Boomerang Basement Bolides — First Place: Mazda Miata PRHT

Posted on 09. Aug, 2012 by in Auto News

The conventions of the auto request in writing that we come up with at least a working metaphor for each comparison test, so here goes: You guys remember that movie It might Get Loud? Obviously, the Scion FR-S Jack White: stripped down and consciously retro, perhaps too confident context sensitive worshiped unconditionally by a group of people who have never signed a mortgage. The Genesis 2.0t R-Spec is the Edge: a lot of sharp edges and technical brilliance to cover a fundamental deficit of talent.

The Miata? Well …

When we meet Mr. Page in the above mentioned film, he's chauffeured in an old English home. He is a 60-ish man in a tailored jacket: quiet, reserved, old. He told a few stories in a voice that barely registered on the noise from the road and looks pensively out the window at the beautiful scenery and so on. You know he would not fit into the infamous dragon suit, and you would not want to see him in it, even if he could manage the trick. Sure, he Earlier a rocker, but now he's a dead ringer for your college roommate's grandfather.

Then he passes someone a guitar. Oh, look, old chap, it's that 1959 Gibson he used to carry around. Terribly old now, like the others, it will be handled. Jack White watching him dispassionately, perhaps wondering exactly why they have dug up the man and the instrument for the film when he's Jack White, the man of the hour, he'S one who draws the panties now he'S with the hipper-than-thou record company and super-luxurious Nashville building full of limited-press record, this guy is as dead as Elvis, just do not do not know yet, and it seems that Mr. Page is now online insertion , and perhaps he manages one strum or something OH MY GOD He plays Whole Lotta Love.

At that precise moment, anything and everything disappears connected with the film, and it is clear, obvious to everyone that, despite their millions of record sales and undisputed merits, Jack White and the Edge are not suitable wear side dragon jockstrap.

The same thing happens when I fresh from ten laps each in the FR-S and Genesis, hop in the Miata, loaf sucked on the front straight courtesy of the ever impressive normal MZR / Duratec / Whatevs, and tap the brakes briefly before bending in to Turn One. Well, the car closely, and it's slow, and OH MY GOD IT IS NOT ONE. This is a Pushchair. Be sure to Toyota. Once you made a sports car. You have a couple of them -. The star-crossed second generation MR2 turbo and the miniature Boxster Spyder MR – met or exceeded the size of this particular Miata They know how to do it.

More importantly, Mazda has it easy for you. The Touring-spec power-retractable hardtop, the Miata MX-5 charming, even in history. To begin with, it's too big, it sits too high, and it has neither the Elan-through-a-copier charm of the first generation car, or the elegant sportiness of the second generation. It weighs too much and it's sure as hell costs too much, no matter what country you call home, this is probably the most expensive car of our trio and delivers the lowest level of some large margin.

It is possible to whip the "NC" Miata in shape like a race car, as I know from experience. Our test car has not received this type of cleaning. Instead, it has a folding metal hardtop. Why? The Miata has always been a convertible. It makes sense in this way. For more than twenty years, however, people have ask for a Miata Coupe. Except for a very short run Japanese market production of 200 NB coupes, Mazda is still felt never responds to this request. Instead, we have the PRHT. I can not see weekend warriors spend the extra money for them over the soft-top, and the people who want a coupe. Establishment for reasons of weight and stiffness, which does not explicitly address the PRHT Call it the "Miata New York", it only makes sense if you are in an area where people steal to cut soft-tops open, which is to live has been left in the glove compartment. We did not ask for a PRHT, but we are not a color cloth and we do not get free Honda S2000S with signed-over tracks sit in the glove box so we can go play SCCA racer on someone else's dime. Instead, we got what happened to be in the press fleet, and that was the pensioner spec PRHT. Ugh.

Going into our test I was pretty sure that the hardcore, touge Tofu dorifto FR-S wanted to humiliate the Miata. It made sense: a new, faster, stiffer car should Beating them thoroughly with impaired end-of-run special. I could not be more wrong. The FR-S and Genesis both much too large and clumsy to compete. You do not know how big the Scion until you are sitting in the Mazda. Yes, the current car is pretty monstrous of Miata or Elan standards. No, it's not a 1.6-liter NA. It is not so good. (Full disclosure: Your author had an ex-SCCA Solo National Winner Miata "C" package '94, bought as a surprise gift for his wife, he went twice, saying it "weak" before returning to her Stage 3 SRT-4 .) It's still good enough.

Against an MR2 Turbo, the Miata would seem slow, weak, vulnerable to pressure. For an MR Spyder, the Miata would seem a bit like a Bayliner, truthfully, especially in tight sections. Before the FR-S comes from the Miata like a freakin 'Caterham. It is only a few inches narrower the band, but in practice it feels like the FR-S is a foot wider and a Testarossa the Miata the 308GTS. This is not something that anyone wants to admit over the Internet, but if you have our trio driving group, the Genesis and FR-S is in a basket and the Miata in another.

It is such a joy to Toronto Motorsports Park to steer, the Miata always communicates exactly what has happened. Even with the more-present-in-magazine-articles-than-reality 10/10ths, I can not imagine that anyone could behind a ham-handed idiot bring this car to crash. All you can do what the Scion can the Mazda better. In a place like VIR, the lack of power and unwanted aerodynamic profile would cost the small convertible money, but on the Alan Wilson-style tracks with short straights and corners of the Mazda connection, you can deliver the tofu as well as the FR-S. Of course, the Genesis has so much power that it simply disappears into the distance, regardless of route. One would need an SCCA rule book autocross course complete with 45 mph max corners to equalize the two.

Driven isolated, the Miata's 167-hp four seems energetic enough, and as has been the case since 1990, is the shift quality is outstanding. The brakes are good unobtrusively sliding caliper affairs, but they work. All control measures are easy and well coordinated. It is possible to feel more control in a production vehicle, but you must hurry, because the 987 Boxster has disappeared almost showroom floors.

The current Miata has been roundly criticized for its suspension tuning, and that the criticism is valid. There are more than you have to roll, and the car can feel a little toes at times. For about $ 1400 you can do Koni Yellow and aftermarket springs. I certainly would, that changes in my own car, but descriptions of the equity markets are settings as "scary" or "uncontrollable" either hyperbolic or incompetent. You will not roll yet to get the car. I tried, believe me, especially in our News Editor Derek Kriendler who was upset in the passenger seat at the time.

Mazda is fully aware that the Miata is a third car for most of its owners, and they'll build it this way. What I mean is this: The interior is quality construction and clear forever. Plastics are durable, the vehicle is easy to maintain and save for the aforementioned PRHT there are no silly gimmicks. There is no SYNC system or the like, because you will understand your Mazda Miata for ten or twenty years, and by the time you are ready to sell to hold, today's most advanced system is as embarrassing as the "Your Door, is a jar "electronic-voice system from a 1982 Datsun Maxima would be today.

At the end of our test day (which again we told AutoGuide) we were informed that we had about half an hour, go with which a shortened version of the track. The AutoGuide crew heard this news and immediately ran for the FR-S, which was sitting next to my Boxster in the starting lineup. Derek and I lay between them and the FR-S. We looked at each other … what should we do? As one, we turned away from the Toyota and went back to the Miata to fifteen or so more rounds in. This current MX-5 Miata put, the worst in history, but it is still the best car in this test . Deal with it Children.

Images courtesy of Julie Hyde, who she thought was just along for the Mike Stern concert in Toronto at night.