MAZDA MX-5 NB
YEARS: 1998–2005 WHEELBASE: 2270mm WEIGHT: 1065kg CONFIGURATION: Front-engined, rear-wheel drive ENGINE OPTIONS: BP 1839cc POWER: 96–133kW A redesigned MX-5, the ‘NB’, was released in 1998 for the 1999 model year. It’s recognizable by the addition of fixed headlights, as the first generation’s pop-ups no longer passed pedestrian safety tests. Other exterior styling cues were borrowed from Mazda’s FD RX-7 platform, with the width increasing to 1680mm and the length decreasing to 3940mm, making it slightly more aerodynamic than the first model, with a drag coefficient of 0.36.
It carried over the BP engine model, with power bumped up over several minor updates. The first of these saw 104kW with a reconfigured, higher compression version, and increases reached as high as 133kW with the addition of a factory turbo option. All options saw the intake cam changed to a solid-lifter design with a stronger cam, and Mazda’s Variable Intake Control System (VICS) was introduced.
The NB continued to make use of the four-wheel independent suspension with bigger sway bars front and rear, while the brakes were upgraded to an anti-lock system.