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Sounds kinda similar to the factory-approved locally developed MX-5 SP we had in Australia a few years ago. Turbocharged with 150kW (201hp) and 240Nm (180 lb/ft). Apparently went really well. I think we are getting this new MX-5 here in Australia early next year as well.
 

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An article I saw mentioned the Miata's sales aren't what they used to be. It said they peaked in 1990 at 34K units I believe. Last year was between 10-15K (I think).
 

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http://www.mazdausa.com/MusaWeb/displayPage.action?pageParameter=aboutPressArticle15


November 4th, 2003

MAZDA UNVEILS NEW MAZDASPEED MX-5 MIATA AT SEMA

- World’s Best-Selling Sports Car Offered in Turbocharged MAZDASPEED Edition -

LAS VEGAS - To the delight of car enthusiasts across North America, MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata blazes onto the strip in sin city today. The world’s best-selling sports car, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, will show off its new MAZDASPEED badge for the first time at the 2003 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show in Las Vegas.

"MAZDASPEED is the name given to the best of the best Mazda vehicles," said Robert Davis, senior vice president of marketing and product development for Mazda North American Operations. "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."

Fitted with a turbocharger and air-to-air intercooler, the 1.8-liter, 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. That, combined with a short-throw, six-speed gearbox and MAZDASPEED sport-tuned and lowered suspension, makes for an amazingly quick and agile car.

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 meticulously tuned the suspension to get the most out of the turbocharged powerplant, deftly 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, a rear under-spoiler, rear deck spoiler and large exhaust tip with MAZDASPEED logo is the last image most other cars on the road will see.

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—the only factory option available.

As with all MAZDASPEED vehicles, special attention to detail permeates throughout, including a red wrinkle finish with turbo logo on the valve cover and an anodized aluminum oil cap with MAZDASPEED logo.

MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata is set to go on sale in select North American markets in spring 2004.

Mazda North American Operations is responsible for the sales and marketing, customer parts and service support of Mazda vehicles in the United States. Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., MNAO has more than 700 dealerships nationwide.
 

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:p Thats great for the Miata ppl...Now I wish they would get into gear and tell us more about a MS version of the 6.
 

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I test drove this baby @ the Mazda Rev-It-Up event when it was in San Francisco/Alameda, CA.

This car is quick! Quicker than our beloved 3 due to it's significantly lighter curb weight (a little over 2500 lbs.) and turbocharged engine. I didn't feel the stereotypical turbo-kick. There was no gnashing of my teeth as the car slowly pushed me into the back of my seat as the revs climbed to the redline. Acceleration is good and this car should easily run 0-60mph in the high 6's.

The handling was sharp and precise. Cone weaving was never more fun :) Due to a quicker steering ratio and stiffened ride, it was no surprise.

It comes ONLY with a 6-spd manual. It's nice & short shifting. But when I got to test drive it, hundreds of other people already put the poor baby through the paces so I'm not sure if I can say the tranny was really precise, but I can imagine that a un-abused MS Miata would be very nice. The clutch, felt very heavy duty which is good. This car just screams to the driver that it should be driven hard

Braking is very good. Stops on a dime.

Basic amenities were nice. The sport seats were awesome. I loved the dash layout.

And as far as color choices go, I've already talked with several dealers in my area and they said that it'll come either Red or Titanium Grey :)

The only problem I have with the car is that the steering wheel isn't adjustable. If I could tilt the steering wheel up another 5'-10', my legs would be comfortable enough to take this car on long trips. Otherwise, currently, the steering wheel rubs against my upper knees. I'm 6' tall and weigh 230 lbs. It's my own fault since I let myself get this thick over the course of 2 years. My roommate used to have a Miata and he is 6'1" but weighs 175 lbs. and he can fit in the driver seat fine.

Anyways, just wanted to share my experiences with you guys.

Hooray for Mazda! Now, if they'll give me my 240hp AWD Mazdaspeed 3, I'll be even more happy :D
 

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Car & Driver has a writeup on it in its last issue (came out about 10 days ago).

They were asked not to push the car too hard as they had a pre-production model. Using less aggressive driving techniques, they turned a 6.7 0-60, as compared to the 8.1 from the standard Miata.

List price difference is only about $900. Street price is likely to be a greater difference as the MazdaSpeed version may sell at list or above, vs discounted prices for the standard Miata. I believe Mazda plans to ship only about 4000 a year to the USA.

As to it coming only with manual, isn't that true for all MazdaSpeed vehicles? Did they ever release one with an auto?
 

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schulkw said:
An article I saw mentioned the Miata's sales aren't what they used to be. It said they peaked in 1990 at 34K units I believe. Last year was between 10-15K (I think).
Well... that's not very suprising offourse..... It is still the same concept of 1989 and now with his 2nd facelift. Although he still looks great, the MX-5/Miata must be replaced... and also people know that that is going to happen within 2 years
 
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