2016 Mazda MX-5 Does Acceleration Battle with Scion FR-S at Altitude and Humiliates It

2016 Mazda MX-5 Does Acceleration Battle with Scion FR-S at Altitude and Humiliates It 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube
Everybody knows that the new Mazda MX-5 is a little faster than the Scion FR-S when equipped with its bigger 2-liter engine and not the 1.5L. However, this next acceleration test, done by the guys at The Fast Lane Car, proves the gap is even wider than some may think.
The main reason these Japanese toys are so unevenly matched has to do with the fact that they are being tested at altitude. Because of the high compression ratio all Skyactiv engines use, the MX-5 loses less of its power when faced with rarefied air.

On paper, the Scion FR-S has a 45 horsepower advantage. But the torque difference between them is virtually nonexistent. Why? Well, some independent tests have shown the total output of this boxer 2-liter engine is nowhere near the claimed 200 hp.

Making things worse is the weight advantage the Miata has, which is about the same as two big scooters.

Right, enough beating around the bush. Let’s talk numbers. Both Roman and Nathan take two turns in each car to see who has the best skills with a manual gearbox. The Scion’s best time is 9 seconds, while the Miata manages a 7.89 seconds. Also, the slower of the two drivers (Roman) gets more consistent results with the MX-5. That suggests this is the easier car to be fast in.

Could the roles be reversed? Maybe, but we’re not sure. Toyota is working on a mid-life facelift for its sports coupe that should come out within a few months. Reports suggest the official power output will jump from 200 to 220 hp while the gearbox will receive shorter ratios.

Of course, neither of these cars is designed to drag race, and they would lose to a Hyundai Sonata Turbo or even an SUV. They’re also quite expensive, and if drag racing is what you’re all about, maybe you should consider a Ford Mustang for roughly the same money.

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About the author: Mihnea Radu
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Mihnea's favorite cars have already been built, the so-called modern classics from the '80s and '90s. He also loves local car culture from all over the world, so don't be surprised to see him getting excited about weird Japanese imports, low-rider VWs out of Germany, replicas from Russia or LS swaps down in Florida.
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