BBR GT270 - A Mazda MX-5 With Boxster-Baiting Bite

What am I looking at?

This is one of the 100 Mazda MX-5 GT270s produced by legendary MX-5 tuners Brodie Brittain Racing.

What's new?

It's all about the power here, as BBR hasupgraded the MX-5's engine with a turbocharger based on a Garrett GT25 unit and upgraded airflow, cooling and the car's clutch to provide a reliable and driveable high-powered MX-5.

What powers it?

It's actually the same 2.0 unit as found in the Mk3 facelift MX-5 - all the BBR GT270s are based on the Sport Tech Roadster Coupe model. BBR's extensive reworking boosts the output from 160hp and 140lb-ft to 268hp and 227lb-ft. If you opt for the additional sports exhaust and high-flow catalytic convertor, you can see 302hp - nearly a 90% increase.

This has a predictable result on performance, with the pretty potent MX-5 leaping to 60mph in half the time it takes the original car, which was already pretty sprightly as things stood.

How much will it cost me?

It's not exactly inexpensive. The 29,995 that each of the 100 limited models is priced at can be considered a pretty serious wedge - though the base car accounts for 23,095 of that. Surprisingly it also comes with a warranty, albeit a 12 month/30,000 mile one.

Any alternatives?

Probably the benchmark car in the class here is the Toyota GT86/Subaru BRZ but the BBR will show either a clean pair of tyre tracks. In terms of price and performance, the car most closely competing with this MX-5 would be Nissan's 370Z, but you could also look a bit wider afield at the Lotus Elise.

Anything else?

BBR also offers a Koni-based suspension upgrade as a cost option, along with a brake system update featuring EBC brake pads - always a useful thing to have when your MX-5 has to be limited to 150mph.

There's also a user-selectable switchable map that allows you to turn the wick up and down on the engine. There's a fun backroad map, a dedicated track map, a fuel-saving motorway mode and, just in case someone else is looking after your BBR Turbo, a valet mode limiting the car to 3,500rpm in any gear.

In a line?

Still the essence of an MX-5 - only now it can outrun a Porsche Boxster...

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