Awarded Japan’s Car Of The Year 2015-2016 and the World Car of the Year in 2016, Japan’s standout automobile design is represented by the Mazda roadster.
The Mazda Roaster MINI-Z body realizes two key benefits in a model product, stunning aesthetics and superb R/C driving performance. For purely aesthetic styling, the R/C model would use the S 86mm wheelbase, however this would impact the steering control as the rear suspension cannot produce enough stroke. For this reason amongst others, the wheelbase was changed to the M 90mm wheelbase and the body was modified and formed accordingly. In cases such as this, it is not uncommon for R/C bodies to be modified. The modifications to the Mazda Roaster have resulted in a body that is even more realistic.
Furthermore, through the manufacturer approval process with Mazda Motor Corporation, Mazda approved the signature ‘Soul Red Premium Metallic’ body color, even though the color was not quite as dark as the real car. We considered if we should proceed to production given this situation.
Or do we start over again and make it perfect? This decision rested with the person in charge of development. However, the feelings of the team were unanimous. “The body color of the Roadster must be faithful to the original model” and “It must create an experience just like driving the real car”. The decision was easy and we decided to start over again. Having realized we could not compromise on any aspect of quality whether it be the color, the way the light reflects off the car, or the bodylines, we strove to recreate the car down to minute details to recreate the feeling of driving the actual Roadster. Details such as the light parts attached to the light unit, the number plate, heat wires (defogger), muffler and even the small wrinkle in the hood were included.
While no compromise was made with the body appearance, the same applied to the driving experience and performance. The greatest challenge was the roll characteristics due to the combination of the narrow tread with the M wheelbase. Reducing the weight and having a low center of gravity overcame this challenge.
Most MINI-Z bodies feature separate roof and window parts but with the Roadster, it was possible to reduce the weight of the cabin significantly by combining these into one part. Reduced wall thickness on the top surfaces (bonnet and trunk) and the side surfaces (front and rear fenders, doors) also contributed to lighter weight. The top surfaces are made thinner than the side surfaces to enable compatibility between lightweight and low center of gravity. The technique of altering the thickness of the surfaces is the first in over 15 years of MINI-Z history.
The result is a Roadster body you can decorate, appreciate, and drive to your heart’s content. Our hope is that you will enjoy the Roadster from the first moment you open the throttle.