Mazda Spirit Racing is the Answer for a Faster MX-5 Miata

by Nik Berg
4 July 2024 2 min read
Mazda Spirit Racing is the Answer for a Faster MX-5 Miata

Mazdaspeed may be long gone, but mightier Mazdas are on the way soon. At the Tokyo Auto Salon in January the Hiroshima manufacturer announced Mazda Spirit Racing would pick up the mantle of building its sportier derivatives, and now the first example appears to have been spotted undergoing high-speed testing.

Photographs posted on Instagram by @rollendreporter show a lower, aerodynamically-enhanced Miata lapping the Nürburgring in Germany wearing a partial camouflage. While the Instagrammer suggests this car might be a 35th anniversary special it looks closer to the show car from Tokyo and therefore likely to be the first Mazda Spirit Racing Miata.

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Sat on lower, and presumably, stiffer suspension, there’s an asphalt-scraping aero kit, comprising a chin spoiler, side skirts, rear valance and a lip spoiler. Black Rays alloy wheels and Bridgestone tires complete the look.

Mazda Spirit Racing has, until now, focused on track work, with its cars competing in Japan’s Super Taikyu series, but its expertise will soon be applied to Mazda road cars. Alongside the Miata Mazda showed a tricked-out Mazda3, so that’s another one for the ‘Ring spies to keep an eye out for.

Mazda hasn’t revealed details of any power upgrades for the two-liter 181-hp Skyactiv-G motor, but since the aftermarket has managed to get over 200 horses from it MSR should be able to muster at least that. With testing well under way, hopefully we won’t have too long to wait to find out.

In the meantime we can expect a 35th Anniversary Miata before the year is out. Miata Program Manager Shigeki Saito told fans at the recent Karuizawa Meeting in Japan that the celebratory model is coming soon. Rather than being limited in number like previous editions, Mazda will open build slots for a fixed period to allow anyone who wants one to place an order. The car will get Recaro seats, bespoke wheels, upgraded brakes and suspension plus a special color that’s yet to be confirmed.

Now well into its fourth decade the Miata might well be approaching middle age and due for a proper replacement, but Mazda is certainly doing its best to keep the world’s most popular roadster in good shape.

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