New Kid On The Block

In 1989 the world welcomed the Mazda MX-5 (NA), a lightweight, front-engine/rear-drive, two-seater vehicle that was affordable yet rewarding to drive. MX5 stands for Mazda Experimental Project Number 5 (not to be mistaken for the popular 2001 Lou Bega Hit “Mambo Number 5”).

The second generation MX-5 (NB) began production in 1998 and ran till 2005. The redesigned model received a more powerful and refined engine, and lost the iconic pop-up headlamps to the disappointment of many die hard MX-5 followers. Along with a general overhaul in the styling department, the car bulked up a touch, increasing weight by around 100kg. This was the result of greatly enhanced safety features, coupled with a slightly wider and longer body. The NB MX-5 still came equiped with four-wheel independent suspension, keeping point to the iconic handling these cars are know for having.

Mazda MX5 SE Front

Presenting Our 2004 Mazda MX-5 SE

Our particular model is a 2004 MX-5 SE in Titanium Grey which has traveled 120,000km. In the US this model was marketed as the Mazdaspeed Miata, and in Japan the Roadster Turbo. The car features a turbocharged variant of the BP-4W 1.8L engine which produces 121kW (133kW in the US). As standard, cars that come to Australia are detuned to for various reasons (Climate, Fuel Quality etc) and the main contributor of power difference is the reduction in boost pressure. The Australian tuned cars are running 7.25psi, whereas the US and Japanese version runs 8.5psi.

These MX5’s are the only turbo versions that came from the Japanese factory. In Australia we were also lucky enough to see a Mazda MX-5 SP, featuring a more powerful turbocharged engine with an astounding 157kW. Unfortunately however these vehicles were not an official production by Mazda Japan, but were converted by Mazda Australia where only 100 were built.

Mazda MX5 SE Engine Bay

Under The Hood

The interior of our car is very tidy. The leather seats are in great condition, along with the door cards and everything else. When you sit inside one of these cars you know that the only thing that you should be focused on is the driving. The cockpit is designed for those of short-statured nature, and make rival cars like the Toyota 86/Subaru BRZ feel like large saloons. Everything is exactly where you would want it to be inside, the shifter location is superb and the feeling of the shifts are so crisp and direct that it leave you wanting to shift more unnecessarily.

122,000km On The Clock

Our car appears to be in very good shape, but does require some work before we start enhancing the vehicles performance. The MX-5’s are know to suffer from failed radiators, where the plastic top tanks start to discolour then crack and leak, so it is crucial for us to address this issue first.

Stay tuned for a series of awesome MX-5 Products and Tutorials from AutoInstruct!