From the Editor…
FIRST WORDS… And there was me thinking we’d put the whole hairdresser’s car thing behind us. Way, way behind us…
… But earwigging a conversation between some young road tester types at another motoring magazine the other day, it seems that even the latest MX-5 has its work cut out to be considered a truly pukka sports car.
Admittedly the magazine in question is aimed at hardcore drivers and the test team didn’t mention coiffure culture explicitly, but the gist of their deliberations was that the
MX-5 remains a soft option. It’s simply not quick enough, they opined, and rolls too much through corners.
You’ll have to forgive them, though. These guys are from a generation weaned on 300bhp hot hatches with four-wheel drive and enough electronic driving aids to turn any road into a go-kart track. And when you’re young, outright pace trumps everything. Go on, admit it, you were probably just the same in your youth…
From my perspective, however, with age behind me and the need to hang onto my driving licence in front, the characteristics that disappointed those chaps are the ones that make the MX-5 great. If you don’t have a rocketship’s worth of power then you have to be intelligent and creative with the bhp that you do have, relying on a connection with your car to go quickly, rather than simply planting your right foot.
As for the body roll, it heightens the sense of speed through a corner, so you don’t have to be driving a qualifying lap to get a buzz out of nipping around on the public road. And there’s real pleasure to be gained – again, that sense of connection – through feeling a car’s chassis moving about beneath you. To me, that’s the essence of a sports car, not setting a sub-eight-minute lap time at the Nürburgring.
Having said all that, I’m intrigued and amused by Flyin’ Miata’s V8-engined mk4 (p20) and the Jaguar V6-engined mk1 (p28) created by British newcomer Rocketeer.
MX-5s may not need such engine transplants, but it’s impressive they’re able to cope with them.
We’d love to hear from you, our readers, so why not drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us about some of your MX-5 experiences.
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