The road legal Mazda MX-5 GT Concept will make its debut at this week's Goodwood Festival of Speed to test customer reaction to a new high performance version of the iconic roadster.
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The MX-5 GT Concept has been built and tweaked by Jota Sport to pump out 150kW from its naturally-aspirated 2.0-litre four-cylinder and send it to the rear wheels via the standard six-speed manual gearbox. That means 32kW more than a standard Mazda MX-5 but 27kW less than the supercharged MX-5 Yusho.

Mazda MX-5 GT Concept - 3

With ties to the 231kW Mazda MX-5 GT4 racing against the likes of Aston Martin and Lotus in the British GT Championship, the GT Concept rides on uprated adjustable suspension for improved handling and wears a carbonfibre front splitter, rear diffuser and boot spoiler. A sports exhaust system with twin central tailpipes provides a bit more note to the soft-top classic and is joined by Recaro seats, body-coloured roll-over hoops and carbonfibre interior enhancements too aid in cutting weight and sharpen dynamics. The car comes with road-legal track rubber fitted to black Mazda wheels to further highlight the car's track angle.

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Managing director of Mazda UK Jeremy Thomson said, "The MX-5 has been our best known car for 22 years and with the GT4 and GT Concept on show, we are demonstrating that this car can compete with the more expensive race and performance cars but still remain true to its roots of affordable motoring with a strong focus on the driving experience."

Perhaps the release of the Toyota 86 is making other sports car manufacturers a little nervous, but if cars like the MX-5 GT Concept are the result than let’s hope the trend continues.