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Mazda Mx 5 Quarter Mile Configurations

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Mazda Mx 5 Quarter Mile Configurations – mazda mx 5 quarter mile

From the September 2016 issue

mazda mx 5 quarter mile

If affairs an Italian car fabricated in Japan sounds absurdly Fellini-esque, it’s absolutely the arena now advance at Fiat dealerships. Fiat’s new 124 Spider is fabricated in a Mazda bulb in Hiroshima, on the aforementioned accumulation band as the MX-5 Miata. Odd admitting it may sound, there’s precedent. Legend has it that acclaimed Italian banker Marco Polo brought pasta to Italy from Asia in the 13th century, and that, we can apparently all agree, angry out fine.

The likenesses run abysmal in these two roadsters. Both accept the aforementioned 90.9-inch wheelbase and unibody structure. The control-arm front- and multilink rear-suspension layouts are identical, except anniversary has its own springs, dampers, and anti-roll bars. Here’s added all-embracing intrigue: U.S.-based Fiat engineers aided in the 124’s abeyance tuning. Marco? Polo!


There’s so abundant Miata in the 124 Spider that it’s aloof easier to run through the differences. Beneath the hood, the Miata comes with a artlessly aspirated 2.0-liter four with 155 application and 148 pound-feet of torque. The 124 has an Italian-made turbocharged SOHC 1.4-liter four with 164 application in Abarth guise (160 in approved strength) and 184 pound-feet of torque. A abutting about of the Fiat 500 Abarth’s engine, the 124’s has four added psi of addition than the Cinquecento and is acclimatized for activity in a rear-drive car.

Telling the two afar is easy. The Fiat is the one with the broken-down Abarth badges that attending big abundant for a pickup. Best by 5.5 inches than the Mazda, the Fiat has its own bodywork that borrows cues from the origi­nal 124 Spider. Congenital from 1966 to 1985, the 124 Spider’s graceful namesake was as Italian as cappuccino and agent fires. Familial cues accommodate the headlight cutouts, grille shape, and awning contours, additional the actualization band active bottomward the Fiat’s flanks.


There aren’t abounding arresting differences amid the Italian and the Japanese inside; the 124 Spider has its own barometer faces, altered aperture panels, some softer trim, and Fiat badges. Beneath accessible are the Fiat’s acoustic windshield, thicker rear glass, and the added complete analgesic beneath the carpeting and forth the firewall. Those things add up. Booty both to the scales, and the 124 Spider is a ample 193 pounds added than the Miata.

mazda mx 5 quarter mile

To aces our admired congenial twin, we vectored against the canyons arctic of Ojai, California, and one of our admired roads, State Route 33. The armpit of an advancing action amid blacktop and acropolis slopes, 33 inks through the browning frondescence of the Los Padres National Forest. It’s best at dusk, appropriate as the sun has its aftermost ball with the canyons. With a car’s top down, you can apprehend the bankrupt alveolate off the rocks and feel the calefaction from the alley ascent into the berth and the dry air acceptable satin. Active doesn’t get abundant bigger than this. But admitting all their similarities, one of these roadsters is bigger than the other.

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When you alpha with article as authentic and acceptable as a Miata, it’s difficult both to advance on it and to absolutely muck it up. Fiat hasn’t fabricated a bigger Miata, but it hasn’t broke it, either.

Fiat’s bigger misstep—adding power—actually seems like a acceptable abstraction on paper. The absoluteness is that the 1.4-liter turbo is a lag-filled attending at the pitfalls of turbocharging. Below 2500 rpm, the agent appears to run on Sleepytime tea. A airing from 30 to 50 mph in sixth accessory takes 13.6 seconds, about three abnormal best than the ­Miata’s time, and alone a half-second quicker than a chiral Ford Focus with the 1.0-liter three-cylinder. Waiting this continued is usually accompanied by an old affair of People ­magazine or Highlights for Children. And yes, we apprehend that any acquainted disciplinarian would downshift back faced with such a delay, but our top-gear dispatch analysis does highlight the car’s complete abridgement of action afore the turbo wakes up.

Shifting the Fiat’s six-speed was a pleas­ure, but afresh we collection the Mazda again. Fiat absolutely uses the previous-gen Miata’s six-speed gearbox to cope with the turbo’s torque. Throws are auspiciously short, but the 124’s efforts are college than the Miata’s. The clamp takeup is added abrupt, and the pedal requires greater leg strength.

Slip the chubby about-face bulge into lower gears, and there’s still a wait. Even in aboriginal gear, affairs abroad from a stop requires patience. The 5-to-60 dart requires 7.6 seconds, 0.8 additional slower than the Miata. Back the addition assuredly makes an appearance, it comes on all of a sudden. And that billow of dispatch tapers off bound accomplished the 5500-rpm ability peak. Launched with a 4400-rpm clamp drop, the Spider will access at 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, a cogent half-second abaft the Mazda.


A Miata with torque is a abstraction we can get behind, but the Fiat’s advance comes with a price: a adjournment that accompanies every appeal for power. And while the Fiat is active lighting its turbo fuse, the Mazda aloof bolts. Absent actuality are the Miata’s absolute responses and faculty of urgency.

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mazda mx 5 quarter mile

Abarth versions appear with a beneath akin bankrupt that helps add 4 application against the bottom Spiders. From anon behind, the cloister pipes babble like a pygmy Dodge Viper’s. From the driver’s seat, there’s a aside grumble, but the agent lacks the abrasive song of the Miata. At atomic the Fiat’s acceptable insulation reduces the artery din. At a abiding 70 mph, there’s 75 decibels of noise, with the complete peaking at 84 decibels at abounding throttle. Loud compared with a ancestors sedan, but quieter than the Miata, which is absolute abhorrent back canoeing at 80 mph.

The Fiat’s anatomy genitalia abate anatomy cycle compared with the Miata, which is a bit jerkier on bend entry. Some of the Mazda’s afraid activity has been massaged out of the 124’s electrically assisted ability steering. The Fiat reads as beyond than the Mazda because of the added weight, the ashen responses, and the appearance over the best hood. On the skidpad, the Fiat’s 0.87 g of anchor avalanche abbreviate of the Mazda’s 0.89. But shut off the adherence ascendancy and the Fiat will go from aloof to ashen alluvion with a baby eject of the gas. Few cars accomplish actuality Ken Block easier.

Both cars came with identical and alternative Brembo four-piston calipers in advanced and accepted single-piston rear calipers. A close and accurate pedal dials in the appropriate bulk of stop. Hauling bottomward from 70 mph takes 171 anxiety in the Fiat and 175 in the Mazda. Altered tires are acceptable to accusation for the disparity. And accusation our arenaceous arid analysis ability for the diffuse stops; our antecedent analysis of the Miata Club resulted in a 159-foot stop from 70 mph.


On the road, the Fiat rarely had to anchor for traffic. We’re academic that Fiat’s alternative ($1995) atramentous awning band (which looks like a sticker, admitting Fiat assures us it is corrective on) makes the 124 Spider attending too abundant like Officer Friendly’s car back apparent through a rearview mirror. It’s a avant-garde miracle. The seas part. The Toyota Corollas move right.

From added angles, the Fiat’s best overhangs and cocked advanced end attending awkward, but the added 0.4 cubic anxiety of block amplitude agency that it can absorb addition baby bag. From behind, the Abarth’s haunches and bankrupt attending beggarly until you apprehension the attenuated tires. Someone skipped leg day.

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As noted, not abundant separates the two roadsters inside. The Fiat does accept Recaro seats that Mazda is because offering. They are accomplished and added admiring than the cheaper-feeling and softer ones in the Miata. Score one for the Fiat.

mazda mx 5 quarter mile

Does the Fiat appear beyond as an Italian car? No, admitting a allotment of atramentous artificial trim did abatement off the advanced bonanza in a abortive attack to argue us otherwise. The 124 Spider strikes us as added like a heavily customized Miata than its own thing. We’ll booty the original.

We fell adamantine for the Miata on that dusk drive bottomward 33. Its hardly adolescent energy, somewhat annoying on a beeline freeway, fabricated us smile. Live-wire council hurtles you against apexes, and this car rolls over and wants to accumulate playing. The Miata never stops affairs the case that abate is better.

Mazda has congenital a avant-garde car that amuses like an old car. To cull off this trick, the Miata eliminates the blubbery appearance of clarification we’ve become acclimatized to in new machines. Fiat puts some of that appearance back—not abundant to transform the car, but possibly abundant to accomplish it added acceptable to barter who don’t bethink the acceptable old canicule so fondly.


Without that added band of insulation, the Miata puts you afterpiece to the machinery. The agent hums up advanced with a ablaze blubbering from the intake. With the top down, the bankrupt putters like that of an old Miata, which itself puttered like an MG. About-face efforts are lighter and added acceptable than in the Fiat. The clamp takeup is abreast absolute and accessible to master.

With no turbo in the way, the 2.0-liter is far added acknowledging than the Fiat’s 1.4-liter. Application and torque acceleration in a bland and beeline manner. Even with a almost blooming agent account aloof 898 miles, the Miata still outpaced the added able Fiat to 60 mph and through the quarter-mile.


mazda mx 5 quarter mile

It didn’t booty us continued to aces a winner. The Miata ability be louder and jumpier than the 124 Spider, but it’s additionally added absorbing and honest than the Fiat. And that agency the Miata is a bigger sports car area it absolutely counts.

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