Is stiffer better? AutoExe offers chassis kit for Mazda MX-5

Suspension, chassis and engine mods offered for new roadster

Japanese tuning firm AutoExe has released a tuning pack for the new Mk4 Mazda MX-5. Comprising suspension, chassis and breathing modifications, the parts on offer should help turn Mazda’s pliant roadster into a harder-edged sports car. 

Heading the list of available parts is a choice of two suspension kits: the first is a lowering spring kit that fits over the car’s standard dampers, and can lower the car by as much as 20mm; the second is an adjustable coilover set, which can lower the car by up to 25mm. 

For the chassis itself, AutoExe has created front and rear anti-roll bars, complete with adjustable links. A front strut-brace and floor cross bar can also be fitted, while the fitment of a member brace set (which increases structural rigidity between all four corners) should substantially stiffen up the bodyshell.

To help the MX-5’s 130bhp four-cylinder 1.5-litre engine breathe more freely, a new intake air filter and a centre exit exhaust are also provided. The exhaust will only fit if buyers switch the car’s standard rear bumper for AutoExe’s part, which features cut-outs for the tailpipes to poke through. 

MX-5s on sale in the UK (and Europe) also have a 158bhp four-cylinder 2-litre engine option (the US gets this engine exclusively), but since this unit isn’t on offer in the car’s domestic market, AutoExe doesn’t provide any modifications for it. But UK buyers won’t be left unaccounted for – British tuning firm BBR has already announced it’ll offer a 200bhp upgrade.

Also on the AutoExe parts list is a rear wing, front-splitter and chrome-lipped alloys, though we suspect most UK customers will steer clear of these as they arguably detract from the car’s classic look. 

Body mods aside, our drive in the new MX-5 confirmed that despite being a sweetly balanced, responsive machine, those who enjoy driving at ten-tenths would be left wanting ‘tauter body control, more precision on the way in to the apex and flatter responses in direction changes’.

AutoExe’s range of chassis stiffening parts certainly appear to address these issues, suggesting an MX-5 equipped with its full list of performance mods would be a much better match for the likes of the Toyota GT86. Just imagine what it’d be like with BBR’s 200bhp engine mods, too…

The Mazda MX-5 is due to arrive on UK shores later this summer, priced from £18,495 for the 1.5-litre and £20,095 for the 2-litre. To read our first drive review, click here.

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