Feature Flick: Supercharged Mazda Miata Super20 Tested

In a little over two decades, the Mazda Miata has become one of the best-selling sports cars in history. The one-off Miata Super20 was built to celebrate the car's first 20 years on sale, and in this video Motor Trend's Carlos Lago tests the supercharged roadster to find out how its aftermarket parts affect the car's core personality.

Like other show cars, the Miata Super20 has some cosmetic and performance modifications, but unlike most show cars the Mazda roadster was built to be driven. A Cosworth-built engine withstands the extra power provided by a Flying Miata supercharger, which puts down around 225 hp (58 hp more than stock) and a good deal more torque. The suspension has been lowered and hunkers down on super-sticky 245/45R16 tires.

At the track, the Super20 hits 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and finishes the quarter-mile in 13.7 seconds at 100.9 mph. Thanks to the competition-only Toyo RA1 tires, the Miata Super20 stopped from 60 mph in a supercar-rivaling 99 feet. The Super20 went around the figure-eight in 24.8 seconds at 0.81 g average -- 1.2 seconds quicker and 0.12 g higher than a Miata Club.

The Miata Super20 may be quicker than a stock Miata, but has it lost its fun-to-drive and communicative nature? After track testing, Lago takes the Miata Super 20 to canyon roads to see how the modified roadster behaves compared to stock.

Check out the video below to hear Lago's final thoughts on the Mazda MX-5 Miata Super20.

Jim Troyer
Keeping the weight of a V8 swap off the nose is what makes this car fun to drive, balance is king, believe me.  As far as 5.3 seconds 0-60 that's pretty fast.  My landmark car from the 60s is a '69 Boss 302 Mustang, they were really fast at the "stop light drags" and ran 5.7 seconds 0-60, this car is 5.3 sec so that pretty quick for the street.  Back in the early 70s, I had a '71 Challenger with a 383 Magnum and a 4 speed with 373 gears; we tried to get it under 100 mph in the quarter mile but headers, manifold and a cam was not enough to get over the dreaded 99 mph and still be able to drive the 250 miles to the drag strip in Nebraska.  My take on this car is it would be a ton of fun to drive but the roll bar is going to really hurt the daily experience.  Personally, I would have chosen a turbo over the supercharger but only for fuel economy.
Dick Nuggets
Let's just be clear.  A  muppet car with 165 hp stock is NOT a sports car.  
WHLanteigne
Cheaper and easier to stuff a Ford 302 in there. V8 aftermarket kits abound:
http://monstermiata.webs.com/

http://www.flyinmiata.com/V8/

http://www.bossfrog.biz/Miata_V8_Swap.html

http://www.v8miata.net/
N.M.
If you are going to superacharge a lightweight sports car, you have to get it to sub-5 in 0 to 60.
magister ludi
ok the xhaust was too loud, the tires are not for highway use, etc.. but it does look like a fun car- will mazda make something beefier for the public or stick with the same little gay boy version they sell to the public? how does this car stack up against a Nissan 370Z ? what about gas mileage ?
just wondering.
Floyd Wilson
@WHLanteigne  Foolishly clinging to the past. Why ruin the the handling with unnecessary weight? 
Floyd Wilson
@magister ludi  So that why you have owned so many Miatas. 
penguinn
@magister ludi  No need to be so self-conscious about your car.Anyone with more than half a brain quit being judgmental decades ago.

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