Mazda MX-5 GT (2011) first pictures

Published: 23 March 2011

This is the Mazda MX-5 GT, a super-lightweight version of the evergreen roadster that will enter the 2011 Britcar MSA British Endurance Championship.

Mazda MX-5 GT, huh? Let me guess, not much weight but not much power either?

Well, you’re right about the weight. Jota Sport, which will run the car in this year’s Britcar series, has stripped out all the unnecessary extras. The roof has gone for a start, and Jota Sport has used Mazda’s ‘gram strategy’ to trim away excess kilos from every part of the MX-5. The only interior trimmings are a couple of carbonfibre panels, the doors are carbon too, the windows are polycarbonate, and Mazda claims dipping the shell in an acid bath help carve away excess kilos too.

Despite the addition of a roll cage – and Jota Sport spending 400 hours building a shell that’s 17 times stronger than required by the FIA – the MX-5 GT weighs just 850kg, down from the 1165kg of a road-ready MX-5.

And the engine?

Under the bonnet is seriously tuned and tweaked 2.0-litre engine. Rather than 158bhp the four-cylinder engine now produces 275bhp. It also sits lower in the racer, and drives the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox.

Combine the low kerbweight and surprisingly perky power output and this MX-5 GT will apparently hit 60mph from a standstill in three seconds dead, before pushing on to 160mph.

There are nine rounds of the Britcar championship, including a round at Spa, but the season kicks off with a three-hour enduro at Silverstone on 26 March 2011.

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By Ben Pulman

CAR's editor-at-large, co-ordinator, tallboy