Better Racer, Lesser Bargain: Mazda Improves Its MX-5 Miata Cup Race Car for 2017

Road America Global MX-5 Cup

When Mazda announced last year that its purpose-built MX-5 Miata Cup race car would sticker for $53,000, we lauded the racer’s affordability. Having sold 108 (!) MX-5 Miata Cup cars, Mazda and Long Road Racing, its partner that actually assembles the Miatas, is gearing up for a second year of production and has implemented a few changes. The good news is that the changes improve the Miata race car. The bad news is that the price has gone up.

Although race cars don’t exactly follow model years, it’s safe to categorize the updated Miata Cup car as being ready for the 2017 racing season. The price rises from $53,000 to $58,900, thanks to a new racing-spec transmission, motor mounts, differential-housing bushings, and engine-computer tweaks. The changes are aimed at enhancing the car’s durability, namely the gearbox, which keeps a number of stock components but has been upgraded to last longer between rebuilds. Mazda has been rolling out the changes to existing customer cars (remember, the Battery Tender Global MX-5 Cup is a spec racing series, so the cars must all be the same), and it’s even throwing current owners an incentive to buy the new car (should they want another): Buy a new MX-5 Cup car by mid-September, and the price will be the same as last year. After that point, it jumps to the new, higher price.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cup race car

Nearly $60,000 may seem steep for, well, a Miata, but consider that this is a brand-new turnkey race car. It comes with a full safety cage, a sealed engine, a stripped interior—basically everything you need to go racing save a seat, which Mazda specifically leaves out so drivers can pick their favorite chair. Front-running used Spec Miatas, based on either the first- and second-gen Miata, can cost nearly $40,000, so to be able to purchase a new race-prepped Miata for a bit more seems worthwhile.

2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Cup race car

from Car and Driver BlogCar and Driver Blog

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