Mazda is preparing a lightweight racing version of the company's most popular convertible, called a Mazda MX-5 GT, which will compete in this year's Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship. It sports a more powerful engine, loads of weight reduction and uprated brakes and suspension to suit serious track work.
Starting with the engine. Enthusiasts and motoring experts worldwide have always said the Mazda MX-5 could do with a little more power. So for the racing version, that's exactly what the company has done. The engine has been tuned and revised and now produces a more-than-reasonable 205kW of power. This is then matched to a sequential six-speed gearbox.
As for the handling, the standard Mazda MX-5 is already like an extension of the human body, and can be flung around a track with the finesse and accuracy of a lightweight race car. It's also extremely easy to do so, and its chassis accommodates any level of driving skill. For the racing version, Mazda has taken things even further by not only equipping the car with all-new adjustable suspension, but the engine is also mounted lower down in the engine bay to lower the centre of gravity.
Vast weight reduction revisions have also been carried out on the MX-5 GT and it now tips the scales at just 850kg. Mazda says every detail of the car was refined and revised to ensure optimum lightness could be achieved. The car features polycarbonate windows, carbonfibre doors and an acid-dipped body. Dipping the shell in acid has allowed Mazda to shed 15kg from the car's overall weight. And you don't have to worry about a diminished structural integrity, Mazda has welded up and bolted in a full comprehensive race roll cage structure within the car.