November 5, 2003
Mazda unveils turbocharged Mazdaspeed Miata
Las Vegas, Nevada – MazdaSpeed versions of the Miata and RX-8 were unveiled at the 2003 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas yesterday.
“With Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata, we took a renowned sports car and further enhanced its performance with carefully selected modifications, all the while remaining true to Miata’s famed spirit,”said Robert Davis, senior vice president of marketing and product development for Mazda North American Operations.
Fitted with a turbocharger and air-to-air intercooler, the 1.8-litre, four-cylinder engine now makes 178 horsepower at 6000 rpm and 166 lb-ft of torque at 4500 rpm, 25 and 33 percent more respectively than the normally aspirated Miata. The car also features a short-throw, six-speed gearbox and Mazdaspeed sport-tuned and lowered suspension.
To handle the extra power from the turbocharging system, the engine block is modified to accommodate the oil line for the turbo, the cooling system receives an increased radiator core volume, the six-speed manual transmission, clutch and pressure plate, driveshaft and differential all have been optimized, and a Denso tube-fin air-to-air intercooler added.
The already-able Miata chassis gets dropped 7mm in ride height through the use of shorter springs with increased spring rates, Mazdaspeed-tuned Bilstein dampers, larger front and rear stabilizer bars and a front strut tower brace. Mazda engineers tuned the suspension to get the most out of the turbocharged powerplant, handling the brute power sent through the Bosch torque-sensing limited slip differential to the 17-inch Racing Hart aluminum alloy wheels shod with Toyo Proxes R28 205/40R17 80W high-performance tires. All four corners receive silver-painted brake calipers and ABS.
The exterior, colored in either Velocity Red Mica or Titanium Gray Metallic and subtly tattooed with Mazdaspeed and MX-5 badging, sports smoked headlamps and a unique front under-spoiler with recessed fog lamps. From the back are a rear under-spoiler, rear deck spoiler and large exhaust tip with Mazdaspeed logo.
When raised, a black vinyl soft top covers black cloth seats with red centers, red door inserts, and a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake with red stitching. Silver instrument panel gauges showcase the Mazdaspeed logo as do the foot pedals, scuff plates, floor mats and body-colored rear view mirror cap. Standard audio is a 225-watt six-speaker Bose sound system with six-disc CD changer and speed-sensing automatic volume control. A black cloth soft top with black leather bucket seats and red stitching are optional with the Grand Touring Package