Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race car: LA auto show news and pictures

The Mazda Global MX-5 Cup will feature identical Mk4 MX-5s racing across Europe, North America and Asia

Mazda has announced that its new MX-5 will be available in racing form, specifically designed to go racing in its own international one make series in 2016 called the Mazda Global MX-5 Cup. Making the announcement at the SEMA show in Las Vegas, the Japanese carmaker confirmed that the race-spec MX-5 will be prepared by an independent supplier, and will compete against other identical MX-5s in series run in Europe, North America and Asia.

The top finishers from each continent’s series will then meet at a Global Shootout at California’s Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca at the end of 2016. The eventual winner will receive a one-day test in a Mazda TUDOR United States SportsCar Championship SKYACTIV prototype, a racecar that bears resemblance in both appearance and performance to the downforce laden LMP2 cars of Le Mans.

Subscribe to evo magazine

Subscribe today to have every issue of evo delivered straight to you. You'll SAVE 39% on the shop price, and get evo for its original cover price for a whole year!

Whilst new to the international scene, MX-5s have featured in a popular racing series in the US for some time now. John Doonan, the director of motorsports for Mazda North American operations said: ‘Since the first Mazda MX-5 took the green flag back in 1990, the car has been the ideal platform for both veterans and rookies alike. Because the MX-5 is inherently such a good car to drive, it is an ideal platform to learn basic and advanced race-craft.’

Mazda MX-5 Global Cup race car

Antony Ingram

The latest fourth-gen car is perhaps the most track-ready MX-5 yet, with a kerbweight some 100kg less than its predecessor and perfect 50:50 weight distribution. Though the roadcar will be available in either 1.5- or 2-litre guise, the racecar will only be fitted with the larger of the two SkyActiv units, which is also the sole option to be made available in the US.  We expect it to produce at least 165bhp in road form, so a figure around 200bhp looks likely for the racer. 

Technical details remain unconfirmed for now, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see the MX-5 Cup wear slicks, sit on adjustable suspension, use uprated brake pads and breathe through a less restrictive intake and exhaust system. To conform to racing regs, a roll hoop, race seats and harnesses will be added to the stripped interior, but otherwise the car should remain fairly standard.

‘It has long been our goal to see Mazda fans around the world competing in identical MX-5s,’ confirmed Doonan. ‘The launch of the 2016 MX-5 is the perfect time to make this goal a reality.’

Recommended

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 R Sport 2020 review – floats like a butterfly, but stings like one too

30 Sep 2020
BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review
Mazda MX-5

BBR Super 225 Mazda MX-5 review

18 Jul 2020
Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs
Mazda MX-5

Mazda MX-5 Mk3 (NC) – review, history, prices and specs

23 Jun 2020
2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport revealed
Mazda MX-5

2020 Mazda MX-5 R-Sport revealed

27 Apr 2020

Most Popular

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp
Mercedes

205mph Brabus Rocket 900 revealed – a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S turned to 888bhp

The Brabus Rocket is back for 2020, and this time it takes the form of a Mercedes-AMG GT 63 S with extras
23 Oct 2020
Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?
Porsche 911 coupe

Is this a new Porsche 911 Safari?

Tall ride height and wheelarch extensions suggest a surprise 911 derivative could be coming
22 Oct 2020
KTM X-Bow GTX racer revealed with 532bhp five-cylinder engine
KTM X-BOW

KTM X-Bow GTX racer revealed with 532bhp five-cylinder engine

Following a glimpse of the GT2 derivative, KTM has now uncovered its X-Bow GTX racer in full 
22 Oct 2020
Used car deals of the week
Features

Used car deals of the week

We’ve perused the used car pages so you don’t have to. Here’s what caught evo’s fancy this week
21 Oct 2020