This Mazda MX-5 Miata by BBR has a 224HP naturally-aspirated engine

Alvin Reyes - Jun 29, 2020, 6:47 am CDT
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This Mazda MX-5 Miata by BBR has a 224HP naturally-aspirated engine

This BBR-tuned Mazda MX-5 Miata is different from other modified examples. For starters, BBR took the naturally-aspirated route instead of bolting on a large turbo or supercharger. The result is 224 horsepower and 174 pound-feet of torque on 95 or 98 octane fuel, which is a far cry from the stock output of 170 horsepower and 140 pound-feet of torque.

How did BBR do it? Easy. It employed a tried and tested method of installing independent throttle bodies or ITBs. If you think you’ve heard of it before, you’re right. German carmaker BMW has employed the same technique in the E28 M5 and E46 M3. So, what’s the big deal with individual throttle bodies, anyway?

With an ITB setup, each cylinder receives it’s own butterfly valve to regulate the air intake. In a normal streetcar, all cylinders share a single throttle body. While this is good for normal road applications, it’s not exactly ideal for high-performance vehicles. Engines fitted with ITBs offer better throttle response since each cylinder responds instantaneously with individual throttle bodies. It also allows more air to enter the combustion chamber to squeeze out more power and torque.

BBR created the Mazda Miata’s ITB system using a direct-to-head billet alloy 45mm DCOE with dyno-tuned lengths and alloy inlet ram pipes. Also, the ITB system was purposely shaped to fit neatly inside the engine bay without unnecessary mods. The result is a stock-looking engine when viewed under the hood, and only blue-blooded petrol heads will know your Miata is rocking independent throttle bodies.

According to BBR, this naturally-aspirated tuning package is ideal for all 2005 to 2015 third-generation Mazda Miata NC models. The package includes a recalibrated ECU, a stainless steel 4-into-1 exhaust manifold, new camshafts, new exhaust pipes, a unique BBR air rail system, and an optional high-flow foam air filter.

The best part? The conversion is easily reversible, and you can return to the stock setup without performing major engine surgery. The BBR kit starts at £4,295 or roughly $5,300 based on prevailing exchange rates. If you want to do it yourself, BBR is offering a DIY kit at £3,495 or $4,312.


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