Meet the all-new MX5-GT, a featherweight race car with which Mazda will participate in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011 taking on Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW. It may seem like a difficult task but Mazda, in cooperation with Jota Sport, the race engineering team that will run the cars in the 2011 series, have a few tricks under their sleeves.
For starters, the GT is claimed to be the lightest and most powerful MX-5 ever built. Jota Sport took some 400 hours to build the car’s shell to a specification that ensured it was 17 times stronger than required by the FIA. Weight-saving measures include the removal of interior parts, reducing component weight and dipping the shell in acid to shave 15kg. The end result is a total weight of just 850kg or 1,873 lbs.
The MX-5 GT is powered by Mazda’s 2.0-liter engine modified to produce 275bhp. The four-cylinder unit is linked to a six-speed sequential paddle shift gearbox and according to the Japanese company, it can accelerate the car from zero to 60mph (96km/h) in just 3.0 seconds while offering a top speed of 160mph (257km/h).
Other mechanical upgrades include the modified suspension, competition alloy wheels and tires, and performance braking system.
On the outside, the MX-5 GT features a Spirited Green metallic body color complimented by Jota Sport’s corporate liveries in orange and grey. Open up the carbon fiber doors and you are welcomed by a stripped out interior featuring a roll cage, a fire extinguisher, competition steering wheel and a racing bucket seat.
“The MX-5 production race car’s modest power output, bullet proof reliability and nimble handling demonstrated last year how the MX-5 can be competitive against some of the purpose-built Lotus, VW and BMW race cars,” said Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK.
“With a higher power output combined with the durability, reliability and handling attributes that the MX-5 is renowned for; the MX-5 GT race car will be strong contender against the more powerful race cars in its class,” he concluded.