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RE: BBR wrings 213hp from 1.5 MX-5

RE: BBR wrings 213hp from 1.5 MX-5

Thursday 7th December

BBR wrings 213hp from 1.5 MX-5

Famed Mazda tuner finally turns its attention to the smaller-engined MX-5, with predictably agreeable results



We've always had a soft spot for Brackley-based tuner BBR - not least because it has always endeavoured to do what we're all thinking when it comes to the perennially sweet handling but ever-so-slightly undercooked Mazda MX-5. When it comes to the latest model, the firm has understandably applied its turbocharging instincts exclusively to the more powerful 2.0-litre variant - until today that is.


Now BBR is offering a 'Stage One' conversion for the 1.5-litre engine, which uses a twin-scroll blower to elevate the downsized motor's output from a worthy 131hp to a downright lively 213hp. No less enticingly, peak torque climbs from 111lb ft to 197lb ft - with over 150lb ft available from 3000rpm.

"For the 1.5-litre SKYACTIV-G engine, the main development effort focussed on turbo matching to suit our desired twin goals of transforming the everyday driving performance, whilst maintaining the rev-free nature of the smaller power unit," explained BBR GTi Ltd Managing Director, Neil McKay.

The company's exclusive TSX28-67R turbocharger is mounted onto a bespoke, cast-iron, twin-scroll manifold with the air charge temperatures controlled by an air-to-air intercooler that apparently doesn't require any bodywork alterations to install. Along with all the associated hoses and a high-flow K&N induction system, BBR also adds its Starchip/EcuTek RaceRom ECU software package.


'On the Stage 1 conversion boost is set at a conservative 7 psi, which is well within the limits of both the BBR turbocharger and the SKYACTIV-G engine,' added McKay. 'With internal upgrades to the Mazda engine we know that considerably more power is available - the BBR technical team is already developing future stages to exploit this.'

If the package is of interest - and we can't think of an earthly reason why it wouldn't be - the firm will complete a 'drive in, drive out' installation at its own premises for £4,995. Alternatively, you can do it yourself for £4,395. An extendable warranty is also available. More details can be found here.

Inspired? Buy a Mazda MX-5 here

Author
Discussion

ZX10R NIN

Original Poster:

8,939 posts

49 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
That seems like a fair price for the full conversion, but it's not a surprise to see that kind of power from a turbo install.

em177

2,660 posts

88 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Decent price, although I'd imagine before that you'd also need to budget a decent set of coilovers and a locking diff to make the most of it.

daveco

3,392 posts

131 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
em177 said:
Decent price, although I'd imagine before that you'd also need to budget a decent set of coilovers and a locking diff to make the most of it.
+1

And larger tyres and brakes if you're going to use all that extra power.

Harry_mac

22 posts

23 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Price is also Ex Vat, so this kit, wheels, tyres, coilovers, ARBs, Brakes, and Diff you wont see much change out of 10K eek

culpz

2,445 posts

36 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
5k fitted seems a decent amount for the end product. Would love to drive a turbo MX5, of any flavour!
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CABC

1,582 posts

25 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Harry_mac said:
Price is also Ex Vat, so this kit, wheels, tyres, coilovers, ARBs, Brakes, and Diff you wont see much change out of 10K eek
parts missing off most sub-50k cars.

fido

13,029 posts

179 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
To be fair, if someone has gone for the 1.5 instead of the 2.0 to save peanuts - then they'll be probably be happy with just traction control.

em177

2,660 posts

88 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
fido said:
if someone has gone for the 1.5 instead of the 2.0 to save peanuts because it's lighter, zingier generally more interesting engine.
Fixed for you wink

givablondabone

2,194 posts

79 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Why would you go for the 1.5 over the 2.0 then do this? By the time you've added all the necessary chassis mods to do it justice you'll have lost any weight benefits. Then the character of the 1.5 is surely smothered by the turbo installation? I would have thought buying the 2.0 then modding that would make more sense if power is your thing.

Happy to be educated.

MikeGoodwin

1,005 posts

41 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Wife has a base 1.5 RF, I wouldnt want any more power without first upgrading the suspension, wheels, tyres.. So 5 Grand, plus whatever it cost to upgrade everything else to suit.

2.0 comes with billsteins IIRC so might be a better platform.

Ninja59

854 posts

36 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Just hope the chocolate gearbox lasts (mostly 2nd gear)....

Bencolem

398 posts

163 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Neil McKay said:
whilst maintaining the rev-free nature of the smaller power unit," explained BBR GTi Ltd Managing Director, Neil McKay.
Shouldn’t that be free-revving rather than rev-free?

Simon Owen

82 posts

58 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Don't assume at those power levels you automatically need bigger wheels & tyres, perhaps yes if you are chasing lap times but not necessary for normal road use which is what these cars are good at.

195's might be a bit lively but the 205's will be absolutely fine.

Gandahar

4,752 posts

52 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
MikeGoodwin said:
Wife has a base 1.5 RF, I wouldnt want any more power without first upgrading the suspension, wheels, tyres.. So 5 Grand, plus whatever it cost to upgrade everything else to suit.

2.0 comes with billsteins IIRC so might be a better platform.
I have the MX5 NC 3.5 automatic version (due to broken back from motorcycling) and that weighs 1100kg and does not have Bilsteins nor any LSD. The manual version came with a standard LSD and Bilsteins.

I got a BBR turbo fitted with about same power as this, 230-240bhp and left it mainly the same, no brake upgrade, no suspension and it works fine. I did get a Quaife LSD fitted which helps a lot pulling out into junctions and also doughnuts but any time gained when spanking it is marginal on the road. When you get to that level a spinning inside wheel is perhaps slightly safer rather than 1.1s saved on the Bxxxx. Trackdays different of course. I did track days in mine, the brakes are fine, if your wife is finding brake fade and issue on a track day with them with the extra power of the BBR conversion then just do smaller stints. Perhaps buy overpriced pie and chips whilst everything cools down........

It's a bit odd people on PH always complain cars are too grip and electronic nanny bias and then when given counter this,complain you could not drive it unless you give it lots more grip. Er? Sounds great fun to me.

I do have a couple of points though.

1. My NC BBR conversion looks very linear on the dyno. The peak on this between 3 and 4k looks pretty steep, this is either a good thing fun wise, or a good thing scary wise. I'll be looking forward to the first test reports...

2. TSX28-67R ? So it's not a Garrett then? BBR have gone all Mclaren Automotive on us, I blame that German F1 team they mingle with whilst buying Ginsters pies down at Tesco's biggrin Comment Neil?

When I googled the turbo name

https://www.wwbw.com/P-Mauriat-PMXA-67R-Series-Pro...

£2125 - which shows that blowing air for fun is not inexpensive....



Edited by Gandahar on Thursday 7th December 15:52

Gandahar

4,752 posts

52 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Simon Owen said:
Don't assume at those power levels you automatically need bigger wheels & tyres, perhaps yes if you are chasing lap times but not necessary for normal road use which is what these cars are good at.

195's might be a bit lively but the 205's will be absolutely fine.
I spent so long writing my post you beat me too it with more pithy words and less spelling mistakes.

Nobody complained about the Sierra RS500 Cosworth on 1980's tyres saying 205's were not appropriate back in the good old days....

We want cars "a bit lively" but not too fast so you get locked up. Or if you do have a mishap with it just sticking out of the hedge rather than half way across the farmers field.


Edited by Gandahar on Thursday 7th December 15:55

MagicalTrevor

6,106 posts

153 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Harry_mac said:
Price is also Ex Vat, so this kit, wheels, tyres, coilovers, ARBs, Brakes, and Diff you wont see much change out of 10K eek
Really grates that BBR do this, what percentage of sales are business-to-business that justifies displaying prices ex. VAT? I bet most of their business is to private individuals and so their prices ought to be inc. VAT.

PH, please can you correct the prices in the article to reflect the VAT status of those price?

PunterCam

612 posts

119 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
When I read "wrings" I thought for a moment "Ah! That must be a fantastic n/a engine tune!". Alas I see it's just another turbo conversion, which all in just about manages to make it as quick as a bloody fiesta.

I find it all deeply uninspiring. I like the new mx5 a lot, I just wish someone would do the right thing and give it a proper going over. It's like actual engine tuning is a thing of the past. Everything must be all things to all people, which ultimately just makes things boring. Low down torque? Mid range shove? Might as well have a diesel.

Simon Owen

82 posts

58 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
PunterCam said:
When I read "wrings" I thought for a moment "Ah! That must be a fantastic n/a engine tune!". Alas I see it's just another turbo conversion, which all in just about manages to make it as quick as a bloody fiesta.

I find it all deeply uninspiring. I like the new mx5 a lot, I just wish someone would do the right thing and give it a proper going over. It's like actual engine tuning is a thing of the past. Everything must be all things to all people, which ultimately just makes things boring. Low down torque? Mid range shove? Might as well have a diesel.
Er don't worry BBR do a NA version if that's what you prefer ....

givablondabone

2,194 posts

79 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Gandahar said:
I spent so long writing my post you beat me too it with more pithy words and less spelling mistakes.

Nobody complained about the Sierra RS500 Cosworth on 1980's tyres saying 205's were not appropriate back in the good old days....

We want cars "a bit lively" but not too fast so you get locked up. Or if you do have a mishap with it just sticking out of the hedge rather than half way across the farmers field.


Edited by Gandahar on Thursday 7th December 15:55
My E46 320cd (cheap commuter barge) has 255s on the rear and a remap I think so say 290ft lb? It's very squirrely on the rear end this time of year! wink

coppice

4,107 posts

68 months

Thursday 7th December
quotequote all
Somehow I managed to survive 50 k miles in a 220bhp Seven with 195s . Educating a right foot is a useful skill and remember that when dinosaurs stalked the earth people cheated death fairly easily, even in 155 shod Elans and 185 shod E-Types.