Mazda MX-5 GT Concept: the Miata gets a racing edge

Mazda MX-5 GT ConceptMazda is saying goodbye to the current MX-5 Miata, but that does not mean it is done tweaking it. The Japanese company will present a new concept version of the Miata, the MX-5 GT, at this weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Mazda envisions the MX-5 GT Concept as a street-legal race car.

The MX-5 GT Concept borrows heavily from Mazda’s MX-5 GT racer, which was built to compete in the British GT Championship. The racecar’s center exit exhaust and other modifications yield 205 horsepower, 40 more than a stock Miata.

The stripped-down racing MX-5 GT racer has an additional 70 horsepower, which gets it from 0 to 60 mph in 3.0 seconds and on to a top speed of 160 mph. That car weighs about 2,277 pounds; the street-legal MX-5 GT Concept will probably weigh a bit more. Mazda will reveal the Concept’s full performance capabilities at Goodwood.

The Concept also sports adjustable suspension and a more aggressive wheel/tire package. The car also gets a carbon fiber front splitter, rear diffuser, and rear spoiler. These aerodynamic additions, along with the flared wheel arches, give the normally cute Miata an injection of testosterone.

Under the MX-5 GT Concept’s hardtop, the interior is trimmed in carbon fiber, and the stock seats are replaced with heavily-bolstered Recaro buckets. Body-color roll hoops will remind everyone that this is a race car, although the roll cage isn’t as extreme as the one on the original MX-5 GT.

What makes the two MX-5 GTs different? The original, British GT Championship-tested car is a full-on racer, with some professional competition under its belt. The MX-5 GT Concept is a less extreme version; it’s watered down just enough to be street legal. Whereas the MX-5 GT racer has a completely gutted interior and runs on slicks, the Concept has a lightened interior, and runs on street legal, but still grippy, tires.

If the MX-5 GT racecar is the perfect tool for an endurance race, the MX-5 GT Concept is the perfect tool for a track day. Not everyone can afford to race professionally, but the MX-5 GT Concept would make a good weekend toy for the dedicated gearhead. Miatas are already popular with racers, who race them in everything from autocross to the Sports Car Club of America’s Spec Miata class.

Since Goodwood is in England, the MX-5 GT will be right-hand drive. Mazda says it will gauge the public’s reaction to the car, so a production isn’t out of the question.

Cars

At Bonneville, a 210-mph Volkswagen Jetta is nothing unusual

The Bonneville Salt Flats are the ultimate temple of speed. Follow along as Volkswagen attempts to set a record with a modified economy car, and see what makes Bonneville so special.
Cars

End your dependence on fossil fuels with one of these amazing electric cars

Electric cars are getting smarter, safer, and more capable with each passing year. Here are our picks for the best electric cars on the market, whether you're looking for a performance ride or a family-friendly crossover.
Emerging Tech

Sick of walking everywhere? Here are the best electric skateboards you can buy

Thanks for Kickstarter and Indiegogo, electric skateboards are carving a bigger niche than you might think. Whether you're into speed, mileage, or something a bit more stylish, here are the best electric skateboards on the market.
Product Review

Alfa Romeo delivers the quintessential Italian high-performance SUV

Alfa’s Romeo’s Ferrari-powered sport utility delivers hair-raising straight-line performance, admirable capability in the corners, and head-turning style, but comes up a bit short in a few key areas.
Cars

Volkswagen shows us the workaholic side of its modern-day classic van

The Volkswagen I.D. Cargo concept is an electric, connected delivery van based on the I.D. Buzz concept from 2017. It boasts up to 350 miles of range and cool features like solar panels on the roof and a 230-volt outlet for power tools.
Cars

It’s not easy being green: California strips HOV rights from clean-air cars

Changes to California's Clean Air Vehicle decal program are raising the ire of early adopters. The decals let LEV and ZEV drivers travel solo in commuter lanes. More than 200,000 drivers will lose the privilege January 1.
Features

Will high-res radar make tomorrow’s cars safer?

Modern cars have sensors designed to make driving safer. The problem? They don’t work well. A combination of radar, lidar, and cameras is a solution, but we aren’t there yet.
Cars

BMW’s redesigned Z4 gets two turbocharged engines, long list of tech features

The redesigned BMW Z4 will be available in sDrive30i Roadster and M40i Roadster guises when it goes on sale next year. The more powerful M40i will do zero to 60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, according to BMW.
Cars

Exclusive: Faulty radars are compromising Nissan’s emergency braking system

Faulty radar modules are causing the automatic emergency braking system in select 2018 Nissan vehicles to turn off. AEB is designed to alert a driver of proximity to the car ahead, and apply the brakes when the driver can't.
Emerging Tech

These flying cars want to take your commute to new heights

The future is closer than you'd think: Companies around the world are working on flying car models, with many successful tests! Here are all the flying cars and taxis currently in development, and how they work!
Smart Home

Here’s how to pre-order everything Amazon announced this week

Amazon announced new devices available in its Echo, Fire TV, and AmazonBasics lineups. Most of the devices aren't available quite yet but if you head over to Amazon, you can pre-order them.
Cars

Tesla says dash cam feature using car’s built-in cameras is coming soon

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is promising the next version of Autopilot, which is expected imminently, will include a dash cam feature that uses the car's built-in cameras. It's a feature many Tesla drivers have long been asking for.
Product Review

With the XT4, Cadillac's tech game goes from frustrating to first class

The 2019 Cadillac XT4 is the American luxury brand’s first small SUV, slotting under the XT5. Aimed at younger buyers, the XT4 is intended to be a nurturing product — something to introduce new customers and lead to future Cadillac…
Cars

Amazon Alexa can now hitch a ride in any car with Echo Auto

At its massive hardware event, Amazon unveiled Echo Auto, a dashboard-mounted device that adds Alexa to any car. It's one of myriad ways Amazon is trying to integrate Alexa with cars.