2005 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Turbo Is for the Miata Purist, Says RCR

2005 Mazdaspeed MX-5 Regular Car Reviews 11 photos
Photo: Regular Car Reviews on YouTube
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Inspired by British roadsters such as the Lotus Elan, MGB, and Triumph Spitfire, the MX-5 still is going strong three decades after Mazda introduced the segment-disrupting sports car. During these 32 years of production, the Japanese automaker offered a factory turbo once.
Produced for the 2004 and 2005 model years, the Mazdaspeed MX-5 or Roadster Turbo as it’s called in the Land of the Rising Sun combines a familiar 1.8-liter engine with a teeny-tiny turbocharger supplied by IHI. Forced induction gave the Miata very different on-road characteristics from other NBs, and it’s hugely fun to drive, according to Brian Reider of RCR.

“This is everything you want from an MX-5, a regular Miata with some extra sauce,” says the one they call Mr. Regular, adding that it’s “a Miata for the Miata purist.” The reason he mentions the most loyal fans of the Japanese roadster is the extremely limited production run of 5,428 examples for the United States market. Had there not been a fire at the production facility, Mazda would have delivered a few more units to U.S. dealerships.

BP-4W is how the motor is called, and it’s a punchy one as well, thanks to 178 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 167 pound-feet (226 Nm) at 4,500 rpm. The 2021 Miata, by comparison, produces 181 ponies at 7,000 rpm and 151 pound-feet (205 Nm) at 4,000 rpm from 2.0 liters and natural aspiration.

The spinny snail is augmented by a front-mounted intercooler, and Brian reports very few turbo noises even under hard acceleration. Speaking of going pedal to the metal in a straight line, the Mazdaspeed MX-5 Miata needs 6.7 seconds to hit 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers per hour), a whole second more than a U.S.-spec 2021 MX-5 Miata with the free-breathing inline-four.

As far as criticisms are concerned, there are only two worth mentioning. If you’re curious what they are, skip to the 5:00 mark of the following video.

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About the author: Mircea Panait
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After a 1:43 scale model of a Ferrari 250 GTO sparked Mircea's interest for cars when he was a kid, an early internship at Top Gear sealed his career path. He's most interested in muscle cars and American trucks, but he takes a passing interest in quirky kei cars as well.
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