DRIVEN: MAZDA MX-5 BBR COSWORTH
PistonHeads - December '10
Blower adds a new dimension to a perennial PH favourite
During our recent visit to drive BBR's Mk1 MX-5 turbo we managed to grab a short drive in the firm's Mk3 MX-5 fitted with a supercharger conversion developed with Cosworth.
It's an Eaton 4th generation MP62 blower, with Cosworth's own inlet manifold housing and an air-water intercooler, higher flow fuel injectors and new air box/filter, plus BBR's Interceptor 2010 ECU.
The kit provides a healthy gain on the Mazda's original figures: power rises to 235bhp at 7,130rpm while torque now stands at 190lb ft at 5,260rpm. As of now, BBR's demonstrator is otherwise exactly as Mazda intended.
BBR claims the conversion has a 'manufacturer' type feel to it, and by that they mean it feels as smoothly integrated into the car as if it was just another model in Mazda's range. I'd agree: with a standard exhaust back box, there's very little to signify the additional plumbing under the bonnet save a mildly more aggressive take on the mk3s slightly 'thin' induction note and a faint whine when you're accelerating. If you're looking for something that feels O.E. then this is just such a conversion.
But the car's newfound performance is obvious. Even from just above tick-over the car just pulls and pulls, regardless of gear. It's an a new experience in a Mk3 - you can be on the motorway in sixth, leave the gearlever alone, and still pile on speed in 10 or 20mph increments without effort. But rev it out hard and it's properly rapid, with a real sting towards the red line. Power oversteer is now an everyday reality with the traction control off, especially in slippery conditions; roundabouts are great fun, aided, in particular, by the immediacy of the supercharged torque delivery.
BBR wants £4,995 (fitted) for this transformation (although you can fit it yourself), but it provides a whole new dimension to the car, and an awful lot more speed.
Author: Adam Towler