The Mazda MX-5 has held the title of the world’s most popular sports car for the past 25 years. But some critics say that the latest generation lightweight Japanese sports car could do with a bit more power to exploit its well-sorted chassis.
And now BBR, a well-known Northamptonshire-based Mazda tuning specialist, has released details about its new power-hiking package.
The tuner has developed a Stage 1 twin-scroll turbocharger upgrade for the 2,0-litre model, taking the SkyActiv-G engine’s peak power from the stock 118 kW @ 6000 r/min to a meatier 185 kW @ 7150 r/min. Maximum torque, meanwhile, climbs from 200 N.m to 320 N.m, available at 3250 r/min.
According to Mazda, the standard roadster is capable of reaching 100 km/h from standstill in 7,3 seconds (during our own testing back December 2015, we managed a best of 7,59 seconds). And the turbocharged BBR MX-5?
Well, the tuner claims that the obligatory sprint time falls to a smidgen more than 5,0 seconds, with a claimed power-to-weight ratio of 174 kW per tonne and a electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
BBR says it began development and testing back in 2014, using a Mazda3 as the mule. The tuner concluded that a twin-scroll turbocharger was a better bet than a supercharger (which would require “significant boost levels”) due to the high compression ratio of the SkyActiv-G engine.
Along with the turbocharger, this MX-5 features a high-flow K&N induction system, a stainless steel downpipe and a carbon-fibre turbocharger heat shield. An upgraded ECU software package is also included.
The Mazda MX-5 Stage 1 turbo package is priced at £4 995 (about R84 100), including installation, and comes with a 12- to 36-month extendable warranty.
Need yet more power? Well, BBR’s Neil Mckay says that “with internal upgrades to the Mazda engine, we know that considerable more power is available – the BBR technical team is already developing future stages to exploit this”.