It's surprisingly close.
The last time we watched a Mazda MX-5 in a drag race, the Japanese roadster was in the company of way more powerful open-top vehicles. This time around, we have two MX-5s going against each other. And before you rush into thinking there’s no point in racing two identical cars, let’s put it that way – these two may be very similar at a glance, but in fact are very different from the inside.
In this 6:30-minute video, Carwow hosts a battle between two of the most popular car-related YouTube channels today. The British car-buying platform through its host Mat faces the enthusiasts focused folks from CarThrottle, represented by Alex Kersten. Both have MX-5s but from different generations and with vastly different powertrains.
Gallery: Mazda MX-5 versus Mazda MX-5 drag race
Starting with Carwow’s MX-5, it’s from the second generation of the model built between 1998 and 2005. The car’s stock four-cylinder engine is gone and in place is a heavily modified 1.8-liter supercharged motor, generating about 196 horsepower (146 kilowatts) and 175 pound-feet (237 Newton-meters) at the wheels. Against it, CarThrottle’s first-gen MX-5 comes with a 3.0-liter naturally aspirated V6 that’s estimated to produce somewhere in the region of 250-260 hp (186-194 kW) and 240 lb-ft (325 Nm).
Obviously, the two cars are very different and not really comparable. The winner is probably obvious but we won’t spoil the fun of watching these two Japanese pocket rockets race against each other. The winner has a time of 13.2 seconds at the ¼-mile mark from a standing start, about 0.6 seconds ahead of the second-placed car. It’s a similar story at the rolling-start race. Oh, don’t miss the brake test as it’s… just brilliant.