Mazda Miata Mono-Posto Concept Could Have Been a Fun Production Car
The Mono-Posto was not the most beautiful sports car in the world, but it is a one-of-a-kind concept that will never be forgotten. What madness to forget such a unicorn even among a myriad of much prettier sports single-seaters. The seat is the defining feature of the Mono-Posto, which is why it bears the name Mono-Posto, Italian for “One Seat”. So what is the Mazda Miata Mono-Posto?
Built on the Miata MX5 platform, the Mono-Posto has been called the Miata for selfish people who want to avoid sharing their rides with friends. Anyway, the Mono-Posto is a Mazda concept that was built in 1999 and made its Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) debut in 2000. Although inspired by the 1998 produced second generation Mazda MX5 In 2005, Mono-Posto sought a unique position in the family by going back decades to the racing era of the 1950s.
The result is an MX5 concept with all-new custom sporty bodywork, obviously inspired by the Jaguar D-Type and Lotus 11 Mono-Posto, which didn’t go entirely solo, anyway, since it retained the MX5’s signature lightweight, front mid-engine, transmission, and rear-wheel-drive setup. Additionally, the Mono-Posto roadster followed the MX5’s lead in not reverting to the first-generation Miata’s pop-up headlights. Do you want to know more about Mono-Posto? Let’s dive into it.
Focus on the Mono-Posto
Let’s start with the doors. The unique body of the Miata Mono-Posto is marked by its half doors, which means that the car literally has no doors, at least not ones that allow easy entry and exit. Coming from the horse’s mouth, the concept is a “extreme expression of the concept of “unity between horse and rider” of Miata. It’s a better way to look at the single-seater than to dismiss it as a car for selfish people.
It’s a real shame but no wonder Mono-Posto never went into production because, ultimately, life is better when shared. We’d like to think the concept would have been changed to include at least working doors on the production line, otherwise owners would suffer with the uninvited passengers. However, we look at this from the perspective of the average driver.
For sports car enthusiasts, who would be the target customers anyway, they would want the Mono-Posto as is. Why, everything about the car, including the lack of conventional doors, would remind them of racing cars. If Mono-Posto had gone into production, it would most likely serve the automotive needs of a select few, making it an expensive brand. But Mono-Posto simply didn’t have the hallmarks of a high-end production supercar. It was powered by a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that produces a deep throat sound through the exhaust.
It featured an HKS-sourced powertrain, including a Super Mega air intake system, intake manifold, high-flow exhaust system, and more. Aftermarket tuning and a stainless steel exhaust resulted in a 36 percent increase in power from 140 to 190 horsepower at 6,100 rpm. Mazda fitted the Mono-Posto with a tuned 16-valve DOHC engine increasing turning force from 124 to 243 lb-ft of torque at 4,100 rpm. The engine specifications consist of an HKS turbocharger and intercooler paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. There is a small air vent on the hood.
The roadster experience is just as you imagined it; thrilling, exhilarating and loud, and enhanced by the one-piece valence front and rear bumpers and miniature windshield body construction. Ultimately, a customer’s decision to buy a Mono-Posto depends on how they feel about the wind in their hair. The windshield is less than minimal and the car has no side windows at all.
It is actually Mazda’s fourth concept car after the 1989 Club Racer, 1995 M-Speedster and 1996 M-Coupe concepts built on the Miata platform. As if to evoke the spirit of 19th century racing cars, it was fitted with aluminum anti-roll bars, which, although possessing high tensile strength, are rather the worst if overstressed, which, frankly, is to be expected with a machine speed like the Mono-Posto. They were commonplace in Porsche racing cars of the 70s.
Mazda executive designer Tom Matano told MotorTrend that the Mono-Posto is for people who want “to be alone with the road, just focused on driving.” Admittedly, it’s hard to think of a car that can do better than a single-seater without doors.
Final Thoughts on the Mazda Miata Mono-Posto
The concept of “cars with driver” has been around since the late 1980s, but none have gone as far as the Mono-Posto in getting rid of passenger seats altogether. On the bright side, Mono-Posto’s bold concept will never be forgotten. Despite its bland appearance, the car looks just as bold today, perhaps even more extravagantly than it did in 1999. It’s painted in custom pearl red mica offset by handsome 18-inch 5-spoke wheels. The cockpit features a mono Formula 1-style steering wheel and custom gauges.
In all its bizarre uniqueness, the Mono-Posto was nothing but a compelling homage to the era of endurance racing of the 1950s. In the automaker’s own words, Mono-Posto is a extreme union of horse and rider. This extreme, however, is precisely why Mono-Posto never saw the production line, having sacrificed practicality on the altar of extreme expression of the concept of man and his machine. In Mazda’s defense, the Mono-Posto isn’t the first to think so radically. Just the boldest.
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