Road Tests

TUNED NC MIATA LOOKS LIKE AN ABSOLUTE RIOT TO DRIVE

Posted by Kieran Bicknell of Drivetribe August 2020

The Mazda Miata will go down in history as being the best 'budget' sports car that money can buy, famed worldwide for their handling prowess, driving style and low entry level prices; Professional-level drivers often start out in Miatas and rise up through the ranks, whilst both new and second-hand prices mean that almost anyone can get themselves into a Miata to experience the fantastic handling and see why they are spoken of so highly.

But what if a standard NC Miata just isn't quite powerful enough for you? Well, British tuning company BBR have got you covered. Their latest 'Super 225' tuning pack for the 2.0l Miata models (2005-2015) will give you not only a healthy upgrade in power and torques, but also transform the way the car drives on the road.

Renowned for their legendary turbocharger conversions, UK-based Mazda tuning house BBRs latest 'Super 225' pack is designed as the ultimate bolt-on upgrade system for the 2.0l Miata's, delivering a so-called ‘no-compromise’ intake package for die-hard n/a sports car enthusiasts.

This new upgrade system build upon the success of BBRs previous 'Super 200' tuning pack for NC Miata's by drastically improving the inlet efficiency of the engine, giving a considerable improvement in power, torque and throttle response over the stock hardware. With the Super 225 system owners can gain 67 bhp and 36 lb/ft of torque over stock, with the Super 225 package transforming the NC generation of Miata into a car that will out-perform almost any other car in its class and elevate the MX5s 'underdog' status even further.

Of course adding this power and improving the drivability of the naturally-aspirated Miata motor is no easy task for the team at BBR, as Neil McKay explains: “The main challenge for our development program was optimising the intake side of the engine by switching to bespoke independent throttle bodies (ITB’s,) while retaining the standard Mazda Denso engine management system and under bonnet layout.”

Keeping the stock OEM CANbus networks and vehicle safety protocols is an understandably high priority for BBR as safety systems should never be messed with, so the switch to a dedicated stand-alone engine management system was never on the table. In a similar vein to this, modifications to the stock Mazda bodywork (to provide clearance for engine tuning packages) also goes against BBR’s OEM appearance goals. What's more, clever designing of the Super 225 package means that it is compatible with both LHD and RHD NC models, with even the OEM front strut brace remaining in place and the tuning parts are easily convertible back to stock should the owner wish to do so.

So how do the team at BBR do it? McKay explains - “To maximise performance the OEM Mazda MAF sensor and plenum chamber are dispensed with for the Super 225 conversion, but the original factory drive by wire throttle configuration is retained and integrated into the BBR independent throttle body set up. Here is where BBR’s close partnership with EcuTek enabled us to develop an ECU calibration to accommodate this new hardware, which entailed a considerable amount of dyno time and road testing to accumulate mileage and refine the end package.”

Maximum power is designed to be delivered at an engine-saving 7500-7800rpm thanks to clever machining and manufacturing of the billet alloy DCOE independent throttle bodies, with the end results being an impressive 225ps at 7500rpm, and over 170 lb/ft of torque available between 4000 and 6000 rpm. The Super 225 kit is also designed to be suitable for everyday use, with BBR stating that "In-cabin noise is acceptable for regular driving and motorway use, with a distinctive, addictive intake ‘bark’ being produced under wide open throttle acceleration."

The conversion kit has been designed to be fully UK MOT legal, and is able to run on both 95 and 98 octane fuels - useful when in the UK higher-octane fuels are eye-wateringly expensive compared to regular 95.

Prices start from £3495 for a DIY option, or £4295 fully fitted by the BBR team, and it is available from their website.

 

 

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