The Mazdaspeed NB Miata | Articles


The 2-year-only Mazdaspeed Miata lives in a bizarre state of limbo–neither fish nor fowl, neither right here nor there. Is it the automobile that Mazda ought to have delivered from the get-go, or is it nonetheless not fairly quick sufficient to make that case?

What, precisely, is a Mazdaspeed Miata? Put merely, it’s the one factory-turbocharged Miata ever provided. The recipe was easy: Seize a loaded NB-chassis Miata after which add a turbo equipment, six-speed transmission, revised chassis tuning, and $827 to the MSRP. Bake on the manufacturing unit for 2 mannequin years, then stop cooking after solely 5428 items. That’s a pittance in comparison with manufacturing numbers for different vehicles, as Mazda proved when it constructed its millionth Miata in 2016.

What went unsuitable? Nothing, at the least at first. In truth, the Mazdaspeed appeared like it might be a success. Due to the mannequin’s 178 horsepower, Highway & Observe declared it “a considerably extra highly effective Miata that rekindles the joy of 1989.” Automobile and Driver heaped reward as properly: “On the worth, this automobile’s nearly an unbeatable deal, however bear in mind that manufacturing is restricted to simply 4000 a yr.”

After constructing these 4000 vehicles for the U.S. market throughout the 2004 mannequin yr, nonetheless, Mazda solely managed to construct 1428 examples for the next yr because of a hearth on the manufacturing unit. After which 2006 introduced the all-new NC-chassis Miata to market, with no turbocharged possibility out there.

It’s good for 189.9 horsepower and 178 lb.-ft. of torque on the rear wheels on the inventory turbo.”

The Mazdaspeed’s run ended nearly as quickly because it began.

As our personal J.G. Pasterjak remembers, that rendered it an oddball within the autocross and secondhand fanatic market. “It didn’t actually belong anyplace,” he recollects, “because it wasn’t authorized in any of the lessons for Miatas, and it wasn’t excessive sufficient to compete with the actually gnarly stuff. And it was type of clear that a number of issues have been carried out to artificially increase efficiency, like that six-speed transmission that produced slower lap instances however sooner journal efficiency assessments.”

In a motorsports world saturated by naturally aspirated Miatas on the slower finish and factory-built specials just like the Subaru WRX and Mitsubishi Evo on the sooner finish, there simply wasn’t a house for a uncommon, considerably quick Miata. In any case, the Mazdaspeed Miata solely beat the usual automobile by 35 horsepower, a quantity that aftermarket firms have been simply exceeding with their very own turbo kits.

That left the Mazdaspeed as a premium-priced oddity beloved solely by a handful of diehard Miata geeks.

Meet the Mazdaspeed Geek

Greater than 15 years later, Mazdaspeed Miata followers nonetheless carry the torch–geeks like Good-Win Racing’s personal Greg Lee, who simply may be the most important Mazdaspeed Miata fan ever. He bought this explicit automobile in 2011 and has since turned it into his imaginative and prescient of the last word Miata.

Much more spectacular: He did most of this earlier than he began working at Good-Win, paying out of his personal pocket. “I do have a melted bank card to again it up,” he notes.

What’s been carried out? Maybe a greater query: What hasn’t?

This automobile’s listing of modifications reads like a elements catalog. Maybe the biggest-ticket merchandise: a rebuilt engine stroked to 1.9 liters of displacement that includes cast internals and an upgraded head, good for 189.9 horsepower and 178 lb.-ft. of torque on the rear wheels on the inventory turbo.

That engine is paired with a pile of supporting mods, together with a much bigger radiator, a lift controller, a blow-off valve, a coolant re-route, an oil cooler, catch cans, and consumption and exhaust elements from Good-Win Racing. There’s additionally a light-weight flywheel to enliven the automobile a bit.

Beneath, each suspension bushing is now polyurethane, whereas Good-Win-spec’d anti-roll bars and Feal coil-overs full the suspension bundle. Greg’s monitor wheels are from König and measure a chunky 9 inches vast.

Appears like a constructed monitor automobile, proper? Really, Greg’s new to the monitor world. He custom-made this automobile for avenue responsibility, as evidenced by the 41,000 miles he’s racked up since finishing the construct.

He’s additionally picked up trophies at regional reveals, together with a win within the Miata class on the Predominant Road America Automobile Present. As Greg says, this automobile is ideal for a pleasant day driving canyon roads, a cross-country highway journey (he’s carried out 4 of these in it), or a automobile present along with his fellow Miata fans.

“Greg has this automobile arrange a bit unfastened, and we had a riot shimmying it by means of Willow Springs’ downhill Flip 5 every lap.”

Lately, although, his aspirations are on the monitor, which is how we discovered ourselves at Willow Springs Worldwide Raceway. After declaring each element, from the show-winning engine bay to the proper unique paint, Greg tossed us the keys and gave us one piece of recommendation: “Don’t crash!”

Mazdaspeed on Observe

So, how does this souped-up Mazdaspeed drive? First, the torque: It alone made us perceive why the auto journalists have been cooing over this automobile at launch. There’s none of that jockey-whipping-a-horse feeling so usually skilled when monitoring a Miata. Quite, this automobile drives like a torquey new turbocharged Fiat 124 Spider. Then we regarded down on the tach and realized we already wanted to shift.

We’ll simply say it: Mazda picked the unsuitable transmission for this automobile. Turbos add torque and widen the powerband, so it doesn’t make a lot sense to pair one with this close-ratio six-speed. We missed the usual five-speed throughout each shift, and we encountered plenty of them whereas rowing round Willow Springs. We’ll put a few of the blame onto worn shift bushings (they have been nonetheless on Greg’s to-do listing), however both means it allow us to down.

Fortuitously, the remainder of the automobile was pure Miata–if a bit delicate because of its street-optimized spring charges. Greg has this automobile arrange a bit unfastened, and we had a riot shimmying it by means of Willow Springs’ downhill Flip 5 every lap. After a number of laps, we returned the automobile unhurt and got here away with a boring conclusion: It’s identical to a Miata, however sooner.

How a lot sooner? After our arms let go of the wheel, Good-Win Racing hotshoe Ryan Passey jumped in and ran a 1:43.2 lap. A contest Spec Miata remains to be sooner, however that’s nonetheless not half dangerous for a sub-200-horsepower avenue automobile on 200-treadwear tires.

Footnote or Fabulous?

So, is that this automobile the very best Miata ever made, a style of what may have been? Or is it a one-time detour from the million-strong Miata path Mazda walked? Our reply: It relies upon.

If you need a turbo Miata for the monitor, this isn’t the reply. By the point you alter the transmission and add a much bigger turbo, you’d be higher off saving your pennies and beginning with a traditional automobile and a contemporary turbo equipment.

Nonetheless, if you need a singular Miata that makes a incredible avenue automobile, there are few higher decisions than a tastefully modified Mazdaspeed Miata like this one.

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Feedback

View feedback on the GRM boards

The most important downside with the MSM was that whereas the MSRP might have solely been $800 extra, the sellers have been charging $5-10K in markup vs regular Miatas promoting at bill.


T.J.


T.J.


MegaDork


6/3/20 3:04 p.m.

In reply to codrus (Discussion board Supporter) :

I purchased mine beneath MSRP. Simply advised the man flat out that I already had a number of different vehicles and did not want this one. I’d purchase it for my worth or simply stroll out. I could also be placing mine up on the market since I not have gainful employment and it principally simply sits within the storage.

codrus (Discussion board Supporter) mentioned:

The most important downside with the MSM was that whereas the MSRP might have solely been $800 extra, the sellers have been charging $5-10K in markup vs regular Miatas promoting at bill.

Actually? 
 

I purchased mine model new. All of us went to Irvine Mazda headquarters for the NC reveal. 
 

these of us who did not like th NC1, got here house and acquired the MSM. Regionally 04s and 05s have been on supplier tons unsold. (Even with the manufacturing unit fireplace and low output) 

 

native newspapers had 8-10$ok off msrp like all miatas in historical past (besides the primary yr na). 
 

My sticker was 27k. I paid $18,900 model new for my msm. 
 

bunch of us on the msm discussion board (Earlier than miata web had the msm part), all paid between 8-10k beneath msrp 

 

 

mr2s2000elise mentioned:

codrus (Discussion board Supporter) mentioned:

The most important downside with the MSM was that whereas the MSRP might have solely been $800 extra, the sellers have been charging $5-10K in markup vs regular Miatas promoting at bill.

Actually? 
 

I purchased mine model new. All of us went to Irvine Mazda headquarters for the NC reveal. 
 

these of us who did not like th NC1, got here house and acquired the MSM. Regionally 04s and 05s have been on supplier tons unsold. (Even with the manufacturing unit fireplace and low output) 

Once they first got here out, sure.  2 years later, after no person had purchased them (you could possibly purchase an S2000 for much less), they have been lingering on supplier tons and eventually obtained firesaled when the NC was out.  That is why they’d each 04s and 05s.

 

I purchased my 04 msm 2005 August at Thousand Oaks mazda. . 05s have been rolling in, and 05s have been $6500 off msrp domestically proper off the boat. 

 

My 2007 s2000 msrp was 33,000 

I paid 29,000 at pacific Honda 

 

there was a $10,000 delta between my s2000 and my msm. 

I haven’t got something helpful so as to add to this thread in addition to “I really like mine!”


 

I’ve ditched the boat anchor wheels and changed them with 15s since I took this pic.

Yeah, they offered poorly. The Neon SRT4 was an enormous motive for that. Those that purchased new benefited from a rise in worth because the NC was launched and the aftermarket unlocked the automobile’s potential.

One factor lacking from the story is that Mazda was initially going to go to the aftermarket like they did with the Mazdaspeed Protege. RFPs have been put out with the transient to be sooner than an S2000. 

Then the MSP debacle occurred. Mazda determined they wanted full management over the Mazdaspeed vehicles so the MX-5 was carried out in-house. There have been loads of little adjustments you would not t have seen on an aftermarket automobile, resembling a change to greater splines on the diff and a brand new mixing manifold for the water pump. It even ditched the 2004 VVT engine and went again to 1999 spec. I might prefer to suppose that no aftermarket store would have signed off on that gearing combo, although.

It has been an excellent automobile for us general. It was straightforward to convey as much as 200 rwhp and was dependable there. Pushing a lot previous that and it turns into extra inexpensive to turbo a traditional NB. 

In reply to BenB (Discussion board Supporter) :

 

shes stunning!! 

Yup I put new coil overs, debadged, tinted home windows,  hardtop, 9lb volk te37 15s, 7 days after it got here from the dealership . Although in contrast to yours, mine has by no means been topless. 

 


T.J.


T.J.


MegaDork


6/3/20 4:44 p.m.

This is mine:

My idea: The efficiency specs within the magazines harm gross sales. The gearing was so brief, the 0-60 instances have been comparatively low. Why not get an s2000 as a substitute? Everybody was dropping their thoughts over the 9k redline, and in the meantime the MSM was “sluggish.”

The SRT Neon and different sizzling compacts have been a lot sooner too. Folks desirous about efficiency vehicles had loads of different choices on the time that each one sounded sexier.

S2000 wasn’t actually in the identical worth bracket, it was the SRT4 that supplied the comparability. Why wasn’t the MSM as quick as that little booger?

It is straightforward to overlook simply how costly the S2000 was relative to the Miata. 


T.J.


T.J.


MegaDork


6/3/20 9:44 p.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

I take a look at drove the S2000, the MSM and a MR-S. To me, the S2000 regarded the very best, however I simply couldn’t justify the massive leap in worth. I appreciated the MR-S, however with none storage, I could not see how it might even function a each day commuter, so I ended up with the MSM.


T.J.


T.J.


MegaDork


6/3/20 9:48 p.m.

In reply to BenB (Discussion board Supporter) :

Titanium Grey remains to be an excellent wanting shade. Lava Orange Metallic, perhaps not a lot. I bear in mind a pair years after I obtained my automobile, they’d the same shade for Corvettes and there have been another orangey-bronzy vehicles on the time. 350Z had a Lemans Sundown or some such shade that I bear in mind. The colour then went away for essentially the most half. After I purchased it, I figured there have been plenty of purple miatas and my spouse isn’t a silver automobile fan, so orange it was for me.

In reply to T.J. :

Photographs do not actually do Lava Orange justice. I might by no means seen one within the wild till I met up with an area group of MSM homeowners a number of years in the past. Within the solar, the colour appears gorgeous. Velocity Crimson is analogous, in that it appears a lot better in individual.I nonetheless desire Ti Grey over the others. wink  

Keith Tanner mentioned:There have been loads of little adjustments you would not t have seen on an aftermarket automobile, resembling a change to larger splines on the diff

Wait, what?

29 spline axles just like the S2000 and the 7.5″ truck rears?

 

Very attention-grabbing!

Yup, similar because the S2000. It is type of attention-grabbing seeing what they determined to improve, and it actually illustrated simply how huge the design margins are for OEs. Miatas haven’t got hassle busting up CVs and diffs till you are properly previous double the inventory energy ranges, however Mazda determined their 150 rwhp turbo automobile wanted a much bigger spline and a tripod inside CV (the latter might have pushed the selection of the previous). The clutch was upgraded, the radiator is extra environment friendly (okay, that one is legit) and the followers went to a very completely different management technique that concerned two multi-speed followers with some bizarre relay logic as a substitute of staged single pace followers. IIRC the gasoline pump additionally was modified although a inventory Miata gasoline pump will feed 100 hp greater than a inventory MSM. That OE radiator is a extremely good half, it is  more practical than a typical dual-core aftermarket one which many individuals set up primarily based on our instrumented testing – you might want to go to a crossflow design to enhance on it.

BTW, the automobile within the article runs at the least a part of an FM consumption equipment, I can see our throttle physique inlet pipe together with the Turbosmart bypass. It is also fairly possible the automobile is working our downpipe which isn’t talked about, however the downpipe and consumption are the important thing to unlocking the automobile’s potential. There is not any want for the constructed engine (which has FM pistons in it if my data are appropriate) at this energy stage. A Little Enchilada improve (downpipe, consumption, intercooler and increase controller) will get you there fairly comfortably and safely.

I personally just like the black 🙂 We turned a few Lava Orange ones into V8 vehicles together with a number of gray and purple ones, however by no means a black.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Twin followers want a cool multi relay setup, it seems like you might be describing the GM three relay association the place “low” runs the followers in sequence and “excessive” runs in parallel.  When you run one fan at a time, the air tends to recycle itself backwards previous the inoperative fan.

 

Very attention-grabbing particulars concerning the MSM.  All this time I might thought it was a kludge.

The ECU programming is a little bit of a kludge – it has a bunch of bizarre little quirks and bumps which are most likely there to squeak a reasonably dated engine with dated engine administration and a bolted-on turbo previous 2004 emissions laws. It’s going to hold stoich far longer than it actually ought to which ends up in dangerous tip-in. However the remainder of the automobile, no. Mazda did what they felt they needed to do. Even the muffler is exclusive for no good motive. You do not wish to put a MSM muffler on a naturally aspirated automobile, it is raspy nasty. The truth that Mazda used the identical Mazdaspeed branding for his or her in-house tuner vehicles, their aftermarket elements counter tooner model and their race assist elements (for some time) signifies that folks get all of them combined up.

The staged twin followers on a non-MSM are managed individually by the ECU. The first is the primary to activate. The secondary comes on with the AC compressor or if the first cannot get the job carried out. The MSM has followers that may run at two completely different speeds – each followers at all times run, however the pace adjustments. IIRC (and it has been some time since I regarded into the logic) there’s some bizarre relay stuff happening for when you could have the AC on to drive them each into excessive pace. Why the ECU would not simply command it I do not know. A MSM trick for higher monitor cooling is to unplug the compressor clutch and activate the AC. Places the followers into excessive pace mode. Once more, that is pretty dusty data in my thoughts so I might need it a bit off.

T.J. mentioned:

 

Titanium Grey remains to be an excellent wanting shade. Lava Orange Metallic, perhaps not a lot. I bear in mind a pair years after I obtained my automobile, they’d the same shade for Corvettes and there have been another orangey-bronzy vehicles on the time. 350Z had a Lemans Sundown or some such shade that I bear in mind. The colour then went away for essentially the most half. After I purchased it, I figured there have been plenty of purple miatas and my spouse isn’t a silver automobile fan, so orange it was for me.

I feel the Ti and the Lava are each beautiful. 

 

For me alternative was Ti or VR, as these have been each 04.  To ensure that me to get the Lava, I must pay $4,000 extra, because the 05 weren’t as deeply discounted because the 04. I personally beloved the 04 wheels vs the 05 wheels (not htat it mattered, since I swapped them). 
I really sat on the dealership nearly an hour deciding betwen Ti and VR. Though my different NA was purple, and I used to be leaning in direction of the Ti, the solar hitting the rate purple, and all of the flakes and so forth, I simply went for that. 

I feel the lava is beautiful. Had worth all ben equal, I positively would have purchased the Lava. For lacking out on the Lava, I made up for it 2 years later, shopping for the Rio Yellow Pearl S2000.

Similar right here.  I used to be on the lookout for a Lava Orange MSM round 2007 however solely discovered one for a really premium worth.  I ended up with a VR 2004 with solely 23k miles.  It has been an excellent automobile.  Putting in the FM Little Enchilada early on was the very best factor for it.  The turbo comes on at a noticeably decrease RPM and the response (at the least on my automobile) was a lot improved.  There was nonetheless the odd energy supply between 4500 and 5200 RPMs, however a Megasquirt mounted that concern.

I’ve already had a MSM so I purchased an NC as a result of life is brief, don’t need the identical automobile twice. Now after studying this I’m eager for one other MSM. At the least till I get to the MR2-S thread.

Keith Tanner mentioned:

Then the MSP debacle occurred.

I do not suppose that I’ve ever heard of this.

The ECU is what drove me to promote mine. I did not wish to play the ECU dance to cross emissions yearly. With the Little Enchilada kind upgrades and a pleasant free flowing exhaust, It was a ton of enjoyable to drive. I loved it and it might stroll throughout my buddy in her S2000. 

 

Nonetheless IMHO the very best wanting Miata made. 

The MSM was the most well-liked recipient of our turnkey swaps, and I feel it was 100% due to the appears. The blokes commissioning them have been wanting on the finish end result. Drove the MSM group nuts as we desecrated one “uncommon” automobile after one other… 

jimbob_racing mentioned:

Keith Tanner mentioned:

Then the MSP debacle occurred.

I do not suppose that I’ve ever heard of this.

It has been some time, so I am going from reminiscence. The vehicles have been delayed for months on the port as new elements have been bolted on on the final second. I am not 100% positive what work was really carried out, however folks with orders for vehicles have been going loopy as a result of they could possibly be seen behind the fences. The efficiency of the manufacturing vehicles did not match the prototypes due to a change to plastic piping (for crash take a look at causes) IIRC. They usually popped elements in all places. The turbo was poorly sized. Callaway didn’t do an exemplary job general and Mazda felt the ache.

The MSM, for its varied faults, was a a lot better engineered and executed automobile.

They’re enjoyable little vehicles, on my 2nd MSM now. First was Ti and this present one is solar pale VR.

@Keith: any probability FM can work its magic and customise the Voodoo field for the MSM ECU to easy out the ability supply? Inventory ECU is the worst side of the automobile with inconsistent tip in. Each my vehicles have the O2 clamp and people do not appear to do a lot. Chip Torque in Australia appears to have found out to ‘flash’ the ECU however sadly that possibility is tied to Begi Tuning in US and I am not coping with them anymore and it is not sensible to ship an ECU backwards and forwards the the opposite a part of the world and hope it really works first time. 

Voodoo Field is a distinct type of beast, so it is not the appropriate answer for this downside. The O2 clamp does deal with lean tip-in, if it is not doing a lot then you’ll have one thing else happening. It may be price datalogging what is going on on so you possibly can work in the appropriate route.

And I’ve to say that the window for brand spanking new elements improvement for the MSM is fairly near closed at this level. The automobile is 15 years outdated, restricted manufacturing and we do not have entry to at least one. It is fairly unlikely that you’re going to see new MSM-specific elements from us or anybody else.

Yeah, perceive and it is positively a distinct segment market. Respect the assist you guys have supplied on that platform. I’ve the carb authorized downpipe and coolant re-route with the MSM particular turbo coolant strains ready to go in. 

I’ve at all times admired the Miata, not a lot for styling, which I discovered by-product and considerably missing (like most Japanese vehicles), at the least up till the present iteration, however for the truth that it was a really technically/mechanically ‘collectively’ automobile that did an excellent job of being a latter day Lotus Elan, besides with reliability.

I’ve by no means fairly understood Mazda’s reluctance to make a restricted run of vehicles with a better efficiency stage, except for this turbo model, as I’d suppose that there would have been a marketplace for them from folks that most likely would not have purchased the plain jane mannequin. 

They’d the know-how, having developed the software with the Mazdaspeed 3 previous to 2007.  They’d been in competitors with new sports activities vehicles just like the Solstice that initially met them on a reasonably stage taking part in subject with the naturally aspirated mannequin, however blew them out of the water from 2007 on by way of efficiency, and did not appear to have any hassle promoting each the unique naturally aspirated fashions.

What did Mazda have in opposition to promoting extra vehicles after they had the tolling to take action pretty simply (they’d lagged beneath the Solstice in gross sales within the Fall of 2007)?

I’ve regarded on the Miata and the Mazdaspeed 3 and whereas there are some apparent packaging adjustments wanted for the turbo, nothing gave the impression to be insurmountable (Keith can converse up if I’m out in left subject on that).

 

Properly, the Mazdaspeed Miata proved that extra efficiency isn’t essentially the recent vendor everybody claims it will be. It was not an enormous gross sales success.

You even have to recollect OE ranges of reliability required. IF they’d been capable of make the two.3 turbo match (together with mods to the firewall, so it is not a simple swap), they might have needed to improve just about all the remainder of the automobile.  And needless to say Mazda is a reasonably small automaker, to allow them to’t develop merchandise as simply as somebody the scale of Ford or GM. It is superb we get the Miata in any respect.

Lets not overlook the Miata wasn’t their solely sportscar for an excellent bit.

The 2nd and third gen RX7’s have been out there from 1989-2002 and have been the “halo” automobile for Mazda.

There was additionally the RX-8, however lets not discuss that an excessive amount of 🙂

As to the styling?  In fact it’s by-product.  The NA is a Japanese Lotus Elan (that was dependable and approachable), they even used recordings of the gear adjustments from an Elan for the event of the Miata.

I imply its such as you’re not conscious of what the Miata is.

My first Miata was a MSM clone, a lava orange repaint with some MSM physique elements on an 01 sport.

I wasn’t positive concerning the shade till I noticed it in individual. 


Snrub


Snrub


HalfDork


6/8/20 4:06 p.m.

The opposite factor is in most up-to-date years Mazda has not offered an enormous variety of Miatas. A particular efficiency version which strikes a peak of 1000 items/yr within the US might not pay for the engineering and distinctive elements wanted for such an endeavor.

I am type of disenchanted with quick vehicles on the road. The Miata is designed for max enjoyable on the road and I feel they hit the nail on the pinnacle with the ND. I might somewhat have one thing which is responsive, brief wheel base, enjoyable, than one thing with huge energy. Observe is a distinct story, however there’s lot of aftermarket assist to do stuff like that.

In reply to Snrub :

I had this thought the opposite day.  I discover loads of enjoyable in driving a light-weight 2 seater automobile that makes not more than 100hp.  That is a real sports activities automobile. Earlier than you get right into a “true Scotsman” rant, bear with me a bit.  I am considering right here of MGs and Triumphs and different issues that outlined the breed.  They have been enjoyable as a result of they have been so low-key.  You get in, you drive it, it is a 4 wheeled bicycle mainly.

 

Precisely no person will make a automobile like that anymore as a result of folks shall be upset that it may’t do a rolling burnout at 60mph or no matter.  Though that’s lacking the entire level of the expertise within the first place.  It is like saying an enormous truck sucks as a result of it has a large turning radius and would not get 50mpg, or why a Match sucks as a result of it may’t tow 40,000lb.  That is not the level of the automobile and if that’s what you need you have been wanting within the unsuitable place.

 

Nonetheless suppose the 1.6 Miata is finest Miata.  I drove an NC the opposite day and whereas it’s good, I assumed the automobile was too huge and the engine too trucky.  A lot an excessive amount of energy and torque.





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