1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long Term Road Test

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: More Praise For Supercharging

January 28, 2011

 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: More Praise For Supercharging

Just had my first drive in the now-supercharged Miata, and color me impressed. The extra power makes the little Miata far more exciting to drive, and it gives us a much better chance against unsuspecting Honda S2000s in stoplight races.

What's more, the 60 extra ponies come with zero reduction in drivability; just plenty of smooth, linear power from throttle tip-in to redline. Well done, Kraftwerks.

One thing that is noticeable is a constant (but mild) whooshing of air from the bypass valve whenever you're off the throttle or at steady-state light throttle on the highway. It's only slightly annoying (honestly), and quite often it's drowned out by the thrum of the tires anyway. The sound goes away when you get on the throttle, replaced by the music of a now-robust four-cylinder that loves to rev, with a small whoosh from the bypass valve with each shift.

 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: More Praise For Supercharging

The supercharged Miata doesn't have the kind of sauce to make lurid powerslides as simple as just planting your right foot midcorner, but it definitely ups the fun factor.

Count me in the camp that's glad JayKav added the hardtop. Even though the color doesn't match, it still cleans up the Miata's lines and makes it look a little tougher (if that's possible for a Miata). The more airy rear window is a bonus for rearward vision.

The new Momo steering wheel is also a nice addition. Personally I would've chosen something with a thicker rim, but hey, Jay's doing the wrenching so he gets to make these decisions. Never once did I give a thought to the lack of an airbag, though. Call me a crazy risk-taker.

Mike Monticello, Road Test Editor @ 128,648 miles 

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