The popular Mazda Miata has received several aftermarket upgrades throughout its life time, but very few companies can brag about having pumped more power into the Japanese roadster. One such firm is Britain’s BBR, which in 2015 celebrated 25 years of MX-5 upgrades. And it did so by releasing three separate updates for the fourth-generation ND model.

It’s been nearly a year since BBR unveiled a 200-horsepower MX-5, and the British tuning company is finally accepting orders for its brand-new packages. Like in the past, BBR won’t meddle with the roadster inside and out, but its upgrades will give the engine up to 190 horsepower to send to the rear wheels. The packages enhance both the 1.5- and 2.0-liter engines available in Europe, while various chassis options help keep the uprated sports car on its best behavior on both the road and the track.

All upgrades keep the engine naturally aspirated, but if previous BBR-tuned Miatas are any indication, a turbocharged model should also be underway. Until that happens, let’s have a closer look at the program that will likely make many ND-generation MX-5 owners very happy.

Continue reading to learn more about the Mazda MX-5 By BBR.

  • 2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR
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  • Engine:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
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  • Displacement:
    1.5 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    130 mph (Est.)
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2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR High Resolution Exterior
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Unlike most car tuners, BBR doesn’t meddle with the Miata’s exterior, leaving every body panel and bumper just like it came from the factory. The only why to customize your BBR-modified MX-5 is to opt for one of the firm’s Performance Wheel and Tire packages, which includes a "full range of lightweight alloy wheels and tires." One combo adds OZ rims and Goodyear F1 tires to the roadster, but for more bundles you’ll need to contact BBR yourself.

Although the demonstrator car shown here features black "25 Years of MX-5 Tuning" decals on the doors and engine hood, BBR doesn’t say whether they can be purchased or not. My guess is they’re only for promotional purposes, but it would have been nice to be able to further customize the car with racing stripes.


While the exterior can be optioned up with a new set of wheels, the interior doesn’t benefit from any features outside what you get from the dealership. That shouldn’t be an issue given that the MX-5 just received a brand-new interior, but BBR should seriously consider designing a few cabin upgrades for those looking to customize it.


2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR
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This is where the magic happens, as BBR’s latest upgrades can increase the Miata’s power by up to 19 percent and torque by up to 16 percent. The British-based firm developed updates for both drivetrains available in Europe — the 1.5-liter and 2.0-liter four-cylinder.

The entry-level package is the BBR Super 160, which adds 20 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque to the 1.5-liter SkyActive unit.

The entry-level package is the BBR Super 160, which adds 20 horsepower and 15 pound-feet of torque to the 1.5-liter SkyActive unit. With this bundle, output increases to 149 horses and 126 pound-feet, available at 7,450 and 4,700 rpm, respectively.

Next up is the BBR Super 175, developed specifically for the 2.0-liter model. With this package, output jumps from 158 horsepower and 148 pound-feet to 175 horsepower and 168 pound-feet of twist. The extra horses kick in at 6,800 rpm.

Finally, there’s the BBR Super 190, which adds 30 horses and 24 pound-feet to the 2.0-liter MX-5, taking the four-banger to 188 horsepower and 172 pound-feet of twist. The latter upgrade includes a cold air intake system, an optimized exhaust manifold, a new high-flow, stainless steel exhaust center section with integrated sport catalyst, and a stainless steel rear silencer with adjustable twin BBR-branded tail pipes. The latter also provides a throatier exhaust note. BBR claims that the Super 190 doesn’t compromise driveability, as the maximum torque arrives at 3,550 rpm, some 1,400 revs lower than the stock engine.

The tuner firm has yet to release performance figures, but the extra oomph should shave a few tenths off the 0-to-62 mph sprints. The 1.5-liter Miata’s acceleration should drop from 8.3 to 8.1 seconds, while the 2.0-liter model should hit the benchmark in 7.2 and 7.0 seconds, respectively, down from 7.3 ticks.

Packages aside, BBR also offers two extra options. A lightweight sport silencer shaves four kg (8.8 pounds) over the standard BBR silencer, while also enhancing the roadster’s exhaust note. There’s also a stainless steel 4-1 manifold for the Super 190 upgrade that adds two extra horses for a total power output of 190 horsepower.

Suspension and Brakes

2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: Standard Mazda MX-5 pictured here.

The in-house-developed sports springs lower the car's ride height by 30 mm

More power requires an updated suspension and BBR prepared upgrades in this department as well. The in-house-developed sports springs lower the car’s ride height by 30 mm (1.2 inches) and features a progressive rising rate design that’s said to deliver an optimal combination of comfort and dynamic excellence. BBR says that the new suspension also reduces the excessive roll the standard suspension may produce during spirited driving.

The second chassis upgrade option includes a set of high-performance front brake pads. Developed for both road and track use, the new pads deliver "superior outright retardation" compared to the standard units.


2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: Standard Mazda MX-5 pictured here.

Prices for the BBR upgrade start from £495 ($740). For this amount, you can buy either the Super 160 or the Super 175. The sticker includes installation and dyno testing at the firm’s headquarters. If you’d like to install the upgrade yourself, the package costs £595 (about $890) and it’s supplied with programming and diagnostic software.

The Super 190 bundle is a bit more expensive at £1,995 (around $2,983), but that’s understandable given it provides a lot more extra power. The do-it-yourself version costs £1,795 (about $2,683).

Moving over to the performance springs, they cost £495 ($740) installed by BBR and £195 (around $291) as a DIY kit. The brake upgrade will cost you another £195 installed and £150 (about $224) in a box.

For the optional BBR silencer, the stainless steel manifold for the Super 190, and the Performance Wheel and Tire packages you’ll have to contact the company for further information.

With the standard MX-5 priced from £18,495 (around $27,646) in the U.K., the BBR-upgraded roadster will fetch between £18,990 and £20,490 (about $28,390 to $30,632), depending on what package you purchase. A fully equipped Super 190 will cost £21,180 (around $31,663) before the optional silencer and manifold and the wheel/tire package, given everything is installed by BBR.

Unfortunately for U.S. enthusiasts, the BBR upgrades aren’t available Stateside.


Fiat 124 Abarth

2018 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth High Resolution Exterior Exclusive Renderings Computer Renderings and Photoshop
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The closest competitor to BBR’s slightly beefed-up MX-5 is the upcoming Fiat 124 Abarth. Based on the standard 124 Spider, which was developed on Miata underpinnings, the Scorpion-badged roadster is expected to hit the market with up to 200 horsepower from either an uprated version of the standard model’s 1.4-liter turbo-four or a detuned variant of the Alfa Romeo 4C’s 1.75-liter four-banger. While the 124 Abarth will make a great competitor for the BBR Super 190, the standard 124 Spider, rated at 138 horsepower and 177 pound-feet of torque, should give the base Super 160 a run for its money. Expect the 124 Abarth to retail from around £24,000 in the U.K.

Find out more about the Fiat 124 Abarth here.


2016 Mazda MX-5 High Resolution Exterior
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Note: Standard Mazda MX-5 pictured here.

Granted, this BBR upgrade might not be very appealing to those looking for a modified exterior with their beefed-up Miatas, but it should be more than enough to satisfy MX-5 enthusiasts who complain about Mazda not offering a more powerful version of the roadster. Up to 30 horses might not sound like much for a 300-horsepower sports car, but it’s quite a lot for a lightweight roadster cranks out 158 ponies in its most powerful trim. The Super 190 package in particular is quite entertaining, especially for enabling the fourth-generation Miata to hit 62 mph in under seven seconds with the right options. For the time being, BBR’s upgrade is arguably the best you can have without extensive modifications and voiding the car’s warranty.

  • Leave it
    • No updates inside and out
    • Not coming to the U.S.
Ciprian Florea
Senior Editor and Supercar Expert -
Ciprian's passion for everything with four wheels (and more) started back when he was just a little boy, and the Lamborghini Countach was still the coolest car poster you could hang on your wall. Ciprian's career as a journalist began long before earning a Bachelor's degree, but it was only after graduating that his love for cars became a profession.  Read More
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Press Release

Long standing Brackley based Mazda tuning specialist, BBR, is delighted to launch its first much anticipated engine, suspension and brake upgrade packages for the latest ND versions of the ever popular MX-5 sports car. Upgrades have been designed to deliver the driving excitement that Mazda enthusiast community seeks.

2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR
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Resulting from many months of intense research and development on the all-new Mazda SkyActiv engine, BBR’s ‘Super 160’ for the 1.5-litre models, as well as ‘Super 175+’ and ‘Super 190’ for the larger 2.0-litre, deliver astonishing power gains across the rev range with no loss of driveability.

“Although the ND version of the MX-5 has only been officially launched three months ago, BBR’s tuning program on the SkyActiv engine began last year with our 2.0-litre Mazda 3,” says BBR’s Director, Neil McKay. “Our technicians used the Mazda 3 SkyActiv for initial development – particularly on the ECU requirements – which gave BBR a significant head start with the detail work on enhancing the new MX-5 platform’s engines. Even so, we are pleasantly surprised by just how tunable the new MX-5 is compared to the previous NC model,” he continues.

BBR Super 160 (1.5-litre ND model) + 20bhp & + 15lb.ft

The entry level upgrades in BBR’s new range, the Super 160 and the Super 175+ both feature exclusive, in-house developed BBR Starchip ECU software upgrades. Camshaft, ignition timing and fueling are optimised across the entire rev range, which when combined with a raised rev-limit, delivers astonishing power gains from tickover to redline.

Despite its small capacity, with BBR’s Super 160 package installed, the 1.5-litre version of the ND shows power gains of 21 bhp at peak with a maximum of 158bhp available at 7450rpm. Torque increases are similarly impressive with an additional 15lb.ft on tap at just 4700rpm, making the BBR upgrade 1.5-litre machine easier and faster to drive, right up to the 7700rpm limiter.

BBR Super 175+ (2.0-litre ND model) + 17bhp & 10 lb.ft

BBR’s new Super 175+ package for the flagship 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5 ND models delivers worthwhile performance and driveability improvements at a highly affordable cost. Like the Super 160 for the 1.5-litre version, the core of the new Super 175+ is BBR’s exclusive Starchip ECU software, which optimisesa number of engine parameters to enable maximum performance whilst retaining the factory Mazda fail safes.

2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Post conversion, the BBR Super 175+ equipped car benefits from an extra 17bhp (to a maximum of 177 bhp) with an additional 17 bhp on tap at 6800rpm. This revised power curve makes the BBR Super 175+ feel much keener and willing at higher engine revs. Meanwhile the enhanced torque characteristics transform driveability all the way from tickover right up to the raised 7100rpm rev limiter.

Both the BBR Super 160 and the Super 175+ are now available for all variants of the Mazda MX-5 ND 2015 MY onwards. Available at £495.00 including installation and before/after dyno testing at BBR’s Brackley premises. A DIY version – supplied with programming/diagnostic software and OBD lead is also available at £595.00.

BBR Super 190 (2.0-litre ND models only) +30bhp & 24lb.ft

The Super 190 upgrade is suited to the flagship 2.0-litre Mazda MX-5 ND models and has been designed for complete forward compatibility with further BBR engine upgrades that will be launched in 2016.

Key components of the BBR Super 190 include:-

BBR Cold air intake system
BBR optimised exhaust manifold with 2.5-inch diameter outlet
BBR 2.5” high flow stainless steel TIG welded exhaust centre section with integrated sports catalyst
BBR Grand Tourer stainless steel rear silencer with adjustable (fits all bodykit/bumper options) twin 2.75″ BBR branded tailpipes

“The Super 190 builds on the entry level upgrade by improving the inlet and exhaust efficiency of the SkyActiv engine, whilst retaining full MOT compliance and everyday usability. In particular at motorway speeds, where exhaust noise is often an issue,” says BBR’s Neil Mckay.

As its name suggests, the BBR Super 190 produces a stunning 190bhp at 6700rpm (30bhp more than the stock 2.0-litre ND) which affords the sub 1000 kilo MX-5 scintillating performance, particularly at higher engine speeds.

The extra urge does not, however, compromise driveability. This is because the BBR Super 190 equipped 2.0-litre MX-5 produces an impressive 24lb.ft torque more than the standard car (up to a total of 176lb.ft) at just 3550 rpm, some 1400 revs lower than the stock engine. Crucially, a minimum of 150lb.ft of torque is always available from just 2500rpm to 6500rpm, highlighting the driveability of the Super 190 enhanced car which provides ample urge without troubling the gear lever.

Combined with the subtle but sporty note from the BBR 2.5-inch diameter high flow stainless steel exhaust system, the BBR 190 turns the 2.0-litre MX-5 ND into a real enthusiast’s car, making every drive an exciting experience.

2016 Mazda MX-5 By BBR High Resolution Exterior
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Exclusively from BBR, the Super 190 is available now at £1995.00 fitted (including dyno testing). A DIY version (manifold supplied on an exchange basis), including programming/diagnostic software and OBD lead, is also available at £1795.00.

BBR Super 190 Options:

A lightweight BBR sports silencer is available as an optional extra, offering a 4kg saving over the standard BBR rear silencer. Noise levels are enhanced with this option at a reduced cost.
A BBR stainless steel 4-1 manifold is now available as an option for Super 190 customers. Installation yields a further 2 bhp of peak power. This option is targeted at BBR clients who will later upgrade to BBR’s normally aspirated stage 3 package.

BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Suspension Upgrades

BBR high performance dynamic springs

Although the ND model’s Bilstein shock absorbers are superior to those fitted to previous MX-5 models, the standard spring rates can produce excessive roll during spirited driving. To counter this, BBR has developed its own sports lowering springs, which combine a 30mm reduction in ride height with a progressive rising rate design, delivering the optimal combination of ride comfort and dynamic excellence.

Available now for all Mazda MX-5 ND variants at £495.00, including installation and a full laser geometry alignment session at BBR’s Brackley headquarters. The BBR high performance dynamic springs are also available for DIY fitment at £195.00.

BBR Mazda MX-5 ND Braking Upgrades

Designed to deliver superior outright retardation, particularly from cold, BBR offers a replacement set of high performance fast road/track day front brake pads, which has been developed in conjunction with one of Europe’s leading brake component specialists. This upgrade is available at £195.00 installed or £150.00 DIY.

BBR Mazda MX-5 Performance Wheel and Tyre packages:

BBR has a full range of lightweight alloy wheels and tyre packages available to order. This includes the OZ/Goodyear F1 combination as featured on BBR’s Super 190 demonstrator ND, which uses a wider offset and 215 section tyre for additional grip. Please contact BBR to discuss your individual requirements.

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