Mazda MX-5 Miata

2008 Mazda Miata MX-5 Sport True Red I purchased my first Mazda Miata in 1990 and drove it for nearly 18 years without any major mechanical problems.

Over its lifetime I replaced the timing belt, tires and brakes several times, but never had any other major expenses.

In July of 2008 I purchased a second Miata MX-5. Unlike my original, which remained stock its entire life, my second Miata MX-5 is getting the full treatment. All the things I wanted to do to that first one, but never had the time or money for, are now being done to this new car.

My intentions were to build a fast yet easy to drive summer street car with excellent performance and handling.

I participate in an occasional track day at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin, but I wanted the car to handle well both on the street and at the track. Miatas are well balanced cars right from the factory, but the third generation MX-5 is being delivered with a much softer suspension than the earlier first and second generation models.

MazdaSpeed, Mazda's factory racing development program, offers excellent performance products tuned specifically for the MX-5 Miata. These products strike the perfect balance between race car and street car.

MazdaSpeed works closely with Formula 1 suppliers like Brembo, Cosworth, AEM and Eibach to produce custom-designed Miata MX-5 performance products worthy of the MazdaSpeed name. If you're a regular Speed TV viewer you've seen Mazda's ads stating that "On any given weekend more Mazdas are road raced than any other car." MazdaSpeed is a big part of the reason why that's true.

The MazdaSpeed Suspension I installed is firm, but not overly so, and allows the car to perform well at the track as well as around town. The MazdaSpeed Coil-Over Suspension Kit with adjustable dampers and ride height settings makes it possible to quickly change the setup from road to race.

Miata MX-5 Lowered for Racing

Engine & Drivetrain
  • 2 Liter 4 Cylinder Twin Cam 16 Valve
  • 5-Speed Short-Throw Manual Gearbox
  • MazdaSpeed Cold Air Intake
  • Good-Win Racing Exhaust System
  • Torsen Limited Slip Differential
  • Suspension
  • MazdaSpeed Sway Bars Front & Rear
  • MazdaSpeed Adjustable Coil-Over Suspension Kit
  • MazdaSpeed Front Strut Tower Brace
  • DBA Slotted and Cross-Drilled Ventilated Brake Rotors
  • Hawk HPS Ferro-Carbon Brake Pads
  • Goodridge Stainless Steel Brake Lines
  • Enkei Racing RPF1 17x7.5 Wheels
  • Dunlop Direzza Sport Z1 Star Spec 215/45ZR17
  • Body
  • Anthony Woodruff Racing Rollbar
  • Mazda Front Air Dam & Splitter
  • Moss Motors Stainless Steel Mesh Grill (Painted Black)
  • Racing Beat Radiator Guard
  • Smoked Headlight Film
  • MazdaSpeed Front Tow Hook
  • Interior
  • MazdaSpeed Aluminum Pedals
  • Billet Aluminum Shift Knob
  • CG-Lock Seat Belt Tensioners
  • Cool Breeze Air Scoop
  • Miata MX-5 Lowered with Number Roundels

    The picture above shows the MazdaSpeed suspension system fully lowered. The 2" ride height reduction improves handling by lowering the center of gravity. The wheels and tires better fill the wheel openings and gives the car a more aggressive stance. I use removable 3M Magnetic Roundels and vinyl race numbers for competitive events.

    MazdaSpeed at Le Mans

    Mazda 787B at Le Mans in 1991 Mazda is the only Japanese manufacturer to ever win the 24 Hours of Le Mans.

    Mazda arrived at the Circuit de la Sarthe in 1991 with three factory-prepared Mazda 787B GT Prototypes.

    All three MazdaSpeed 787B entries were powered by Mazda's unique 2.6 Liter 4-Rotor Wankel powerplant.

    The driving team of Johnny Herbert, Bertrand Gachot and Volker Weidler piloted the No. 55 car to a 1st place win, a full two laps ahead of the Tom Walkinshaw Racing Silk Cut Jaguar.

    MazdaSpeed's second driving team of Stefan Johansson, Dave Kennedy and Maurizio Sandro Sala finished 6th in the No. 18 car. The third team of Pierre Dieudonne, Takashi Yorino and Yojiro Terada brought their No. 56 MazdaSpeed 787B home in 8th place.

    The MazdaSpeed naturally aspirated R26B quad-rotor powerplant produced 930 HP at a redline of 10,500 RPM, but Mazda limited its drivers to a maximum redline of 9,000 RPM to improve the longevity of the motor in a 24 hour endurance race.

    MazdaSpeed 787B GT Prototype

    American Le Mans Series

    Mazda MZR-R Lola Coupe MazdaSpeed plans to compete in the 2009 American Le Mans Series.

    Their British Petroleum sponsored Lola B08/86 LMP2 Coupe will be powered by the all-aluminum 2.2 Liter MZR-R powerplant using a Garrett turbocharger to produce 500 HP, and 400 lb./ft. of torque at 8500 RPM.

    MazdaSpeed's track tests earlier this fall at Road America were very successful. Development and testing of the Lola LMP2 Coupe and MazdaSpeed MZR-R engine will continue over the winter and should make its debut next March in the ALMS opener at Sebring.

    MazdaSpeed Lola B08/86 at RoadAmerica


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    Page last updated on 27-Jan-2020