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Brand New Mazda MX-5

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Mike Stevens | Mar 24, 2011

Don't look for this one in showrooms. With 205kW coursing through its highly tuned and modified naturally-aspirated 2.0 litre Mazda engine, Mazda's UK arm says this is the most powerful Mazda MX-5 ever built.

There might be some aftermarket tuners that would dispute that claim, but partner Jota Sport is standing by the MX-5 GT as not only the most powerful, but also the lightest MX-5 getting around.

Developed for competition in the 2011 Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship, the MX-5 GT weighs in at just 850kg - well short of the nearly 1100kg weight of the regular road-going MX-5.

Much of that reduced weight is thanks to the race car's stripped interior, along with a quick acid bath that saw 15kg chemically separated from the car's shell.

“The MX-5 production race car’s modest power output, bullet proof reliability and nimble handling demonstrated last year how the MX-5 can be competitive against some of the purpose-built Lotus, VW and BMW race cars,” Mazda UK's Graeme Fudge said.

Jota says the MX-5 GT is 17 times stronger than the FIA's requirements, with 400 hours invested in body strengthening and driver safety alone.

Through the combination of its light-weight build and the 205kW engine, the MX-5 GT hits 96km/h (60mph) in just 3.0 seconds, on its way to a top speed of 257km/h.

The topless but well-caged Mazda also gets track-specific suspension, competition alloy wheels and tyres and a performance brake system.

“With a higher power output combined with the durability, reliability and handling attributes that the MX-5 is renowned for; the MX-5 GT race car will be strong contender against the more powerful race cars in its class,” Fudge added.

 

2012 Mazda MX-5

At last report, the all-new 2012 Mazda MX-5 is expected to share at least one thing in common with the MX-5 GT: lean weight.

With today's safety requirements and the constant push for more lifestyle conveniences, the MX-5 is unlikely to ever return to its 940kg prime, but according to the long-standing MX-5 project chief, Takao Kijima, the new model should be at least 10 percent lighter.

If he's right, we can look forward to a sub-1000kg MX-5 in the next year or so.

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