Common Performance Mods

We are often asked, "what can i do to make my car faster?"

The answer would be, what is your budget ?

The MX5 engine is a relatively low compression unit as it takes its origin from the Mazda 323 turbo. This low compression makes it ideal for boost.

The 2 most common routes for power are either turbo or supercharger. A basic diy setup will usually fall into a sub £2000 budget and can easily see the MX5 engine producing 200bhp.

It is suggested that the limit of the engine is somewhere around 250bhp when boosted, though its actually the torque which causes the problems when aiming for big power. The conrods are usually the first point of failure, though many lightweight, forged rods are available, some of which have seen MX5 engines producing 600bhp.

The other route is to build a high compression, naturally aspirated engine. This is something of an unknown in the MX5 community, but it can get good results, though the costs are huge when compared to a turbo setup. Also the big power figures are just not available without boost.

Is there a cheap way ?

A decent air filter and exhaust system might gain 5 or 10bhp, but to see those gains you need to spend money on good quality parts which brings the price up. When you compare what you gain for the money spent, its not very impressive.

My advice for those on a budget

Spend the money on keeping the car well serviced and invest whats left in fuel and fun. Track days can be had from around £99 and car control days are available which allow you to explore the limits of your car. Become a better driver and your car will be faster. It's quite rewarding when you can pedal a completely stock 115bhp MX5 around the Nurburgring faster than an M3 or an Exige.