Rotrex Acceleration Tested - 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Long-Term Road Test

1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata: Rotrex Acceleration Tested

April 26, 2011

Photo by photobucket user aaa-111 

Whew! It's been a hectic couple of weeks here in the gilded halls of IL, and posting the acceleration testing results of Project Miata's Kraftwerks-supercharged ways has been lurking conspicuously on my to-do list.

Okay, excuses are over. Across the jump is what you came here to see. 

Now that it's got a solid Flyin' Miata clutch and flywheel -- and it's really quite remarkable in its similarity to stock pedal feel -- we were able to launch this puppy for real. Unlike when we tested it with the tired stock clutch, this time Project Miata could actually get out of the hole. See digits below.

Also, we re-tested the handling just for yuks. 1.03g in the house.

And no, that's not Project Miata in the lead shot. But it's pretty awesome, is it not? There are a few more shots of it here, but no information unfortunately.

(If you want a reminder of what a stock first-gen Miata with average miles can do nowadays, amuse yourself with our old white car's baseline performance test results. Hilarity will ensue.)

Vehicle: 1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata
Odometer: 130,377
Date: 4/5/11
Driver: Chris Walton

Drive Type: Rear-wheel drive
Transmission Type: Five-speed manual
Engine Type: Supercharged and intercooled inline-4
Displacement (cc/cu-in): 1,839/112
Redline (rpm): 7,200
Horsepower (hp @ rpm): 173 @ 6,900 (Dynojet chassis dyno)
Torque (lb-ft @ rpm): 141 @ 5,900 (Dynojet chassis dyno)
Brake Type (front): 10.0-inch one-piece ventilated cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Brake Type (rear): 9.9-inch one-piece solid cast-iron discs with single-piston sliding calipers
Steering System: Hydraulic-assist rack-and-pinion power steering

Suspension Type (front): Double wishbones, FatCat Motorsports adjustable ride-height coilovers with coil springs and monotube dampers, Racing Beat hollow stabilizer bar and 949Racing endlinks
Suspension Type (rear): Double wishbones, FatCat Motorsports adjustable ride-height coilovers with coil springs and monotube dampers, 949Racing endlinks
Tire Size (front and rear): 225/45ZR15 87W
Tire Brand: Hankook
Tire Model: Ventus R-S3
Tire Type: Summer
Wheel Size: 15-by-9 inches front and rear 949Racing 6UL
Wheel Material (front/rear): Aluminum
As Tested Curb Weight (lb): 2,342

Test Results:
0 - 30 (sec): 2.4
0 - 45 (sec): 4.4
0 - 60 (sec): 7.1
0 - 60 with 1-ft Rollout (sec): 6.8
0 - 75 (sec): 10.1

1/4 Mile (sec @ mph): 15.0 @ 92.0

Slalom (mph): 71.6
Skid Pad Lateral Acceleration (g): 1.03

Acceleration: A little tricky to launch because of the sticky tires and torque-challenged engine. Here's the deal -- it's now possible to break the tires free, but the engine cannot maintain the wheelspin and bogs down hard. Finally using some of that new clutch, I maintained spin beyond the bogging point and kept revs up. Voila. But there's a problem -- that "mystery gear" between 3rd and 5th where the gear lever definitely finds "home" but no actual gear. Did this several times in a row (also did a 2-5 upshift!) before actually finding third gear.

Handling: Skidpad: As before, breathtaking grip, unbelievable poise and adjustability and maybe, just maybe, scooping out the seat lowered the center of gravity, earning it 0.02g more than before.

Slalom: As before, the car hits the rev limiter in 3rd gear -- requires 4th and it is tempting to go in too hot, slide controllably (and have a great time doing so), however the quickest run was "slow-in, fast-out" to maintain all four tires' grip throughout the run. So freakin' capable, confident and fun!

--Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor 

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1997 Mazda MX-5 Miata Research