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Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 9:48 a.m.

No offense to GRM, but they get loaner cars for a fairly short period to gain driving impressions. It's usually a frantic scramble to get a number of people into the car and gather impressions. It's a real skill to be able to give a reasonable review in such a short period, but it does mean they often don't get to use the car in all manners.

We just picked up our 2019 on Saturday night and I drove it over from Denver yesterday. It's the new GT-S package (all luxe, all performance, no disappointments) in Eternal Blue and as an RF.

It's more the same than different. It's basically a factory tuned 2018, with a bunch of detail changes that add magic fun sprinkles above 5000 rpm but don't have any effect below. It's definitely more entertaining pulling to that 7500 rpm redline - and yes, it'll happily reach 7500 in normal driving. The stock suspension is one of the best ever bolted to a Miata, much better than the 2016-17 soft top Bilstein setup. I mean, there's still room for improvement but you're not punishing yourself running it stock.

So, what do you want to know?

 

Cellphone shots.

Stampie
Stampie UberDork
8/13/18 10:09 a.m.

How does it perform with the turbo bolted on?

Kylini
Kylini Dork
8/13/18 10:11 a.m.

Is the adjustable steering wheel sufficient to allow comfortable entry and exit from the car? Will it be enough if one installs a bolstered racing seat?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 10:15 a.m.

Turbo will be bolted on after we do some baselining.

The adjustable wheel provides a fair range of movement. I never found the previous one caused problems with entry and exit, so it's hard for me to determine if this one is better. Should be. If you're doing a bolstered racing seat, I'm assuming you're also doing harnesses and have removed the airbag and can run a removable wheel.

Pete Gossett
Pete Gossett MegaDork
8/13/18 10:40 a.m.

In reply to Keith Tanner :

Can I borrow it for the weekend?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 10:46 a.m.

You're going to have to fight a bunch of Flyin' Miata staff to manage that! I suspect the boss is going to play the boss card.

NickD
NickD UberDork
8/13/18 11:09 a.m.

Wait, that's the new blue color, correct? Than I saw an ND2 RF in Central Square, NY yesterday. Weird.

MrChaos
MrChaos Dork
8/13/18 11:16 a.m.

What's msrp for the gts

AWSX1686
AWSX1686 Dork
8/13/18 11:26 a.m.
NickD said:

Wait, that's the new blue color, correct? Than I saw an ND2 RF in Central Square, NY yesterday. Weird.

That blue has been around for a little while, but only on the Grand Touring IIRC.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 12:04 p.m.

There was a grey blue called Blue Reflex that's been available since the ND came out. This is more saturated, more of a real blue. It showed up in 2018 but very very few were made. Chances are if you saw a blue(ish) RF it's Reflex. I suspect we've got the only '19 in private hands right now.

MSRP on our car - pretty much the most expensive car you can spec - is somewhere around $34k. I'll get the exact numbers shortly.

Jim Pettengill
Jim Pettengill HalfDork
8/13/18 12:29 p.m.

OOO!  I like!  If I win the lottery, I'll sell the MR2 and come see you guys!

The0retical
The0retical UltraDork
8/13/18 12:36 p.m.

Did Mazda take care of that buffeting/pulsing issue inside the cabin with the 2019 RF? I'm never sure how overblown or widespread those complaints are.

wvumtnbkr
wvumtnbkr UltraDork
8/13/18 12:37 p.m.

I was wondering where all the trees were until that last pic.....

 

What is the plan with this car once baselining is done?

accordionfolder
accordionfolder Dork
8/13/18 12:40 p.m.

When the chips are down - would you spend real money on it? Or too soon to know? 

One of my big problems with car reviews, it's easy to love a car when it's not your money spent. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 2:05 p.m.

I did notice that there was less wind noise from the C pillar than in our 2017 RF, and a source at Mazda confirmed a running change late in 2018. I haven't run the car with the top down to check for highway buffeting but that's not my usual area of interest. Maybe on the way home when I'm doing redline pulls in the first four gears for Andy.

There are trees in every picture! We live in the desert, remember wink Plans for the car: baseline, then start adding parts to confirm compatibility. We'll also start working with the engine to see what can be unlocked while remaining emissions legal and we will eventually add boost to see how the engine reacts with the improved breathing but lighter internals.

Would I spend real money on it? Definitely. This is the first Miata I've wanted to buy new for some time. Like, since the early 90's. About the only thing stopping me is the fact that I can take one home pretty much any time I like. Why buy the cow, etc. But still, I'm considering it. I also have spousal approval for a turbo RF with suspension work. If you see my 1990 turbo car on the market, you'll know why.

thatsnowinnebago
thatsnowinnebago SuperDork
8/13/18 2:24 p.m.

What're the specifics on how the redline changes? Like is it gear-dependent, temperature, something else?

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 2:28 p.m.

I'll know more after the ride home tonight, but basically it has a gear dependent rev limiter that prevents you from hitting 150 mph in fourth gear laugh It shows up on the dyno. The 2016 cars did as well but no magazines broke the publication embargo with that information. Apparently it also only goes to 7200 if you're not at WOT.

mazdeuce - Seth
mazdeuce - Seth Mod Squad
8/13/18 2:35 p.m.

It seems like Mazda keep refining the suspension/steering on theses cars. I like that. Do you know if that means that all of the versions are available from the dealers or does the "better" stuff supersede the older versions? 

And seriously thanks for your opinions on this car. I still love the RF cars visually. 

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 2:50 p.m.

Here's the history of ND suspension as I understand it.

2016: Original suspension design. We'll call this version 1.

2017: RF introduced with tweaks to valving, rear bumpstops, steering rack calibration and bushings as well as appropriate spring rates for the heavier car. This is dubbed version 2 and got very little press because Mazda didn't talk about it much. The soft top continued with Version 1.

2018: Soft top gets Version 2 (with appropriate spring rates). This was a stealth move, Mazda didn't mention it to many people.

2019: Both the RF and soft top continue with Version 2, but this time Mazda talks up the changes.

That whole time, there was both a Club (aka Bilstein and LSD) and a non-Club (we'll call it GT) suspension option. Sport and GT models came with the GT suspension, Club came on the Club and now the 2019 GT-S. The version 1 Club setup was overdamped in my opinion, the version 2 appears to be much better.

All of these parts can interchange with each other. Apparently the racks cannot be reflashed but the version 2 rack appears to be a bolt-in replacement. We haven't tried yet but we do have a car that would be a great test.

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 2:52 p.m.

Weight and balance! Our 2019 GT-S with a full tank weighs 2430 lbs. Our 2017 GT weighed 2421, so Mazda's claim of a 7 lb weight gain may actually be high when you consider the GT-S has an LSD. Both cars were 50.7% front, changing to 50.4% with the top down.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/13/18 3:15 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Weight and balance! Our 2019 GT-S with a full tank weighs 2430 lbs. Our 2017 GT weighed 2321, so Mazda's claim of a 7 lb weight gain may actually be high when you consider the GT-S has an LSD. Both cars were 50.7% front, changing to 50.4% with the top down.

91 is more than 7, the last time I checked.

Guessing you hit the wrong key. :)

Keith Tanner
Keith Tanner MegaDork
8/13/18 3:31 p.m.

Nope, because LSDs usually weigh more than their open counterparts. Taking into account that the GT-S has an LSD and a GT has an open diff, I suspect a like-for-like comparison would show less than 7 lbs of difference.

Math!

singleslammer
singleslammer PowerDork
8/13/18 3:39 p.m.

In reply to z31maniac :

Swing and a miss. 2430-2321 is 109.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/13/18 3:50 p.m.
Keith Tanner said:

Nope, because LSDs usually weigh more than their open counterparts. Taking into account that the GT-S has an LSD and a GT has an open diff, I suspect a like-for-like comparison would show less than 7 lbs of difference.

Math!

2430 and 2321. That's not 7lbs. That's why I was making a joke about you fat fingering your response. And my dumb response not paying attention, that's actually a 109lb difference, not 91.

z31maniac
z31maniac MegaDork
8/13/18 3:51 p.m.
singleslammer said:

In reply to z31maniac :

Swing and a miss. 2430-2321 is 109.

Yes, I suck at math. That's why I write for a living :)

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