Hagerty Video: The Joy of Driving: Supercharged Mazda MX-5 Adventure | Henry Catchpole – The Driver’s Seat

The Joy of Driving: Supercharged Mazda MX-5 Adventure | Henry Catchpole - The Driver’s Seat

Posted: 2023-08-02 15:00:16
Author: Hagerty
What a breath of fresh air! In this episode, Henry Catchpole drives a supercharged Mazda MX-5 from renowned tuners BBR GTi. Proving that fast fun can still be affordable in this age of mega-expensive hypercars and restomods, Hagerty heads to some incredible roads in Wales that suit the little Mazda perfectly.

Producing 250bhp and 220lb ft of torque, the Stage 2 Supercharger kit makes a palpable difference to the ND generation Mazda (2015-19 model years), dropping the 0-60mph time to 5.1 seconds. This particular car also has a suspension upgrade with Koni dampers, new OZ Ultraleggera wheels and a bigger brake kit.

The end result is a fabulous enhancement of everything that makes the standard MX-5 great. It still feels nicely useable (the way it fits so neatly on these narrow roads is a case in point), the linearity of the power delivery is maintained and the gearshift remains a delight at any speed, but when you find the right situation you have performance that feels in a very different league.

We also look at the reasons driving with the roof down can actually be good for you. A study (albeit with a fairly small sample size) carried out at Cranfield University in association with FIAT has put some numbers to the fluctuations in things like happiness and stress when you drive with the top down. The results seems conclusive – especially when delivered by someone wearing a Tweed waistcoat and a spotty bowtie.

We hope you enjoy the episode – let us know in the comments down below if there are other rivals to the MX-5 that you would like us to try. Please do think about a Hagerty Drivers Club subscription if you’d like to support the channel. ——- https://bit.ly/Join-HDC-Henry ——- Or just leave a thumbs up or perhaps share it on the social media platform of your choice. It all helps!

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Hagerty Video Transcript

Driving with the roof down Alfresco the wind in your hair it’s good for you really good for you fine says science headonic tone or happiness increases by up to 19. heart rate variability or stress is reduced by nearly a third alertness increases by up to 15 percent

Of course it does help if you’re somewhere like this and driving a car as fun as this I didn’t just make those numbers up by the way they are part of a genuine study admittedly that wasn’t a great sample size just 23 people but it was done by a genuine doctor in fact an associate professor of driver Behavior at Cranfield University Dr Lisa Dawn

Driving with the roof down is something that I’ve always loved it just it really does add to the experience it makes a journey more four-dimensional somehow driving down a beautiful Road like this and it is a beautiful Road you get more in touch with the landscape for a

Start through all the smells that sort of warm heady heavy smell of all the Bracken at this time of year the smell of the pine trees the smells also plant-based emanating from the occasional Caravan parked up at the side of the road with the roof down you feel temperature

Changes here additional ambient sounds and see more of your surroundings driving on Plein Air paints a more Vivid picture of a journey and I can understand the idea that it decreases road rage as well because in so many modern cars you do feel isolated from the world that you’re traveling through

And it’s a bit like social media if you feel isolated from the world you’re traveling through it’s easier to be angry with it to I don’t know swear cuss and be rude to people but when they’re just there it’s when there’s no barrier between you well

A bit more likely to mind your p’s and q’s I think safe to say then that Dr Dawn is definitely onto something the study was actually done in association with Fiat and that brings us in a rather roundabout way to this car because the ND generation of the Mazda MX-5 was of

Course transformed into the 124 Spider but as you’ve probably noticed this isn’t a standard MX-5 or Miata it has been settled by bbr GTI bbr stands for Brody Britain racing David Brody being a very successful Touring Car Racer in the 70s and 80s the company was founded in

Brackley in the UK and remains there to this day in premises just behind the Mercedes Formula One team over the last 50 years or so it has probably been best known for Turbo charging but this latest upgrade utilizes another type of forced induction the very neat installation is designed

Specifically for the skyactiv G2 liter engine and it comes in two stages stage one brings with it the C30 94 rotrex supercharger and all the ancillaries like the intercooler the oil cooler the oil reservoir the k n induction kit and obviously the ECU upgrades as well as these bbr branded silicon hoses that

Takes power up to about 220 brake horsepower stage two well that’s all about increasing the breathing you can have a more track specific forged Motorsport intercooler as well but it’s really about this four into one exhaust system then goes into the two and a half inch stainless steel system that runs

Right the way through to the back of the car and that increases power up to the aforementioned 250 brake horsepower it’s as I say a very neat looking installation oops must be an ND filter a small gag there for Mazda aficionados that also like photography and whilst you’re recovering from such

Side-splitting humor I’ll take this brief opportunity to remind you that if you’d like Haggerty to be able to afford better script writers on these films then perhaps you might consider taking out a Haggerty Drivers Club subscription which gets you a lovely magazine roadside assistance access to hagley’s online valuation tool and Myriad

Discounts it’s a bargain talking of which back to the Mazda and those bbr upgrades which start at 3895 pounds excluding vat for the DIY stage 1 kit and rise to just under 8 000 pounds including vat for the fully fitted stage 2 with a motorsport intercooler and the full 250 brake horsepower

Of course with this it’s not just the power perhaps even more important it’s the torque that this has 220 pounds foot of torque it helps drop the north 60 mile an hour time from over seven seconds down to just 5.1 seconds weighing just a thousand kilos it’s really potent

Not quite as patient as the ls swap I once tried but enough and because it’s supercharged not turbocharged this conversion actually feels quite subtle in some ways if you look at the power and torque curves in fact you’ll see that they’ve just been raised up they follow the same sort of trace it

Still feels wonderfully linear and there’s still definitely a reason to rev it right out you don’t get the real supercharger wine or scream with this either which I’m quite glad about somehow you could be forgiven for thinking that there was no forced induction in a way because other than just the little sort

Of almost chime as you lift off you really don’t get any sound from it foreign now you’ve no doubt noticed that this car also has some other bbr additions notably a brake upgrade with four piston front calipers that will set you back just over a grand fully fitted there’s

Also a set of 17-inch Oz Ultra Legend allies with Goodyear Eagle f1s 1848 pounds and finally a fast Road suspension kit that you can have fully fitted with the geometry setup of your choice for a smidge over 1400 quid total that up add in a secondhand gen 1 ND for

About 13 000 pounds and you’re looking at about 25k All In is it the law of diminishing returns starts here I love the fact that with these views you can see the road for Miles Ahead you get good Sidelines through the corners but also you can see what’s to come

It wets the appetite wonderfully what a view of course part of the magic of a car like the Mazda MX-5 is that it feels at home exploring a narrow Welsh single Track Road like this you could fit a Ferrari down here but I don’t think it would be as

Enjoyable in a bigger car the line would be prescribed in this you get to choose still it’s a car you feel like you can just fling down the road and place really accurately dive into the corner and then all that talk just steer through hook it on the inside there

This is quick but as with all good cars you don’t have to be going quickly to enjoy it as soon as you get into this car it’s the gear shift I think that’s what tells you straight away that this is going to be fun a tighter more precise gear shift it’s harder to

Think of pedals are really well placed as well so if you like indulging in a bit of heel and toe it’s easy no I’m not saying this car is perfect there are things that perhaps yes you’d spend more money on the suspension it’s good it’s really good it

Definitely that gives you extra control and actually has enough compliance over particularly the bigger bumps I’d like a suspension that perhaps just breeds a little more with the road whilst retaining that control but I suspect that would only really come with more expensive dampers and as luck would have it bbr does offer

A quartet of olin’s coilovers for about a thousand pounds More Than This setup and I’d be intrigued to try them other things well the steering the steering has perhaps never been the best on certainly this generation in fact the last couple of generations of MX-5 is definitely better with the new

Suspension in this but you still don’t quite get the really sort of textual feedback but it would be nice to have just to know how much those front tires are gripping it’s direct and the way that it turns in but it would be nice to just know how hard you’re pushing those

Goodyear Eagle f1s to that extent the sense of connection with the rear is actually much better the fact that he was in the practicing City on the rear axle obviously helps to that extent If This Were Mine I think I would have to put a different seat in it though just to

Get a little bit lower because for somebody of my height it does feel a little bit like a sort of a 9 10 scale car the bottom line though is that this little Mazda is just really fun and attainable much as I love having the chance to drive the mega expensive Resto

Mods and the hyper cars that will set you back seven Figures it’s important to remember that something like this can bring so much driving Joy to the party the vastly lower barrier to entry it’s like the brilliant Backstreet Pub just around the corner from the exclusive club or the guest list and bounces

Even with a roof up I think this MX-5 would make you feel happier less stressed more alert so this lx5 with a roof down it’s a winning combo foreign