morning was the exact opposite of all that, and it was so refreshing. It was efferfuckingvescent. It was a crowd of people who appeared to really give a shit listening to people who were actual experts — MX-5 brand manager Rod McLaughlin and design manager Ken Saward both took the floor and were casual, engaging, and spoke with the type of eloquence that comes from actually knowing and caring about your subject.
Granted, nothing was really being unveiled and presumably there would have been a bit more pomp and nonsense had it been more than an accessories design concept taking center stage, but I’m still saying they nailed it. It felt deliberately pared down, and was genuinely informative and easy to glean actual information from. That should be the norm, but it isn’t. The norm is robots.
So what’s the accessories concept all about? It includes:
- Aero Kit (Front Air Dam, Side Sill Extensions, Rear Bumper Skirt and Rear Lip Spoiler)
- Brembo Brakes: Lightweight Brembo front brakes, red brake calipers behind all four wheels
- BBS Wheels: Forged black, sized 17x7J 45mm offset, wrapped in 205/45R17 tires.
- Luggage Rack: Made of carbon fiber, weighs less than two pounds, mounts to the trunk
Nice stuff for a nice car from an automaker that doesn’t blow smoke up your ass. I’m sold. And by sold I mean I will happily accept one as a gift.