BBR Mazda MX-5 'Super 180'

Tuned Mazda MX-5s are like buses; you wait ages for one to come along to deliver on its potential, then all of a sudden there's three.

First, Dan drove the GT Concept MX-5. Next came a GT4 racer you can buy (if you've got deep pockets). Now, established MX-5 tuner BBR has released a rather more affordable tuning package - and we like the sound of it.

Sitting below the turbo upgrades in BBR's catalogue, the 'Super 180' kit can be fitted to 2005-on Mk 3s and 3.5s. The main mods are a 4-into-1 stainless steel exhaust manifold, a StarChip ECU remap, a BBR panel air filter and a stainless steel exhaust system featuring a high-flow cat, new silencer and twin 3.5inch tailpipes. BBR claims this boosts the 2.0-litre MX-5's power from 160hp to 183hp.

Stainless system ends in two of these
Stainless system ends in two of these
Torque peak rises from 139lb ft to 159lb ft, developed at 4250rpm. For those who crave slightly more, BBR will upgrade the silencer to a 'Supersport' variant, liberating a few extra decibels and horsepower.

BBR is offering this 180 kit on both 1.8 and 2.0-litre MX-5s, with similar percentage gains for both engines. It will cost you £1,995 to have your MX-5 tweaked by BBR to Super 180 specification. A self-build upgrade costs £1,895.

A cursory glance through the PH Classifieds shows the cheapest 2.0-litre Mk 3 MX-5s are now under £6000. You don't need me to tell you how affordable that makes a 183hp MX-5.


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Comments (64) Join the discussion on the forum

  • The Crack Fox 19 Sep 2012

    steve_bmw said:
    £6000 for the car and £2000 for the upgrade, no thanks you can buy a really nice car for that much.
    I think that is a really nice car, £8k for a nearly new car with great handling, decent reliability, and plenty of poke ? Standard 2.0 sport car for £6k ish, £300 for the suspension drop/alignment, £2k for an upgrade from a professional company ? Yes please.

    I'd seriously consider buying one of these. smile

  • Strangely Brown 19 Sep 2012

    hornetrider said:
    There's also nothing about this on the BBR website.

  • jimjim150 19 Sep 2012

    From my experience of tuning N/A cars - I think this is fairly good value for money. That 4-1 full exhaust system is probably a grand or more of the price.

    There should be an option for livelier cams as well, get that torque figure up to 170+.

  • edward1 19 Sep 2012

    2k does seem alot of money for 20hp. It is however probably a well sorted package. is it worth it? It will very much depend on the owner and the use the car gets. If you already have a mx5 mk3 use it every day and want a bit more welly, then a mod like this is probably a sensible choice. I find it hard to believe that there aren't lots of alternatives to modifying this engine that don't involve forced induction. After all it is used in plenty of different vehicles.

    If you want a fun weekend toy and for track days, then my personal choice for bank for buck would be a blown Mk1. having driven a NA mk1 with minimal suspension mods it did handle like a go-kart and was great fun.

    If however I was looking to buy a car for everyday use that was involving to drive wouldn't break the bank with running costs I would have to say the s2k would be my first point of call. As for insurance yes you can get cheap prices for modified vehicles if you manage to find the right broker and/or it is on a classic or limited mileage policy, but for every day use they normally quote telephone numbers at you when you mention mods in my limited experience.

  • Riknos 18 Sep 2012

    redgriff500 said:
    Where has it got 240bhp - ah yes for a split second after waiting for ages for the revs to climb.

    Great on a track, not so great in everyday use.

    Also how heavy is the S2000 ?

    IIRC 200kg more than the MX5
    Also more to purchase - £6k will pick you up a 2007 sport MX5, 50k miles etc, similar age S2000 you're looking at £9k? - you can't exactly compare the cars on a like for like basis, as they're at different prices in the market, but BOTH cars offer a lot of value for money.

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