Tested, Mazda’s Global ND MX-5 Cup Car


Finally, it was time to drive.  I didn't drive the car right away because I wanted to give them a good looking over.  Basically the car was not super trick but the construction of the cage, underhood bracing and the general layout of things was logical and top notch in execution. Perfect club racers.
The engine is the stock Mazda Skyactiv direct injected 2 liter.  The engine has a 13:1 compression ratio and some odd Miller Cycle cam timing tricks to get killer mileage and not blow itself up on pump gas. It produces 155 hp and 148 lb/ft of torque. In the cup car the Skyactiv engine is equipped with a header and the ECU tuning is different as well, probably to tone down the electronic nannys that can be so irritating in a race car. I bet if it was tuned to ditch the Miller Cycle and run race gas, the engine could pick up over 20 hp!
Dave Coleman explains a bunch of highly technical stuff to me like what he is doing to his money pit house.  No seriously, he was telling me about some of the car's developmental goals and how Mazda reached them.
While observing the car on the track it was obvious that it was very well balanced and easy to drive. You could also see that the suspension worked very well on Streets of Willow's notoriously bumpy surface. 
We were also surprised to see that the Cup car had a lot of body motion for a race car, in dive and roll.  The stock MX-5 has a lot of body motion that was engineered in to enhance the driving experience and this seemed to carry over to a degree with the race car.
In the skidpad turn at Streets of Willow, the body roll was really obvious but the chassis seemed to grip tenaciously and absorb the bumps near the apex easily with little tire shock.  We could not report on the cars exact specs because at the time of the event, the specs were not 100% frozen. 

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