Over the years, I ‘almost’ bought a Mk1 1.6, then I ‘almost’ bought a Mk2 1,8 … but I always test drive several cars and the MX-5 just always seemed to come 2nd at those times so up until now, I never owned one.  

I have had 2-seater roadsters before and have a preference for a removable hardtop, so when the RF came out, I immediately loved the styling and promised I would get a test drive.

I then did the usual thing and decided I needed to consider all the options, which given what I was prepared to spend, also included a used Caymen or a Jaguar F-Type. Only this time, after test drives… it was the MX5 RF that won me over.

It just felt so right, lively and fluid. Fit me and I felt a part of it. Put a big grin on my face even at relatively low speeds.

So the next decision was Eternal blue or Soul Red … while I was just about to decide, I then became aware of the revised 2.0 engine - so had to wait for that. Then the announcement came for the 30th AE … and I love bright colours on fun cars, and love orange - once I saw the spec, that was it - down to the dealership and deposit down back in March this year.

6mths later, I collected my car on the 1st September. 

Drove it home, and the first mod was to remove the dealer number plates, and replace with smaller (still legal) ones 

You don’t notice how they are smaller on the car, they just look correct … so pic below to show what the difference is size is.

So owned it for 1 hour and already 1 mod done … what next.

4-days in, smart-top mod now fitted, faster ‘one-touch’ for roof mech, and also works at upto 25mph and in reverse … so can take the roof off while I am pulling out of the parking at work 

Next is the replacement delrin door bushes

Next up … already booked into BBR for the Super220 package plus a few other extras  

I will add more pics in a couple of weeks when that has been done.


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Looking good!  Don’t forget to get a black Zunsport half grille to cover the gaping, stone swallowing maw of the original, I have one on each of mine, they are definitely “must have” accessories!

PS: Are you sure those plates are legal?  OK the size and the spacing are fine but the required wording, BS number, manufacturer, supplier, as included on the originals, seem to be missing.  They would appear to be “show plates” not “road legal” as set out by the DVLA.  Just a thought.


Just dropped Tigger off at BBR

So I am driving a Mk3 now until Thursday when I pick my 30AE back up again

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I love the sound of the Smart top will look at getting one of those for my 30AE rf. Great looking car but I am a bit biased.

I have just driven back - rush hour traffic, so not best to ‘test’ the upgrades … but I am still grinning 

A slightly sportier exhaust note on start up, then below 2,200 rpm, drives just as it always has.  

Above there, the sound is noticeably sportier, but not obtrusive and then the extra torque starts to come in.

Hits peak torque at less than 3,750 rpm (171.5) and really pulls well - the extra horses of course start to really show their presence at that point too and gallop up at pace with a 222 of them at 7,650 rpm

Really now has the performance to match the looks.  Very very nice.  

Pic of the shiny new manifold, clearly you can’t see the cams or re-map but can certainly feel them

I am really impressed that all this extra performance has not compromised the car in any way. I use this car as my daily driver, so it was important to not lose the standard Mazda drive-ability. It has succeeded on that as it really feels like it could have come right out of the Mazda factory like this. It now has the ‘go’ to go with the Racing Orange, Reccaros, Brembos and Rays. 


Great upgrades, bit jealous of the extra BHP. I am keeping mine stock for now but the first change will be the exhaust.

The BBR exhaust is good in that if you are tootling in traffic, it isn’t raucous. Plus if on the motorway cruising at higher speed, it isn’t droning and getting tiresome. But when you want to press on, it sounds great.  

My hubby was in the car park waiting for me (we had traveled there separately) , outside BBR while Tigger was on the dyno, and he wasn’t sure at first if it was my car, or something more exotic - so a really nice surprise that it was actually my little car.

hearing it before seeing it and thinking it was something else must have been cool! I love my new 30AE but I do miss the sound of my old car a LHD Mustang. 

I had added some performance upgrades on my Mustang so I am sure I will eventually do the same with the Mx5.  Forgot (as it was fine before I picked it up) that I have already had a arero kit fitted as I likes the look of the gloss black parts against the orange. I will have a look at the BBR website and try my best not to spend anything 

Good to hear about your BBR exhaust and I love the name you’ve given your car 


Thx :smiley:

That’s a very nice car!

Made even better by the BBR upgrade 


Zunsport half grille now fitted - I like it - subtle so not noticeable, but certainly offers far better protection


Excellent UV!  Good move!


PS: Have you still got the “resonator” tubing that pipes engine noise into the cockpit (it looks like you may have from your photos)?  Quite a few of us have removed it as unnecessary, especially as you’ll want to hear your BBR exhausts!  If you have and you decide to remove it you can get the replacement part from MX5parts (link top right) it’s “ISE Removal Kit MX5 Mk.4 2.0” costs £43.92 + p&p., only takes about 10/15 minutes to do!

Not seen that, but no issue hearing the BBR anyway - it is rather addictive and encourages me to press the loud pedal just to hear that growl build, really nice.

I will probably end up having to get the grill done on mine as it is a daily. Not sure I will bother with the “resonator" tubing other than making it quieter what benefit is there to removing it?


If you need another reason Dan you really don’t need to remove it, but it really is just a pointless piece of plastic plumbing!


Thanks for advice I will think about it. I am always carful with messing about with intakes / throttle body’s after an issue with a modification I did on my Mustang that caused some issues under full throttle 


How’s the car been since the BBR work mate? I see you use it as a daily driver - no issues since it was done first time around?