When sports cars sprang back to life in the early Nineties, Mazda’s Miata was leading the charge.
This car, more than any other marque, was responsible for introducing a whole new generation of drivers to the simple joys of the two seat roadster. The sports car scene added a new niche in the Nineties. A second tier of thirty-$omething, super sports cars established themselves as a permanent fixture in the market. While there had been small runs of high powered two seaters over the years (Allard, Cobra and Tiger, to name a few), never before have we seen such numbers in the buffed roadster category. Through it all, Mazda resisted the urge for a power surge, cranking out thousands of traditional formula sports cars. Each year, they supplemented the company coffers with dressy special editions, most targeting fashion rather than function. Now, they’ve joined the fray, rolling out an off-the-rack model with added power at a bargain price – the 2004 Mazdaspeed Miata.By now, most are familiar with the basic Miata: a well sorted, well balanced update of the classic sports car design. Through their Mazdaspeed arm, Mazda has tweaked the standard package, with a select list of hop-ups. First and foremost, the 1.8 liter four cylinder is turbocharged to the tune of 178 hp (@6,000 rpm) and 166 lb. ft. of torque (@ 4,500 rpm). These numbers are +25 and +33%, compared to standard Miatas. Clutch, pressure plate, driveshaft, differential and six speed transmission have all been beefed up for the occasion.