What is it?
The Super 220 is BBR GTI’s most recent kit for the Mazda MX-5, and one that builds on the powerful 2.0-litre Skyactiv-G engine introduced for factory cars the year before last.
Those factory-standard cars are regarded as the best ND-generation MX-5 models to date, especially when fitted with the optional Bilstein dampers and Mazda’s mechanical limited-slip differential. They offer better performance than the older 2.0-litre motor but pair it with the hunger for revs you get with the loveable 1.5-litre, and this Super 220 kit claims to have raised the bar in both respects.
British owners will probably choose to have the kit fitted on-site at BBR GTI in Brackley (just behind the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport building – you can’t miss it), and it consists of high-performance cams with upgraded valve springs and retainers, an attractive four-into-one stainless steel exhaust manifold and BBR’s own cold-air intake and K&N-designed high-flow air filter.
Gelling it together is an ECU remap from StarChip and the result is an increase in power from the stock 181bhp to, as the name suggests, a little over 220bhp for a specific output nibbling at the exhaust tips of a Ferrari 430 Scuderia. It all costs £2682, to which you’ll need to add £600 and a day or three of the car’s time for fitment.
However, this particular example is more than a basic Super 220 conversion. And as we’ll soon discover, you're almost certain to want in on some of the extras.
The gorgeous dirty-gold OZ Ultraleggera alloys cost £1500, including Goodyear Eagle F1 tyres, and the Wilwood brake calipers, which come with braided lines, cost £765 fitted. Peer under the car and you’ll see bright-red adjustable Eibach anti-roll bars (£560) and BBR’s custom progressive springs, which are made from Sheffield steel (also £560).
The springs are paired with the factory-spec Blistein dampers but their compression rate starts at around 10 percent stiffer than standard; they also lower the ride-height by 30mm, which if nothing else gives the humble MX-5 some serious kerbside appeal. You don't have to have the decals, either – most owners don't, but for magazine tests BBR understandbly wants everyone to understand this ain't no normal MX-5.