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Orange dinkiness - some MX-5 content

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  • Orange dinkiness - some MX-5 content

    I've looked at MX-5's three times previously over the years. The first time someone else got there first and I ended up buying something else that I now can't remember. The second time in 2000, I bought a Mk3 Toyota MR-2 instead which now that I think about it was actually ballpark in the same cost range as the MX-5 this thread is about which is pretty remarkable given the 20y time difference. The third time was an "ND1" but I just couldn't gel with the engine and the handling so bought a 911 instead and no regrets there.

    I spotted this orange one a few weeks ago but it sold shortly after. But I noticed a couple of weeks later that it was still up on Carzone so I called up the Mazda dealer and was told it was still for sale so I guess the previous sale fell through. So arranged a test drive. Which in Covid-19 times means getting the keys and being told to go. He gave me some good suggestions on roads around the airport which were indeed very nice and off I went. It's obviously a very different proposition to the usual stuff. Torque is pretty much completely absent but the good news is that engine feels completely different in the ND2 that came out last year I think. It just loves to rev and if you keep it above 4k rpm it makes some progress. The suspension or handling seems to be improved as well or maybe my memory is just bad. Yes it's a bit soft and it has that roll in corners that can be a bit disconcerting but you know, reasonably good fun. It's hard to see how orange this car actually is from pictures but it's orange for sure. It continues inside as well with the gorgeous Recaro seats with orange piping and all that good stuff.

    So I returned back to the dealer and said I would think about it because I wasn't 100% convinced. It actually reminded me quite a lot about that MR-2 I used to have. Similar low weight, similar torque free engine, etc.

    I did a bit of reading on various mods. Plenty of them of course. It seems to have good scope for improvements but then why not just buy a car that's sorted?

    This being a 30th anniversary edition special it's of course also quite rare (10 in Ireland?) but there's at least one other on here so started chatting with the owner and got some very good insights which really helped me.

    But with an open mind I started looking at 981 Boxster S's in the UK as there's always a draw towards the output of Zuffenhausen. Really very few around but one in particular caught my eye. Manual, full Porsche history, has been on extended warranty all its life so basically zero risk buying it, very grey (and I really really really really don't want a grey sports car), and all the right spec as well which is quite uncommon on Boxsters. Stuff like PASM, PSE, torque vectoring, LSD. This is pretty much GTS spec without the GTS premium. The 981 Boxster S practically doesn't exist in Ireland so unique enough and probably a solid enough buy from a depreciation point of view. But then I realised that the manual Boxster is in a higher tax bracket vs the PDK and couldn't really find a PDK one that grabbed me and I've heard that the PDK boxes are a problem area and don't want that crap really.

    Eventually I guess it was a question of buying something new twenty mins up the road in orange or some conservative looking German thing that my memory of was a bit dull tbh.

    For not very logical reasons I went and bought the MX-5. I mean, can you have enough orange in your life really?

    Now on more familiar roads and with more time and commitment, let's see what the car can do. I kinda expected a bit of yeah it's alright but it's still orange and it's a convertible so a bit of fun so who cares really. But I found something else.

    This car is practically perfect for Irish roads. I'm amazed that there aren't more of these around. I really don't think I've had this much fun in a car ever.

    A not unimportant aspect of spirited driving in Ireland is the suspension as most fun roads are quite challenging in terms of bumps and because the MX-5 is quite soft it really works well with poor surfaces. Another thing is that the roads are narrow and the MX-5 is also narrow so easy enough to pound it along. And it's not particularly powerful so you kind of just roll with it which also suits the roads quite well. The turn-in is incredible. I don't think I've even scratched the surface of what this car can do in corners yet. The gearbox is a work of art as well in way that only the Japanese can do really with a nice short shift action.

    Eventually the fun ends and you find yourself behind a beige Toyota Avensis d4d or its modern Hyundai SUV equivalent and you know what, just sit back, enjoy the non-existent sunshine, turn up the not half-bad Bose sound system and enjoy life for what it is.

    Is it perfect? Not in the slightest but in order to assess that you need to actually take the car seriously which is just impossible. Everyone else seems to love it to from kids up to grannies. I don't recall ever having people waving at me and cheering me on as I pound across Dublin and Wicklow mountains but that's the kind of reaction this car gets.

    There's a whole catalogue of stuff that can be done to improve it so I might start to tick some of that off. It's a good place to start, though.

  • #2
    Jaysus wept! That car is ORANGE, you weren't joking! Good look with it, I'll keep an eye out for it, kind of hard to miss


    • #3
      Lovely machine dmz , been looking at maybe changing to one myself, an rf gt , but it appears the 2.0 is gone from mazdas website. Does that have the 184bhp 2.0 unit ?
      Don't bother with Eco, it's not very nice, leave it in normal & drive it like you just stole it.


      • #4


        • #5
          My guess of a bbr mx5 wasn't far off so. Brave choice on the colour, I'm impressed

          Sent from my SM-G981B using Tapatalk


          • #6
            I like that. Looks very well. Enjoy it.


            • #7


              • #8
                The full spec is here: https://ie.cdn.mazda.media/2e6ebda70...202.1595355892

                There are quite a few nice little aspects to it.

                Yes it’s a 2l 180-odd bhp. The only soft top 2l ND that has been for sale in Ireland. I bought the last one, by the way.


                • #9
                  That is nothing short of EPIC!


                  • #10
                    Excellent spec there. Fun drive, all mod cons, looks great. Perfect really.


                    • #11
                      Well done on the new purchase.

                      We definitely need to see more bright colours like this on the roads, certainly beats the mundane
                      dull colours mostly seen from manufacturers.

                      It will put a smile on your face just looking at it I'd say on your typical rainy, overcast Irish day.

                      Recaro's look great, what are they like to hold you in while your putting it through a few corners?


                      • #12
                        Nice colour! The world needs more orange cars.


                        • #13
                          Very nice, those Recaros look well.


                          • #14
                            Yes, from Irish point of view, you can have enough Orange in your life, other than that great choice, enjoy.
                            I’m standing in a field full of sheep, is it wrong that I feel aroused?? 🤨🤪


                            • #15
                              Congrats, I had a go of one of these and really liked it. I think the color really suits them too.

                              I’m interested to hear how the mods go too. If it was mine I’d like a bit more induction or exhaust noise, preferably switchable.

                              Best of luck with it and have fun.


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