Last year, we popped down to see the lovely folk at Brackley-based BBR GTI. We drove the tuning company’s Super 190 MX-5, and while we enjoyed the N/A-tuned ND very much, we were a little more interested in what the team was secretly working on at the time: a new turbo kit for the current Miata.
After three years in development it’s now here, and it sounds incredibly promising. The ‘Stage I’ version of the kit consists of a twin-scroll turbocharger, a new exhaust manifold and downpipe, a new intercooler and a reworked ECU, among a few other bits and pieces. Have all that fitted, and the power from the 2.0-litre SkyActiv unit jumps from 158bhp to 245. Torque is at 236lb ft, meanwhile. Lovely.
That’s enough poke to see the little Mazda charge from 0-60mph in five seconds dead, on to an electronically-limited 155mph top speed. It’s not even that expensive: BBR will fit the whole shebang for £4995 (plus VAT). The newfound poke will probably make investing in some suspension and brake upgrades worthwhile, though.
The reason for a turbo, over a supercharger? According to BBR’s Neil Mckay, a supercharger is not a good fit for the 2.0-litre SkyActiv unit. He said:
“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. 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.”
If you live in the USA, you’ll be pleased to know you’re not left out. Colorado tuners Flyin’ Miata - the nutters who’ll shoehorn an LS3 under the bonnet of an ND for you - are US distributors. So that leaves us with an interesting question to ponder: would you have a V8-engined ND Miata, or a turbocharged one? Let us know in the comments…