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 |  Mar 23 2011, 7:24 AM

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The MX-5 GT is the lightest and most powerful version of the sports car Mazda has ever built. Making 275-hp from a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder, it weighs an astonishingly low 1,874 lbs.

Sadly, it isn’t street legal, but a full roll-cage-included race car, designed to compete in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship this year. The good news, however, is that Mazda is (not surprisingly) using this car as test-bed. It is, according to the Japanese automaker, “an engineering challenge to get the weight as low as possible using Mazda’s gram strategy as the inspiration.”

Light weight components include polycarbonate windows and carbon fiber body components, plus ultra light weight alloy wheels.

The current MX-5 has been criticized for gaining significant weight, part of which is to blame on Ford’s cost cutting strategy for the brand, sharing parts with the larger RX-8. With Mazda now from Ford control, it’s clear the company is getting back to its roots.

The MX-5 GT will first hit the track this weekend in the Britcar championship, when the season kicks off at Silverstone.

GALLERY: Mazda MX-5 GT

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