Top speed - September '16
By Kirby Garlitos , on
Two new engine upgrades from the British tuner that knows the Miata like the back of its hand
You might have heard of BBR already having a number of tuning programs available for the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Yep, those kits were introduced only nine months ago when the British tuner unveiled the Super 160, Super 175, and Super 190 kits for the Japanese roadster. Now, BBR is unveiling the next level upgrade to the ones it has already shown in the form of the Super 200 and Super 200+ programs that bring out as much as 214 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque from the MX-5’s 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine.
Whichever program you choose, you can be assured that your MX-5 Miata will carry more than 200 horsepower with it. Sure, it’s not as ridiculous as the Flyin’ Miata upgrade and its 525-horsepower output. But that tuner arrived at that power because of an engine transplant that gave the MX-5 a 6.2-liter LS3 V-8. BBR didn’t go to those lengths and yet, it’s own kit is just as meaningful for those who prefer to keep their MX-5’s true to its character.
Apart from the engine upgrades, BBR also worked on chassis, suspension, and brake upgrades for the Mazda roadster with the intention of making a balanced tuning program for the MX-5. The result is as what you’d expect for one of the most fun cars to drive on the road. The added power gives it an extra kick and the complementing suspension upgrades ensure that it still handles like a charm.
The absence of any exterior and interior upgrades may come as a downer for some, but BBR’s engine programs for the MX-5 Miata have proven to be as good as advertised. First up here is the Super 200 program, which includes a handful of handy modifications that was not only able to increase the roadster’s power, but also tap into rev ranges that the standard unit just wouldn’t go to.
On the hardware side, BBR’s program includes a new billet steel intake and exhaust camshafts that come with improved valve springs and retainers. A specially developed cold air intake system and a bespoke stainless steel exhaust manifold are also included in the program, the latter of which provides a gnarlier exhaust note that you normally wouldn’t expect to come out of the MX-5. On the software side, the highlight of BBR’s tuning package is its StarChip ECU package that comes with improved fuel, ignition, and cam timing calibration. This upgrade is primarily responsible for helping the MX-5 achieve an output of 205 horsepower at 6,950 rpm and 179 pound-feet of torque at 4,950 rpm. The result not only allows the Miata to achieve higher revs, but also helps it attain a 0-to-60-mph sprint time of just 5.65 seconds, close to two seconds quicker than the standard version.
Then there’s the Super 200+ program, which, judging by the ‘+’ on the end of its name, adds an extra amount of power to the ND variant of the sports car. BBR was able to attain the extra juice by adding a 2.5-inch diameter high performance TIG welded stainless steel exhaust center section, bringing the total output to 214 horsepower and 183 pound-feet of torque. For this package, BBR is also offering a choice of two silencer options: a subtler GT option that releases a more refined exhaust note or a Supersport option wherein noise comes at a premium.
Last but not least is what can be described as an upgrade that’s not on the menu. For an extra price, BBR can also install a gasflowed cylinder head that can bring the car’s total output to 225 horsepower.
Chassis And Suspension
Just like with its past programs for the MX-5 Miata, BBR also paid careful attention to improving the sports car’s handling capabilities. As such, the tuner is also offering a Sports Suspension package that includes Koni adjustable dampers that complements the accompanying lowering springs to create a better handling sports car that can also maximise its added power credentials.
On that specific note, BBR also sought help from suspension specialist Eibach to create a two-way adjustable front and rear anti-roll bar kit that helps improve the car’s handling precision and cornering grip, two qualities that are as important as anything to maximize the driving potential of the MX-5 Miata.
Last but certainly not least are the upgrades given to the sports car’s brakes, which consists of a Willwood four piston alloy caliper upgrade that not only improves the car’s stopping power, but also enhances the MX-5’s handling response and overall power-to-weight ratio.