Mazda's Miata is one damn fine automobile. Combining all the best qualities of a lovable sports car of old with the quality of modern electrics, weatherstripping, and fuel injection, it is, without a doubt, the contemporary sports car of record.
But, if there's one thing that's always been lamented, it's the amount of performance that Mazda leaves on the Miata's table. Although the sadly departed Mazdaspeed Miata certainly gave enthusiasts a glimmer of hope that Mazda might apply their high-performance tuning branch's expertise to the Miata on a more permanent basis, the coming of the long-running second generation hasn't borne that out.
So it is with some trepidation that we bring you the Mazda MX-5 Miata Yusho concept. Debuting in Leipzig, the incredibly production-ready-looking concept once again brings forced induction to the Miata, this time in the form of a supercharger underhood. Borrowing the kit from Flyin' Miata, the addition of a supercharger raises the horsepower a bit to produce 241 total, but it's the work Mazda's done throughout the engine bay that really impresses. An entirely new engine management system handles the thinking, while a set of new fuel injectors and a less-restrictive exhaust system ensures there's ample support for the pressurized combustion process. Inside the block, Cosworth pistons and rods increase the amount of abuse the little engine can handle, while a sport clutch and 4.10:1 rear gears make sure it all gets put to good use. Finally, Bilstein shocks, Eibach springs, and semi-slick Toyo tires improve upon the Miata's already impressive handling performance.
Promising though it may be, and brilliant as it sounds, Mazda makes no promises that this concept will ever amount of anything more than a show car, and it certainly wouldn't be the first compelling Miata concept to die on the vine (Ultralight, anyone?). However, hope, as they say, springs eternal.