2011 Mazda MX-5 GT: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian A., on March 23, 2011

Mazda unveiled today the all-new MX-5 GT, a new car that will challenge cars such as Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW on the race track in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011. So what is so special about this car? Well, first of all we have to tell you that the Mazda MX-5 GT has a total weight of just 850 kg.

Due to this, the car can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in just 3 seconds and has a top speed of 160 mph (some impressive specs if we look at the Lamborghini Aventador, that it is able to hit 100 km/h or 62 mph in 2.9 seconds).

According to Mazda, the vehicle is the lightest and most powerful MX-5 ever built, and as expected it delivers the same great handling and has the ability to challenge bigger more powerful competition.

The Mazda MX-5 GT was built by Jota Sport, which examined every nut and bolt to reduce component weight. Moreover, Jota Sport also built the new shell that it is 17 times stronger than required by the FIA. Under the hood, the modified engine delivers 275bhp and it is mated to a six speed sequential paddle shift gearbox. In order to reduce the weight even more, the car features carbon doors and Polycarbonate windows.

Mazda is a company with a strong reputation for innovation, and thus it is no wonder why they began to develop the MX-5 GT car. This development process coincides with Mazda’s recognition of the achievements of the MX-5 line such as the celebration of its 21st anniversary. The company also pointed out that 900,000 units have been delivered worldwide since its 1989 unveiling, with more than 90,000 of these units from the UK. The Mazda MX-5 also remains as the Guinness World Record holder for most successful selling roadster. It remains one of the most sought-after open-top sports car in the UK.

The Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship is a nine-race circuit scheduled between March and November, with one being at Belgium\s Spa Francorchamps track. Silverstone is the site of the first race: a three-hour endurance test. It is set to start at 3:00 pm on Saturday, the 26th of March 2011.

Mazda has decided to participate in the Britcar, only its fourth time ever. The MX-5 GT will be racing for this company this year. The racing drivers will be veteran Mazda works racer Mark Ticehurst, 39, of Hassocks, West Sussex and Owen Mildenhall, a journalist for Auto Express.

Graeme Fudge, Mazda UK’s PR Director says the power, notable reliability and agile drivability of the MX-5 production race car that were shown in the past year prove that the MX-5 can compete against even the specially-built BMW, Lotus and VW race cars. He announces that the MX-5 GT race car now has more power and when this is combined with the MX-5’s reputation of durability, reliability and handling, it will be able to strongly compete against even race cars that have bigger power outputs.

The Mazda MX-5 GT car is built by Jota Sport in Tunbridge Wells. All safety features pass FIA safety standards including race seats, harness, steering wheel, roll cage, bonnet and boot lid safety catches, external electric cut-off, fire extinguisher and alloy wheels. Improvements to the engine, running gear, gearbox and rear axle have been made to increase racing capabilities.

Press Release

Mazda MX-5 GT entry into Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011

Mazda is set to challenge Aston Martin, Porsche, Lotus, and BMW on the race track with its lightweight Mazda MX-5 GT entry in the Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship 2011.

Weighing in at just 850kg, the Mazda MX-5 GT race car will accelerate from 0-to-60mph in just three seconds and hit a top speed of 160mph. The build of the car has been an engineering challenge to get the weight as low as possible using Mazda's gram strategy as the inspiration. Jota Sport examined every nut and bolt to reduce component weight and then match the power to the weight to give the lightest and most powerful MX-5 ever built.

An important aspect of the build was to ensure the Mazda MX-5 still remains true to its roots: great handling, huge fun-to-drive and the ability to challenge bigger more powerful competition, but at an affordable cost. The Mazda GT car ticks all those boxes and is now set to demonstrate its challenger spirit on the track.

Jota Sport, the race engineering team that will run the cars in the 2011 series, took 400 hours to build the shell to a specification that ensured it was 17 times stronger than required by the FIA. During the development they faced a number of engineering challenges such as suspension adjustments, integrating the six speed sequential gearbox, and lowering the engine. Weight saving strategies such as, the removal of interior components, reducing component weight and dipping the shell in acid lost 15kg from the MX-5 race car.

The completed MX-5 GT features a modified Mazda engine to produce 275bhp, a six speed sequential paddle shift gearbox, carbon doors and Polycarbonate windows. On the exterior, the Mazda MX-5 GT boasts a Spirited Green metallic body colour - a first on the MX-5 for Mazda UK - complimented by Jota Sport corporate coloured liveries in orange and grey.

Mazda is renowned for challenging conventions so the motivation to develop a MX-5 GT car comes naturally. It also comes at a time when Mazda has recently celebrated a number of milestones for MX-5 including its 21st anniversary and producing 900,000 MX-5 units globally since its introduction in 1989, with over 10 percent of global MX-5 sales from Britain. Meanwhile, the Mazda MX-5 continues to hold the Guinness World Record as the world's best‑selling roadster - testament to its continued popularity with British open top sports car fans.

The Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship is contested over nine races from March to November including a race at the Spa Francorchamps circuit in Belgium. The first race is a three hour endurance race at Silverstone next weekend, Saturday 26 March 2011, starting at 3.00pm.

This is the fourth time that Mazda has entered Britcar and this year the Mazda MX-5 GT car will be driven by two Mazda works drivers including experienced Mazda racing driver Mark Ticehurst, 39 from Hassocks, West Sussex and Auto Express journalist and racing driver Owen Mildenhall.

"The MX-5 production race car's modest power output, bullet proof reliability and nimble handling demonstrated last year how the MX-5 can be competitive against some of the purpose-built Lotus, VW and BMW race cars. With a higher power output combined with the durability, reliability and handling attributes that the MX-5 is renowned for; the MX-5 GT race car will be strong contender against the more powerful race cars in its class," comments Graeme Fudge, PR Director, Mazda UK.

The Mazda MX-5 GT car, prepared by Tunbridge Wells-based Jota Sport features the mandatory FIA approved safety equipment including a roll cage, race seats and harness, external electric cut-off and fire extinguisher, safety catches on the bonnet and boot lids, competition steering wheel and alloy wheels, while the running gear, rear axle, gearbox and engine have been modified to enhance performance.

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