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BBR puts the Mazda MX-5 on steroids with turbo conversion

William Scholes
27 April, 2017 01:00

MAZDA MX-5 tuning wizards BBR have launched a turbocharger upgrade for the 2.0-litre version of the brilliant roadster.

You will need to give BBR £4,995 to install the kit - or, if you're competent, do it yourself for £600 less - but the end results will be well worth the money for many MX-5 enthusiasts.

The BBR package lifts the MX-5's power to 248bhp - enough to give the car a mighty power-to-weight ratio of 234bhp per tonne - and the torque to 236lb.ft.

These are substantial gains, especially for a small and lightweight car - in standard trim, the MX-5 2.0-litre makes 158bhp and 148lb.ft.

Top speed is limited to 155mph and the 0-60mph time is cut to 5.0 seconds from the standard car's 7.3 seconds.

The turbo is a twin-scroll affair and BBR fit their own cast iron manifold to "maximise response".

BBR has been working on the conversion since 2014, with Mazda's 'SkyActiv' engine technology posing some unique engineering challenges.

"Very early on during development it became clear that use of a supercharger, with its high parasitic losses, would work against the Mazda SkyActiv-G engine's ultra-efficient ethos," said Neil McKay from BBR.

"Significant boost levels would be required to deliver considerable power gains with a supercharger, which would be incompatible with the SkyActiv-G engine's high compression ratio."

The exhaust and air intake systems have also been upgraded and the whole conversion can be reversed, if needs be, and BBR is proud of the factory look to the finished package.

The conversion does not interfere with the car's safety systems or its MOT compliance.

A huge power boost is an appealing proposition for the MX-5, though whether one of the most fun cars on sale today really needs it is another question - wringing out the roadster's non-turbocharged engine is one of the motoring's pleasures...

27 April, 2017 01:00 Motors

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