Mazda Teams up With Xbox to Design Livery for 2016 Mazda MX-5
Good things happen when you enlist a large group of passionate people to work toward a common goal. Oh, and offering an entertainment station worth $3,500 as a reward doesn’t hurt, either. At least that’s the logic behind this particular online contest. In a joint effort between Mazda and Microsoft to help promote the new MX-5, gamers with a copy of Forza Horizon 2 can submit original livery designs for the in-game Miata to see if they have the chops to stand out amongst a sea of digital designers.
Interested in participating? Simply sign into Xbox Live on the 360 or Xbox One console, load up Forza Horizon 2, choose the 1994 Mazda MX-5 as your canvas, and get to work designing a livery using the in-game tools. When you’ve finished your masterpiece, save it as “MX5contest” and upload it to the Forza Horizon 2 storefront before 11:59 PM on January 4th, 2015.
A panel composed of representatives from Microsoft, Mazda, and Turn 10 Studios will sift through the entries to find five of the best, judging each on three equally weighted criteria: originality, aesthetic design, and technical proficiency. Once this first cut is made, public voting will be held later in the month at the Mazda hub on Xbox Live to narrow the five to two semi-finalists. These lucky individuals will be flown to SXSW in Austin, Texas, where a secondary panel of judges will determine the winner. Not only will the winning design be offered as a free gift to all gamers in Forza Horizon 2, but its creator will also receive a 55-inch curved TV, an audio system, an Xbox One Kinect console, and a MadCatz Racing Wheel.
Think you got what it takes to catch the judges’ eye? Fire up that digital pen and have at it. We’re thinking something with orange, blue, and the letters "TS"...
Click past the jump to read more about the 2016 Mazda MX-5.
Why it matters
This is really a win-win scenario for everyone involved. By utilizing the talented Forza Horizon 2 video game community, Mazda will have a huge number of top-notch livery designs to source for inspiration, not to mention all the extra press gained for the new MX-5. Microsoft gets a nod for being the vehicle that drives this brand/audience interaction, and a gamer gets a free trip to SXSW and a brand new gaming rig. By encouraging a closer relationship between consumers and producers, the inevitable result is customizability and a better product. We like stuff like this, and we wouldn’t mind seeing it go a step further. For example, how about a contest to design an actual component of the car, say, the wheels?
Mazda’s iconic two-door roadster is everything you’d want from a small sports car: low weight, rear-drive, six-speed manual transmission, and simply legendary handling. That’s what makes it one of the most raced vehicles on the planet, from the cones at the autocross, to the rumble strips on the road course.
The fourth generation is just as good as previous years, with an updated design that’s a marked improvement aesthetically. Under the hood is a SkyActiv 2.0-liter naturally aspirated four-cylinder with about 160 horsepower on tap. While not necessarily neck-breaking, that’s enough for the 2,200-pound chassis to perform adequately on the straights.
But the real draw is how this thing simply slices corners to ribbons. Throw on some sticky tires and race-compound brake pads, gas it up, and hit the track.