Soup it up: Conversion kit adds pep to older Miatas
Mazda has launched the latest (fourth) generation of its MX-5 Miata for the 2016 model year, but by no means is the previous version outdated. In fact, the introduction of the new model may mean the pricing for used Miatas becomes more reasonable.
And the aftermarket can boost the performance potential of the dynamic two-seaters, albeit for a price.
BBR has been hot-rodding small cars in England for some 50 years and has introduced its “Super 225” package for 2005-14 MX-5 Miatas.
BBR’s news release claims it has “unveiled the ultimate normally aspirated tuning conversion for the soon-to-be-end-of-life’d NC models of the world’s most popular sports car.”
Note that BBR’s technology does not involve bolting on a turbocharger. Instead, the kit includes:
■ BBR stainless steel 4-into-1 exhaust manifold;
■ BBR high-performance intake and exhaust manifolds;
■ BBR 3.5-inch tailpipes with stainless steel clamps;
■ Drive-by-wire controlled direct-to-head shaftless 42mm AT Power individual throttle bodies;
■ BBR curved inlet extensions;
■ CNC-machined 20mm alloy inlet ram pipes;
■MAP block assembly (enabling OEM Mazda MAP sensor installation);
■ Ramair foam air filter (and there’s an optional BBR airbox and replacement OEM intake for those who want to participate in track-day activities;
■ BBR engine breather system;
■ BBR badges
BBR says that OEM Mazda idle characteristics and electronic safety features (such as traction control) are retained while the system bumps horsepower to 225 @ 7,900 rpm and takes torque to 175 foot-pounds at 4,500 revs. It adds that the equipment meets British Ministry of Transportation emissions regulations, can run on 95- or 98-octane fuel, and allows the engine to continue to be serviced by Mazda dealership technicians around the world.
For comparison, the standard 2.0-liter Miata engine provides 170 hp @ 7,000 rpm and 140 lb-ft of torque at 5 grand.
“But the peak power figure tells only half of the story,” BBR’s new release notes, “because over 150 bhp is available all the way from 4,500 rpm to the 8,000 rpm rev limiter.”
“Compared to our hugely successful 260-380bhp turbocharger conversions for the MX-5 normally aspirated tuning can seem relatively expensive,” Neil Mckay of BBR is quoted in a news release. “Therefore target power figures aside, our primary objective with the Super 225 program was to retain as much of the original Mazda electronics system as possible, to cap costs at a realistic level for our enthusiast market and avoid the need for a motorsport style engine management system.”
The full Super 225 kit costs £3,490.00, which at recent conversion rates is $5,477.
Various parts of the kit also are available, such as the BBR airbox or the throttle body hardware.
For more information or to order the parts, visit the www.bbrgti.com website.
Larry Edsall is a Phoenix-based freelance writer. You can reach him at email@example.com.