The Mazda Miata Mono-Posto Concept Could Have Been A Fun Production Car

2022-06-07 07:11:37 By : Ms. Penny Peng

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The Mono-Posto concept was so unique it'll never be forgotten.

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 one-seat sports cars that look much prettier. The seating is the Mono-Posto’s defining feature, which explains why it has the name- Mono-Posto, Italian for “One Seat.” So, what exactly 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. In any case, the Mono-Posto is a Mazda concept built in 1999 and made its debut at the 2000 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). While modeled after the second generation Mazda MX5 produced from 1998 to 2005, Mono-Posto sought a unique position in the family by going decades back to the '50s racing era.

The result is an MX5 concept featuring all-new sports custom bodywork obviously inspired by Jaguar D-Type and Lotus 11 Mono-Posto didn’t go entirely solo, anyway, since it retained the MX5’s signature lightweight, front mid-engine, transmission, and rear-wheel-drive setup. Plus, the Mono-Posto roadster followed the MX5’s example by not returning to the retractable headlights of the Miata first generation. Want to know more about Mono-Posto? Let’s dive in.

Related: 10 Reasons Why We Love The Mazda MX-5 Miata

Let’s start from the doors. The Miata Mono-Posto’s unique bodywork is marked by its half doors, which means the car literally has no doors, at least not ones that permit easy ingress and egress. Coming from the horse’s mouth, the concept is an “extreme expression of Miata's 'oneness between horse and rider' concept.” That’s a better way to look at the one-seater thing than to dismiss it as a car for selfish people.

It’s a real shame but not surprising that Mono-Posto never made it into production because, ultimately, life is better when shared. We’d like to think the concept would have been modified to include at least functioning doors at the production line otherwise the owners would suffer along with the uninvited passengers. However, we’re just looking at it from the standpoint of the average driver.

For sports car lovers, who’d be the target customers anyway, they’d want the Mono-Posto as is. Why, everything about the car, including the lack of conventional doors, would remind them of race cars. Had Mono-Posto gone into production, it would most likely cater to the motoring needs of a select few, which would make it an expensive brand. But Mono-Posto simply did not possess the markings of an upscale, production supercar. It was propelled by a 1.8L 4-cylinder engine that produces a deep-throated sound through the exhaust.

It included an HKS-sourced powertrain, featuring a Super Mega Air Intake System, intake manifold, high-flowing exhaust system, and others. The aftermarket tuning plus a stainless steel exhaust led to a 36 percent increase in horsepower from 140 to 190 horses at 6,100 rpm. Mazda fitted the Mono-Posto with a tuned DOHC 16-valve engine raising the rotational 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. It’s got a small air intake on the bonnet.

The roadster experience is just as you imagined; thrilling, exhilarating, and vociferous, 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 wind in their hair. The windshield is less than minimal, and the car has no side windows at all.

This is actually Mazda’s fourth concept car after the 1989 Club Racer, 1995 M-Speedster, and the 1996 M-Coupe concepts built on the Miata platform. As if to evoke the spirit of the 19th-century racecars, it was fitted with aluminum anti-roll bars, which, though possesses high tensile strength, is rather the worst if over-stressed, which frankly, is to be expected with a speed machine like the Mono-Posto. They were a common sight in Porsche race cars in the '70s.

Mazda’s executive designer, Tom Matano, told MotorTrend that the Mono-Posto is for people that want “to be alone with the road, focused purely on driving.” Admittedly, it’s hard to think of a car that can do that better than a one-seat with no doors.

Related: 30 Years Of The Mazda MX-5 Miata In 15 Pictures

The concept of "driver's cars" has been around since the late 1980s, but none went as far as the Mono-Posto by getting rid of passenger seats altogether. On the bright side, Mono-Posto's bold concept will never be forgotten. Despite the bland appearance, the car looks just as daring today, perhaps even more outlandish than in 1999. It is painted in custom red pearl mica offset by a beautiful 5-spoke 18" wheels. The cockpit features Formula 1-style mono steering wheel and custom gauges.

In all of its bizarre uniqueness, the Mono-Posto ended up no more than a compelling tribute to the 1950s endurance racing era. In the automaker's own words, Mono-Posto is an extreme unification of horse and rider. That extremeness, however, is precisely why Mono-Posto never saw the production line, having sacrificed practicality on the altar of extreme expression of the man-and-his-machine concept. In Mazda's defense the Mono-Posto is not the first to think so radically. Just the boldest.

Philip Uwaoma, this bearded black male from Nigeria, has single-handedly written more than a million words in the form of articles published on various websites, including,, and Of all the websites and platforms Philip’s work appears on, the absence of his name attached to the articles published on Auto Quarterly is the only one that makes him moan; “ghostwriting sucks.” Albeit, Philip still won’t shy away from writing as a ghost. After all, it's the value he adds to human life with his pen that fuels his passion for writing. He has no dog, no wife- yet- and he loves Rolls Royce more than he really should.