This Turbocharged Miata is Proof We Need A New S2000
Is a 200 hp roadster by any other name just as sweet to drive?
The Honda S2000 is easily one of the greatest roadsters ever made, so why in the hell won’t Honda build us a new one? With the price of good S2Ks closing in on the $30k mark fast, we decided to start looking at what else was out there. The new Miata looks pretty great, but we wish it had a touch more performance. 150 horsepower in 2017 isn’t very impressive, even if it does weigh the same as a paper bag. The lack of power coupled with a relatively soft suspension setup makes the Miata a good car, but not a great one. Not a car that can melt the icy heart of a scorned S2K driver.
And then we found “Andy.”
Andy is a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata that has been built using a BBR Turbo kit by a Colorado based company named Flyin’ Miata. Flyin’ Miata has been modifying Miatas since they launched, and nearly three decades later, they have perfected the craft. We gave the team a call, booked a plane ticket to Colorado and spent an afternoon learning how magical Andy really is.
If Flyin’ Miata didn’t put huge hood vents into the car and cover it in advertising vinyls, you’d be hard pressed to tell this car isn’t stock. The exhaust is an active unit that keeps the car quiet around town, the turbo whistle is so subtle it’s barely noticeable, and the intercooler is so well integrated in the nose, most wouldn’t realize it’s there.
What you will notice is the extra power when you plant your foot. According to FM’s dyno testing, this particular car is putting down 207 hp and 217 lb-ft of torque to the wheels. They also raised the redline by around 500 rpm. According to BBR’s internal testing, 0-60 should come around in 5 seconds flat. We didn’t have enough time, or room in our luggage for equipment, to do our own testing.
That extra performance makes the Miata feel alive and playful. A full stage 2 suspension from Fox and stage 2 braking kit from Wilwood add a sharpness and poise that truly makes Andy feel aggressive and exciting in a way the Miata never has. It makes it feel like a modern S2K in a way that is hard to put into words. It’s a damn-near perfect sports car.
And all that brings us back to our original question. Why in the hell won’t Honda make a new S2000?! Mazda is on target to sell 10,000 Miatas this year. There were more than 11,000 BRZ/FR-S models sold in 2016. There are enough people buying these things to justify the production cost, Honda.
Honda has already ditched the high-strung NA engines in favor of turbo cars, so expecting a new 9,000 rpm monster is likely out of the cards. But imagine a new roadster with a slightly boosted version of the Civic Si’s 1.5L turbo. Hondata already has a quick tune that jumps the Si engine’s power to 232 hp and 252 lb-ft. That would make it almost identical in wheel output to the Flyin’ Miata car we drove. (The Type R motor would be better, but let’s at least keep our begging realistic. This is a car about balance and finesse, not outright muscle.)
All that speed, awesome Honda styling, and that incredible handling and steering feel that made Honda famous, wrapped up in a sexy new two-door just makes us drool.
JUST MAKE IT HAPPEN, HONDA!
Worst comes to worst, if Honda refuses to build a new S2K, you could always build a replica of Andy. You’ll be looking at about $11k for the parts, and the cheapest Miata you can buy is $26,000, bringing the minimum total to $37,000. Which isn’t cheap. Of course with some people posting low-mileage AP1s for $40k on eBay, a custom turbo Miata could almost be considered a bargain.
If you are like us and want a new Civic Si-powered S2000, sound off in the forum. And be sure to let us know what you think about this turbo Miata while you’re in there. Finally, while we all wait for Honda to never actually make a new roadster, why not check out this gallery of shots we had worked up by Travis Ingram while we were in Colorado. The car really does look great.