First Drive: Flyin’ Miata MX-5 RF Turbo

Alone in a good sports car, unconstrained miles and unmarked hours ahead, a holds of daily life start descending away. As we dance from ravine apexes to city on-ramps to a arrow of a complicated interstate, a leisure of speed and a clarity of a mind not focused yet emptied make we crave for it never to end.

Flyin’ Miata’s latest MX-5 masterpiece, a RF Turbo—or Rufus, as a antecedent we recently spent several hundred miles in is famous around a Flyin’ Miata shop—is a singular thing in a universe of aftermarket tuned cars: It’s not different, it’s usually better. That’s a bizarre thing to contend and merits some explanation, so concede me to endeavor.

A rather singular set of additional tools takes Mazda’s prohibited MX-5 RF hardtop to a max, starting with a turbocharger container from BBR (available in both CARB and sovereign specs) that adds roughly 70 hp and 70 lb-ft of torque to a Miata’s batch rating of 155 hp and 148 lb-ft. (Official dyno total for a container are forthcoming.) Next on a ascent list is Flyin’ Miata’s Stage 2 cessation kit, that includes Koni dampers, updated springs, behind strike stops, and front and behind anti-roll bars.

The company’s “Little Big Brake” kit, 17-by-8-inch 949 Racing 6UL wheels, behind diffuser, and a new Hush-O-Matic empty complement spin out a package. The Hush-O-Matic allows we to charge a wiper controls to open a valve in a empty trail for freer upsurge and louder sound, yet even during full blast it won’t worry a neighbors—much. Total cost is $11,000 and designation if we don’t wish to get your hands dirty.

The outcome is a automobile that accelerates quicker, corners harder and some-more precisely, and stops some-more reliably than any factory-issue fourth-generation Miata, all while preserving a car’s inherited balance, tossable demeanor, and linear energy delivery. Despite a many incomparable opening envelope, a same adore minute to pure, elementary fun remains.

Miata Madness Leading a container of hundreds of Miatas around Laguna Seca in a Flyin’ Miata RF Turbo is about as Mazda as we can get.

I picked adult a automobile in Lancaster, California, not distant from Willow Springs Raceway, yet my finish was about 5 hours north by northwest: a annual Miatas during Mazda Raceway eventuality hold during ancestral Laguna Seca. The lane was a good one, with delegate roads holding me by Tehachapi, Bakersfield, Buttonwillow, Coalinga, and King City before finally nearing in Monterey. The 314-mile trail ballooned past 400 as we retraced a best stretches, incompetent to get adequate of Rufus’ exuberance.

Only one teenager occurrence injured a car’s differently flawless performance, yet it can be noted down to a prototype-specific emanate and an artifact of a transport. When we picked it up, a boost controller used for tuning was still set for a high altitude of Flyin’ Miata’s home bottom in Grand Junction, Colorado. Going full stifle with too many boost meant Rufus’s 2.0-liter heart simply couldn’t supply adequate fuel, causing a serious stumble—an emanate FM is operative on in an bid to serve clear a turbo ND’s energy potential. A discerning spin of a boost controller doorknob underneath a hood, and we was behind in business.

Despite Ireson’s height, a ND Miata’s batch cabin valid roomy.

Four hundred miles strung over a full day of pushing can be tough on a physique in any vehicle, generally in a tiny sports car, and all a some-more so for my long-legged, 6-foot-2-inch frame. But notwithstanding a prolonged hours and rougher delegate highways we traveled, a RF Turbo’s cessation dripping adult a bumps and dips so good we never once suffered a differing feeling that mostly accompanies an overtuned competition suspension. This is clearly a automobile that’s meant to be driven each day, not some trailer-queen lane toy.

Aside from a carbon-fiber feverishness defense and a turbo peeking out, a engine brook looks really tighten to batch —at initial glance.

By a time we done it to a hills easterly of Monterey and a devious pavement draped opposite them, we was operative out what I’d need to sell to cough adult a $11,000 container price—plus a cost of a new RF to hang it all on. Getting out of a automobile usually done matters worse, a RF’s healthy curves and angles falling naturally into a some-more assertive position highlighted by a Soul Red paint pursuit and bullion wheels. Lust inducing.

Inevitably, my extended day during a circle of a Flyin’ Miata RF Turbo had to end. Fortunately, it finished during Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, where hundreds of Miatas of each era and spin of alteration had convened for a prolonged weekend of track-centric fun. There, we substituted Rufus for a possibility to take a handful of laps in a some-more track-focused chronicle of a turbo car—a soft-top MX-5 famous affectionately as Andy.

Andy had another $8,000 value of tools bolted on in further to many of a $11,000 value also merged to Rufus. The updates over and above a Rufus spec are focused on trustworthiness and robustness for lane avocation and include: oil, transmission, and differential coolers; a Global MX-5 Cup-spec delivery with beefier third and fourth gears and new box studs; Verus Engineering stop ducts; a Hard Dog rollbar; and Flyin’ Miata’s Wilwood Stage 2 Big Brake Kit and Fox Stage 2 cessation container (improved open rates, Fox Racing shocks, and FM-specific lean bars).

On track, Andy felt roughly accurately like Rufus did on a street, notwithstanding carrying a advantage of Fox Racing dampers. Although a minute bit tail-happy during times, Andy was mostly docile, fervent to spin in, monumental on a brakes, and well-spoken when delivering power. Despite a illusory change of a track-spec car, my time during Laguna usually done me conclude a all-around bravery of Andy’s reduction focused yet some-more versatile hermit Rufus all a more.

Left carless during a finish of a weekend of mainlining Flyin’ Miata goodness, we took a newcomer chair of a camera automobile for a float home—and spent a subsequent 6 hours perplexing to figure out where we could park another automobile in my already too-crowded driveway.

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