Road Tests


PistonHeads - February '14


How does the prospect of a 305hp MX-5 for £13,000 sound? It’s a tempting proposition surely. But it’s now a reality using a little PH classifieds-based man maths and BBR’s latest MX-5 turbo kit.

Following the success and reception of the GB270, BBR have launched two versions of its turbo kit for existing MX-5 owners that can be retrofitted at dealers or DIY installed. Both upgrades are available for all 1.8 and 2.0 NC MX-5s made since 2005.

Both Stage 1 and Stage 2 turbo packages mimic the GB270 with an OEM look to the conversion. The former includes a BBR Garrett GT turbo, a stainless steel manifold, new downpipe, intercooler, high-flow injectors and airbox plus the special Starchip EcuTek ECU seen on the 270. It makes 266hp at 7,350rpm and 225lb ft at 4,350rpm, enough for 0-60 in 5.1 seconds and 150mph all-out. Performance is fractionally behind the 270 because of running the standard MX-5 clutch. Fitted to the 1.8, the Stage 1 figures fall to 234hp and 208lb ft.

So that’s £4,995 from BBR, approved Mazda dealerships and specialists for a ‘drive-in, drive-out’ job, or £4,395 if you can do it yourself. With a 12-month warranty too.

But why make do with 260hp when you could have 300? Stage 2 takes the 2.0-litre MX-5 to 305hp and 254lb ft (264hp and 232lb ft in the 1.8) with an increase in boost from 7psi to 9 as well as a performance exhaust, another air filter change and Iridium spark plugs. The upgraded clutch from the GB270 is also part of the kit.

Stage 2 costs £6,695, or £5,795 for the DIY upgrade. All prices, very important to add, are without VAT. But even taking that into account, with ‘3.5’ MX-5s under £9K for the 2.0, it could be at 300hp for under £17K. With a warranty.

Author: Matt Bird