Mazda Planning to Go Racing with New Miata

Maker plans to sponsor global racing cup.

by on Nov.05, 2014

Mazda is ready to take the next-generation Miata out on the race track.

It’s still a year away from production, but Mazda is already planning to take its next-generation Miata out on the track, the Japanese maker announced during the SEMA Show in Las Vegas.

That should come as little surprise considering the little roadster is already hailed as the most widely raced vehicle on the road, both in professional and amateur programs around the world. And a new powertrain and an overall reduction of more than 200 pounds in mass for the 2016 model should just enhance the car’s appeal on the motorsports circuit.

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Unveiled during a global preview two months ago, the all-new Mazda Miata is certain to continue participation in a variety of racing programs, but Mazda itself will sponsor a new one-make Global Cup series that will be staged in North America, Europe and Asia.

The U.S. program will culminate in a Global Shootout planned to take place at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca near Monterey, California late in 2016. The grand prize will be a one-day test of the Mazda LMP2 diesel car that is used in the Tudor United States SportsCar Championship.

The MX-5 Miata Cup Car will be powered the 2.0-liter SkyActiv gasoline engine that will be used in the North American market.

(Mazda confirms powertrain plans for 2016 Miata. For more, Click Here.)

The MX-5 Miata Cup Car will be powered the 2.0-liter SkyActiv gasoline engine that will be used in the North American market. It will undergo a number of modifications, including the addition of a roll cage, though Mazda declined to offer other details during its SEMA announcement. Mazda says it is running tests, “to select the optimum suspension, tire, powertrain, and safety modifications.”

(Click Here to find out why Fiat Chrysler and VW should merge.)

Nonetheless, it is generally expected that other performance modifications will include a cold-air intake upgraded exhaust, coil-over suspension and other performance and handling enhancements.

The Miata has a strong racing heritage. Mazda suggests it's the most-raced car in the world.

(To see how Chrysler Group performed in the third quarter, Click Here.)

Final specs are set to be revealed next year, and Mazda plans to sell a “ready to race” version of the Global MX-5 Cup cars, rather than requiring wannabe champions to find an aftermarket vendor to handle the conversion.

During its SEMA appearance, Mazda noted that it will end its professional racing effort with the third-generation, or NC, version of the Miata next year. But those modified roadsters won’t be heading for the scrapheap, not yet, anyway. They’ll likely continue to find use in club racing series where the Miata is already a wildly popular choice for amateur and semi-pro drivers.

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One Response to “Mazda Planning to Go Racing with New Miata”

  1. robb says:

    Next to Porsche, Mazda is my favorite road car.