Mazda is going to compete in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011 with a lightweight MX-5 GT. The model has been created in cooperation with Tunbridge Wells-based Jota Sport and weights only 1873 lbs.
"The MX-5 production race car’s modest power output, bullet proof reliability and nimble handling demonstrated last year how the MX-5 can be competitive against some of the purpose-built Lotus, VW and BMW race cars. With a higher power output combined with the durability, reliability and handling attributes that the MX-5 is renowned for; the MX-5 GT race car will be strong contender against the more powerful race cars in its class," said Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK.
The MX-5 GT will be driven by two Mazda works drivers including experienced Mazda racing driver, Mark Ticehurst and racing driver, Owen Mildenhall.
UPDATE 08/19/11: Mazda has come out with a new video featuring the MX5-GT taking a hot lap around the world famous Spa Francorchamps race track in Belgium. The video is hosted by Mark Ticehurst as he pilots his little sportster around the track. Check it out!
Hit the jump to read more about the Mazda MX-5 GT.
UPDATE 08/21/12: The Mazda MX-5 GT4 - yeah, that’s what it’s called now - has now been priced by Mazda. Want to find out how much it’s going to cost? Click past the jump to find out.
Exterior and Interior
Developing the new MX-5 GT took about 400 hours. The car needed suspension adjustments, six speed sequential gearbox integration, and a lowered engine. It also underwent a couple of changes to lose some weight; removal of the interior components and an acid dip for the shell. The exterior then received carbon doors and polycarbonate windows before the entire thing was painted in Spirited Green metallic combined with orange and gray graphics.
No car is ready to go on the track until it gets a complete safety overhaul. The Mazda did just that with the addition of a roll cage, race seats and harness, external electric cut-off and fire extinguisher, safety catches on the bonnet and boot lids, a competition steering wheel, and alloy wheels. The running gear, rear axle, gearbox, and engine have also been modified to enhance performance.
Under the hood of the GT, Mazda has placed a modified engine that develops a total of 275 HP. Mated to a six speed sequential paddle shift gearbox, this engine will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in just three seconds and up to a top speed of 160mph.
₤150,000. That’s how much the MX-5 GT4 is going to cost.
Despite its numerous improvements, the MX-5 GT will have plenty of competitors in the British Endurance Championship. Makers like Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW have already announced their presence in the race, but the biggest challenger from them all will be the recently launched Lotus Evora GT4. The car is powered by a Cosworth tuned mid-mounted, transverse 4-liter V6 engine that delivers no less than 440 HP. However, despite the fact that this is a more powerful car, the Evora GT is much heavier than the MX-5: it weighs a total of 2557 lbs.
Lighter than competitors
Looks great in green
Impressive performance numbers for an MX-5
Might be less powerful than other models in the competition