One of the biggest complaints about the otherwise brilliant Mazda MX-5 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-litre 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-litre variants with minimal mechanical alterations.
The BBR Stage 1 turbocharger upgrade raises peak power to 210bhp, up from the standard output of 129bhp. The spread of power is also improved, with more than 150 bhp available from 4,000rpm all the way to the 7,750rpm limiter. Torque is rated at 197lb ft (86lb ft more than stock), which arrives at 4,150rpm, with over 150lb ft available from 3,000rpm to just under 7,000rpm. 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-litre ND models,' said BBR managing director, Neil McKay. 'For the 1.5-litre 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-litre 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. For an additional £600, 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.