Art

Design Focus: 2017 Mazda MX-5 at Chicago Auto Show

The Mazda MX-5 at the Chicago Auto Show's Concept and Technology Garage, McCormick Place

The Mazda MX-5 at the Chicago Auto Show’s Concept and Technology Garage, McCormick Place

Pulling in at this year’s Chicago Auto Show–the nation’s largest automotive exhibition held annually at McCormick Place–is the sleek and stylish 2017 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Equipped with an automatic convertible top and automatic sport transmission, this peppy little roadster is all set to cruise.

Going into convertible mode at the push of a button

Going into convertible mode at the push of a button

The 2017 model was featured at McCormick Place’s Concept & Technology Garage, which offered a preview of innovative new autos  across brands including Ford, Nissan, and Dodge,  as well as the chance to test drive the cars featured in this year’s Auto Show. In the garage under the awaiting show floors of McCormick Place, the MX-5 sat at the end of the lineup, headlights on and ready to drive.

Painted Soul Red, this bright little number glows with pep and poise. One of its lead designers, Jacques Flynn, accompanied the car to the show. Commenting on the design elements of the car, he spoke of its stylish approach to power. “Pulling the C-pillar [i.e. the back portion of the car] way back gives the car a more cape-like silhouette, which really emphasizes the power to the rear wheels,” said Flynn. He went on to elaborate that the overall design of the car has a very “sculpted feel,” and with “no major lines or creases, it creates a really nice soft quality that allows the body to really flow into its elements.” This no-nonsense approach highlights the pure body structure of the car, mixing fun with elegance and accenting it’s intent to cruise.

Jaques Flynn, one of the lead designers of the Mazda MX-5, presents the car at the Concept & Technology Garage, McCormick Place

Jaques Flynn, one of the lead designers of the Mazda MX-5, presents the car at the Concept & Technology Garage, McCormick Place

What’s more, is that the smooth feel of the body slides right into the handling of the car. After speaking with Flynn, I was given the opportunity to take it for a spin around the garage floor. At a push of the ignition button and a press down on the hood switch, I was driving down the runway of the Concepts Garage with flowing hair and not a break in stead. Driving this car feels like coursing through the curves of its very body, gliding right on down the track in rolling esteem. All that was missing was an open country road.

The Mazda MX-5 on a test drive at the Concept & Technology Garage, McCormick Place

The Mazda MX-5 on a test drive at the Concept & Technology Garage, McCormick Place

The Mazda MX-5 is on view at this year’s Chicago Auto Show at McCormick Place (2301 S King Dr) , which takes place from February 11th to February 20th. Tickets to the Auto Show are $13 for adults and $7 for children. For more info on the 2017 MX-5 (or to look into acquiring one of your own), visit its page on Mazda’s website.

 

All photos by Stephanie Lenchard Warren.

Categories: Art, Beyond, Design

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