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2005 MAZDASPEED MX-5 MIATA: IN YOUR REARVIEW MIRROR…CLOSING FAST
- World's Most Popular Roadster Now Cloaked in Turbocharged MAZDASPEED Skin -
Sep 15, 2004
IRVINE, Calif. - Mixing the design and performance prowess of MAZDASPEED, Mazda's in-house factory-performance arm, with the most popular roadster of all time has produced the ultimate Miata, the 2005 MAZDASPEED Miata. Through the modification of more than 1,000 separate parts, Mazda's engineers have created the most balanced, best-handling, hardest-accelerating MX-5 ever.
"Sixteen years ago, the MX-5 Miata helped Mazda reintroduce the world to the pure joy of driving," said Weldon Munsey, MAZDASPEED vehicle line manager. "With MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata, we take another bold step at differentiating ourselves from the competition by improving a car that was already deemed perfect by most."
Reinvigorating the roadster marketplace with a new level of performance and style at an unbeatable price, MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata is fully equipped at $25,780 with cloth interior and $26,580 with leather, thousands less than a BMW Z4 and with nearly the same horsepower.
Fitted with a single-scroll turbocharger with 8.5 psi maximum boost and an air-to-air intercooler, the 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 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. 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 a larger radiator core with increased coolant capacity, 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 was added. The piston shapes also have been modified to handle the extra fuel-air mixture provided by the turbocharger.
As if these modifications were not enough, Mazda's engineering team also removed the normally aspirated car's variable valve timing head and replaced it with a fixed timing unit. This was done to better maximize drivability over all engine rev ranges, as well as ensure long-term turbocharged reliability.
Keeping the MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata cool are two additional oil cooler plate pieces, allowing the oil more time to cool before it recycles through the engine. Harder rubber also is used for the engine and differential mountings to account for increased torque and avoid flexing and wearing due to more extreme temperature changes under the hood.
These precise engine modifications, combined with a short-throw, six-speed gearbox with improved gear durability and MAZDASPEED sport-tuned and lowered suspension, makes for an amazingly quick and agile car. 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 soak up vibration while larger front and rear stabilizer bars and a silver-painted front strut tower brace increase chassis rigidity and improve road-holding capability. As with all MAZDASPEED cars, the upgraded suspension pieces are color-keyed to each other so the car will look as good as it performs.
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.
It is obvious that this is no stock Miata with a turbocharger bolted to the engine, nor is it a cobbled-together "tuner car" that fails to take into consideration the demands of long-term durability, emissions regulations, safety issues or general drivability. This is a car that was developed by the very same designers and engineers who developed the original Miata back in 1989, and it took all of their 16 years of learning to create a car that is as fully engineered as the MAZDASPEED MX-5.
The exterior, colored in Lava Orange Mica, Black Mica, 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 and a black leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob and handbrake with red stitching. A black cloth soft top with black leather bucket seats and red stitching (silver stitching with Lava Orange Mica exterior) are optional with the Grand Touring Package - the only factory option available. Silver instrument panel gauges showcase the MAZDASPEED logo as do the foot pedals, stainless steel scuff plates, floor mats and body-colored rearview mirror cap. A unique curl-fit finish adorns the center stack panel and shift panel. Standard audio is a 225-watt six-speaker Bose® sound system with six-disc CD changer and speed-sensing automatic volume control, available with Sirius® satellite radio capability. Sirius provides more than 120 satellite channels from coast to coast and is compatible with both the stock and upgraded sound systems. Mazda dealers need only add an antenna and satellite receiver kit ($399 not including installation) and customers need only subscribe to activate the Sirius system.
As with all MAZDASPEED vehicles, special attention to detail is evident throughout, including a red wrinkle finish with turbo logo on the valve cover and an anodized aluminum oil cap with MAZDASPEED logo.
Even with the addition of a turbocharger and much more, MAZDASPEED vehicles carry the same factory-backed warranty as all Mazda vehicles. The 2005 MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata is covered by a comprehensive four-year/50,000-mile warranty that covers every part on the vehicle except those subject to normal wear. In addition, the 2005 MAZDASPEED MX-5 Miata is covered by a five-year/unlimited-mileage corrosion warranty.
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.
EDITOR'S NOTE: For more information on Mazda products, visit the online Mazda media center at www.mazdausamedia.com.