The perfect sports car just got a bit better.
One of the biggest complaints about the otherwise brilliant Mazda MX-5 Miata is that it is lacking in the power department. Well, thanks to BBR, that's no longer an issue.
Following on from the success of its innovative "Stage One" turbo conversion for the 2-liter variants of the fourth-generation MX-5, the Brackley-based Mazda tuning house has worked on a new upgrade for the current car, allowing it to be fitted to 1.5-liter variants with minimal mechanical alterations.
The BBR Stage 1 turbocharger upgrade raises peak power to 210 hp, up from the standard output of 129 hp. The spread of power is also improved, with more than 150 bhp available from 4,000 rpm all the way to the 7,750 rpm limiter. Torque is rated at 197 lb-ft (86 lb-ft more than stock), which arrives at 4,150 rpm, with over 150 lb-ft available from 3,000 rpm to just under 7,000 rpm. Boost pressure is set at a "conservative" 7psi.
The turbo upgrade utilises BBR's exclusive twin-scroll TSX28-67R turbocharger, which was chosen due to the different characteristics of the 1.5-litre Skyactiv-G engine.
"BBR’s decision to use the twin-scroll turbo technology has been validated by the positive media and market feedback on the initial conversion for the 2-liter ND models," said BBR managing director, Neil McKay. "For the 1.5-liter Skyactiv-G engine, the main development effort focused on turbo-matching to suit our desired twin goals of transforming the everyday driving performance, while maintaining the rev-free nature of the smaller power unit."
Of course, adding a turbocharger is quite a considerable upgrade, but one McKay feels is necessary for the 1.5 MX-5. "BBR’s early development work proved Mazda has done a great job with the 1.5-liter engine, so power gains beyond remapping without forced induction and considerable effort are likely to be negligible," he explained.
The Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 turbo package is available now, priced from £4,395 (about $5,900). For an additional £600 ($800), you can take your MX-5 down to BBR's Brackley base for a "drive in, drive out" installation where it will be fitted by the company's qualified technicians and be subject to their dyno power graph.
Gallery: Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 turbo package
BBR 210 bhp turbocharger upgrade now available for 1.5-litre engine MX-5 ND variants
- Suitable for all MY 2015 onwards 1.5-litre Mazda MX-5 ND models (including the latest RF)
- Increases power to a proven 210 bhp and 197 ft of torque
- Incorporates the latest ultra-efficient twin-scroll turbocharger technology and bespoke BBR cast-iron manifold to maximise response
- Retains OEM Mazda electronic safety features plus MOT emissions compliance and standard idle characteristics
- Factory levels of finish, non-engine intrusive and fully reversible
- TÜV approval under development
- On sale now, with prices starting from £4395.00 excluding VAT
Following the success of BBR’s innovative and exciting ‘Stage One’ turbo conversion for the 2.0-litre variants of the 2015 MY onwards ‘ND’ MX-5, the Brackley based Mazda tuning legend has re-engineered the upgrade to enable its installation onto the 1.5-litre powered versions of these ever-popular sportscars, where it provides a significant performance boost.
Designed for easy installation without requiring mechanical alterations onto the 1498cc SKYACTIV-G engine, the BBR Stage 1 turbocharger upgrade raises peak power to an impressive 210 bhp, 81 bhp more than the quoted standard output. Equally important is the spread of power – more than 150 bhp is available from 4000rpm all the way to the 7750rpm limiter.
This is allied to maximum of 197 lb.ft of torque (86lb.ft more than stock), which arrives at just 4150rpm, with over 150lb.ft on tap from 3000rpm to just under 7000rpm – an immense spread of performance that transforms the 1.5-litre MX-5 driving experience for the better, irrespective of road or track conditions.
“BBR’s early development work proved Mazda has done a great job with the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, so power gains beyond remapping without forced induction and considerable effort are likely to be negligible,” explains BBR GTi Ltd Managing Director, Neil McKay.
Accordingly, one of the key elements of BBR’s Stage 1 turbo upgrade is the adoption of BBR’s exclusive twin-scroll TSX28-67R turbocharger, which has been specially selected to match to the different characteristics of the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine.
“BBR’s decision to use the twin-scroll turbo technology has been validated by the positive media and market feedback on the initial conversion for the 2.0-litre ND models,” McKay continues. “For the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, the main development effort focussed on turbo matching to suit our desired twin goals of transforming the everyday driving performance, whilst maintaining the rev-free nature of the smaller power unit,” he comments.
The twin-scroll unit that BBR has selected features a bespoke latest generation billet compressor wheel and a lightweight, low inertia turbine in a compact, internally wastegated assembly. The resulting turbocharger is a highly efficient and responsive forced induction solution, yet retains a large boost upgrade margin for later power stages and considerable further tuning potential.
“We feel that at last we can give the 1.5-litre MX-5 model the performance that it deserves,” says Mckay, “which is great news given that only a few select countries received the larger 2.0-litre variant.”
BBR Stage One Package Technical Details:
In detail, this exclusive TSX28-67R twin-scroll turbocharger mounts onto a bespoke BBR designed cast-iron twin-scroll manifold, whilst air charge temperatures are controlled by a front-mounted air to air intercooler, which is easily installed without bodywork alterations.
Similarly, the boost hoses and replacement battery tray are all finished in a factory style black and a high-flow K&N induction system is discretely positioned as befits BBR’s target client base of brand new and nearly new Mazda MX-5 ND owners.
Electronically, the Stage 1 turbo upgrade equipped car benefits from BBR’s renowned Starchip / EcuTek RaceRom ECU software package, which includes revised fuel, ignition and boost calibration designed to optimise driveability and performance across the rev range, whilst retaining all Mazda’s OEM fail safes.
‘On the Stage 1 conversion boost is set a conservative 7 psi, which is well within the limits of both the BBR turbocharger and the SKYACTIV-G engine,’ says BBR’s Neil Mckay. ‘With internal upgrades to the Mazda engine we know that considerable more power is available – the BBR technical team is already developing future stages to exploit this.’
BBR Stage One Package Pricing Details:
Available now, the Mazda MX-5 ND Stage 1 turbo package is priced at £4995.00 including ‘drive in, drive out’ installation at BBR’s Brackley premises by its qualified technicians and dyno power graph (A DIY version, including all hardware and software is also available priced at £4395.00.)
For complete peace of mind BBR offers 12 to 36-month extendable warranty packages for Stage 1 customers.
Key components of the BBR Stage 1 Mazda MX-5 ND Turbo upgrade include:-
- BBR exclusive TSX28-67R twin-scroll turbocharger including jet turbine specification fixings
- BBR bespoke cast iron twin scroll exhaust manifold
- BBR stainless steel downpipe
- BBR high-flow lightweight front mounted aluminium intercooler with factory look black intake pipes
- BBR high-flow custom silicone turbo pipes in factory look black finish with stainless steel hose clamps and unique black coating
- BBR lightweight aluminium battery tray in factory black finish
- BBR Recirculating piston type dump valve in factory black finish
- BBR / Bosch MAP / Temperature sensor
- BBR high efficiency carbon fibre turbocharger heat shield
- BBR high flow K&N Typhoon induction kit
- BBR stainless steel oil and water lines
- BBR Starchip EcuTek RaceRom calibration software