By on April 1, 2015

Mazda North American Operations MX5Club

For those looking for a track-day special that can driven to the track, the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club just might be what you need.

Performance upgrades found in the Club model include limited-slip differential, Bilstein shocks, and shock tower brace, but only if one opts for the six-speed manual. Those who choose the six-speed auto will only have 17-inch gunmetal wheels, front air dam and rear lip spoilers going for them.

An additional package — pulling from the MX-5 Global Cup race car — adds Brembo brakes, functional side aero, and swaps the standard wheels for 17-inch black BBS forged alloys.

Other features include Mazda Connect, seatback bars, and piano black side mirrors.

Pricing and other details will arrive closer to the MX-5 Miata’s showroom debut this summer.

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38 Comments on “New York 2015: 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Unveiled...”

  • avatar

    Sounds like exactly how I’d spec one. My only complaint is knowing how many sanctioning bodies demand cockpit-width roll-bars for track days nowadays, I’d love an option that replaced the factory roll hoops with a full-width bar while maintaining the interior. The hard dog bar for the NC Miata did a good job of this.

    Even better would be an option for rear eye-bolts similar to the S2000 Mugen roll-bar so that harnesses could be added with minimal modification (obviously aside from getting proper seats as well). Because let’s be real. A good portion of the people buying the car with this option package are doing so with the intention to track or autocross it. The least Mazda could do is make it easy for me to do it safely and properly.

    My S2000 is set up with this stuff, but it took me gutting the rear interior to make it happen. I’d love it if a manufacturer took this into account beforehand when building out a clubsport spec of their performance car.

    • 0 avatar

      Glad to see someone called attention to this glaring oversight. As equipped from the factory, this car is NOT going to be allowed on any racetracks in America. Unless you’re under 5’7″, you really don’t have a chance of passing a broomstick test… and I have sat in the new car and had someone straight edge the line with the seat cranked all the way down and reclined.

      A further problem is that despite the dealer-orderable spec racer, which is very cool, the company building it will probably not offer a bar like the Hard Dog one to comply, and that’s according to a Mazda rep due to legal reasons. There don’t even seem to be any good mounting points for an aftermarket one, but I’m going to keep my fingers crossed on that… Never underestimate the creativity of the aftermarket.

  • avatar

    I really.. REALLY want to stuff in a slanted 18lb boosted k20 and put a honda badge on the front of it.

  • avatar

    This ND Club is tempting me to trade in my NC Club. I wanna see the specs on the Brembo/BBS package as well as the price…

  • avatar
    See 7 up

    Barring physical handicap, those that choose the automatic club edition should also be publicly ridiculed.

  • avatar

    There is a problem, though, with the auto/manual sigma for people like me: I’d love to own a Miata, but don’t know how to drive stick.

    I don’t have a friend with a manual who can show me. I’ve looked to see if driving schools in the area offer manual training and they don’t.

    But I’d feel ridiculous driving Miata with automatic….which means I guess a Miata ain’t in my future.

    So – even if people really would prefer a manuals – if there is no one willing to show us how we can’t get one. I think that’s part of the reason why manual sales are so bad with Millennials.

    I also think this is why sports car companies are ditching manuals in favor of DCT-only or auto only: They know they’re customers might feel ridiculous driving a non-stick sports car but yet they may not know how to drive stick. Only offering a DCT eliminates the sigma – “Oh ya, I would have bought the stick version, but don’t you know they don’t offer it.” Dignity saved, lol.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      Outside of buying a pos to learn on – since all your friends and family are lame :) – just read about it and buy the car.
      You’ll learn. Worst case, you will burn out a clutch, big deal (and this is actually pretty hard)
      you can’t honestly have no idea how to do it can you? If you are at all mechanical, read and look at diagrams of what a clutch actually does and it will help relate what you will be doing. Google trainers for video instruction.

      Good luck. Don’t give up. BTW – I’m a first year millennial, but my parents didn’t own an auto until I was old and already driving.

    • 0 avatar
      S2k Chris

      Buy it and learn. It can be done. Get a friend who drives stick to drive it home for you, and you’ll figure it out. That’s how I learned.

    • 0 avatar

      I think they offer auto as well because many just get weary of shifting. All. The. Time.
      In fact, I am one. And this gets worse the more traffic and stop n go you have to face in your daily commutes.
      I need to talk on my phone, drink coffee and eat. And sometimes read the newspaper!!! This gets very difficult if the shifting needs to be attended to constantly as well.

      Plus…autos are just getting so damn good. In fact I thin they are better than sticks…even the MPG is better if you let the tans do the thinking.

      • 0 avatar
        See 7 up

        Autos get better mileage due to higher gear ratios, that is all.
        But more importantly, the difference in mpg between auto and manual of the same car is so small.
        It’s like people buying one car only because it gets 30 mpg versus 28 mpg on a car they like better. Over 100k miles at $4/gal, the cost difference is only $952. average of 95 a year.

        Ironically I find manuals easier in traffic. You really don’t have to shift all that much at speeds below 40 mph. And I’ve live on major traffic cities (LA)

    • 0 avatar

      @czilla – I cant even understand this… driving a stick is so easy, just do it. Heck the salesman will probably teach you right there in the parking lot if that is what it takes to make the sale. So what if you stall it a few times? Its something that takes maybe 3 days to figure out, tops.

      As for talking on the phone or drinking coffee, you really don’t think you can do those things with a stick? It isn’t as if you have you shift every 3 seconds. A Miata comes with bluetooth standard, cupholders too. Take a drink, put it down. Eating in the car is tricky even with an auto, but same thing, you take a bite, put it down, or I can even shift while holding my Egg McMuffin in a pinch. Reading the newspaper?? Thats a douche move when driving regardless, I HATE when I see people trying to do this, worse than texting while driving IMO.

    • 0 avatar

      I’ve had plenty of friends who had no experience go and buy a manual car. The salesman or someone else on the dealership staff walked them through learning quickly, and they figured it out as they went. When it’s your only option, you learn really quickly. Get over your fear and just do it, you’re not going to hurt the car.

      One of the best stories I ever heard about learning stick was a guy trying to teach his wife. She was always about 1/3 of the way there but never really got it. So one day he woke up early and took the automatic car to work, leaving her the manual. There was much bitching that morning and an argument that night, but she made it to work as well. He continued this for a week. After that she had it 100% and started taking the manual to work of her own accord from time to time.

      It’s like the superhero stories where the rookie never really grasps their powers until they have to use them in a do or die situation. Do or die. Buy yourself a manual.

    • 0 avatar
      Land Ark

      I was once in your shoes Czilla, until very recently actually. Growing up, my family never owned a stick, none of my friends had them, and now none of my adult friends had them when I thought about learning.

      I was constantly ridiculed for my encyclopedic knowledge of cars (to the average person who doesn’t care about cars) yet I was unable to drive a stick. I knew how it was done but I couldn’t do it.
      The hard part isn’t shifting, or it wasn’t for me, it was going from stop to go. I couldn’t figure out how to go without stalling or jerking the car wildly. I had a few practice attempts and it was very discouraging.

      One day about 4 years ago I bought a crappy 3000gt with a stick and had to drive it home. I spent about 15 minutes in the dealership parking lot (after it closed, of course) trying to pull out onto the street. I eventually got it, but I definitely didn’t come to a complete stop on the way home. I had trouble getting it for days after. Then, one day, I was just moving it and put it in reverse then slowly took my foot off the clutch without giving it gas and realized the car started moving on its own. For whatever reason, that was the Ah-ha! moment for me. I realized I needed to let the car tell me when to accelerate, not the other way around. I was still certainly not confident, but I no longer had to roll through stop signs while practicing. I only had the car for a few weeks but the seeds were planted.

      Last year I got a different car with a stick and over time got more and more confident, first driving around my neighborhood and then expanding out until I started commuting in it. It definitely didn’t happen over night, but it’s certainly doable – even for someone like me who is older than a millennial and refuses to learn just about anything new.

      • 0 avatar
        See 7 up

        This is a good tip.
        In a parking lot practice getting the car moving in 1st gear (reverse is fine but not needed) WITHOUT the gas pedal.
        It let’s u concentrate on the clutch and how it relates to the engine and it’s engagement point. Once this is learned, it becomes the point were you apply gas.
        While learning it will stall likely. Of it bucks, press clutch back in and go slower on the release.
        This also keeps you from learning a bad habit of “gas then slip clutch” which sticks with many many people and is bad form and causes unnecessary wear

    • 0 avatar

      I bought a Fiesta ST despite only having maybe a couple hours seat time in a manual car. It’ll take you a few days to learn, but it’s worth it.

      And you won’t damage the clutch unless you’re really quite abusive.

    • 0 avatar
      Internet Commenter

      Check out a Cars and Coffee meet if you live in/near a city that hosts them. I’m sure someone would be willing to give you a lesson.

    • 0 avatar

      In the age of the Internet, you can find dozens of sources on how to learn how to drive stick – how the transmission and clutch work and proper ways to go about using them, all the way up to race techniques such as heel-toeing. The information is there.

      90% of getting good at driving stick is practice, though. Just get one and do it. People who talk about ruining a car by not knowing how are grossly exaggerating. If the 5 speed car I bought at 18 made it to 160k miles on the original clutch, even while also teaching others to drive stick, as well, it’s really going to take a lot to cause serious damage.

      Like anything else in life, if you want to do it, you have to try, otherwise you’re just making excuses.

      Alternatively, if you want an auto, just buy an auto and ignore what everyone else thinks. Buying a Miata in general is an exercise in ignoring others’ opinions (and I love mine).

    • 0 avatar

      My college buddy bought an S2000 and drove it home without first learning stick. He said he stalled it about 2-3 times on the way home.

      Read up on the concept and try it. If you’re even slightly coordinated with your hands and feet, you should not be burning up clutches anytime soon.

      A good first exercise is to get the car rolling without using the gas pedal. Everything else is much easier.

    • 0 avatar

      I concur with everyone else. You just have to take the plunge. I didn’t have anyone teaching me either the first time, but I had it about 95% down within an hour. That last 5%, getting rolling uphill, took a few extra days. It’s worth the experience. You’ll never want to go back.

      • 0 avatar

        I disagree. I leased my first stick in my 30s.

        regal GS.

        Now I lease a cmax. And am planning on leasing a m235 in the summer.. auto.

        The only thing that makes me think about getting a stick is ego…

        some sort of need to be validated by the internet fanboi’s that look down on people that look at autos.

    • 0 avatar
      Splorg McGillicuddy

      I learned how to drive a stick by buying a [new at the time] 1990 Honda CRX Si and driving it 60 miles home. I’d suggest learning on an old Honda.

      • 0 avatar

        A stick beater is the way to go. Something that runs and is at $1000 or less. Drive it for a few months, and then sell it. A Ranger can fit the bill very well.

  • avatar

    Anyone learning to drive stick needs to know about how gear reduction trades speed for power, and vice versa, about engine power and torque curves, about THEIR engine’s power and torque curves, how to match revs and downshift, etc.

    I know too many people who know how to get a car started from rest, and to go up through the gears, and some idea that they need to downshift when slowing for curves, intersections, etc., but no real idea how to shift to extract the appropriate performance for the kind of driving they’re doing.

    These folks are a hazard – they’re in the merge lane on an entrance ramp trying to find a hole, and because they’re doing 60 they’re already in top gear and they’re staying there. They can’t pass anyone on a two-lane road. They ride the brakes all the way down a long steep hill, in top gear. Even if you removed the clutch from the equation, they would still drive a DSG in manual mode the same way. The actual mechanics of smooth clutch engagement are the least of their problems.

    Rather than send these folks out to practice clutch engagement, I would send them out with an automatic and tell them to mix up their driving environments, and watch the tach-pay attention to what the transmission is doing, closely, for like a week.

    • 0 avatar
      See 7 up

      On the flip side, if everyone drove like an auto does, they would downshift anytime they needed to accelerate and still ride their brakes on downhills.

      I think what you are seeing is just poor driving. And the cure for that go way beyond just looking at a tach when driving an auto. I see people in auto only cars trying to merge at slow speeds and won’t accelerate.

      The reason people focus on clutch engagement is that for a beginner, that is the most overwhelming issue. And it has more safety concerns, such as making a left out of a lot or across traffic, than the other issues you raise.

      • 0 avatar

        Mmmm…no I’m not just seeing poor driving – I have ridden with people like this – they don’t know that you need to be in like second or third gear at 5k or 4k rpm with a larger or smaller displacement engine, respectively, to pass somebody on a busy two-lane road. They’re going 45 in fifth or sixth gear and they think they’re just going to floor it.

        Focusing on clutch engagement is for when they finally get into an MT car…I’m talking about paying attention to how a good AT handles these situations, in an AT car, BEFORE getting into an MT car.

        • 0 avatar

          Western culture is founded upon monotheism and solipsism. Accordingly, western minds tend to believe that a single optimum answer exists for every question.

          This is fallacious thinking.

          Its ubiquitousness should not be mistaken for validity.

          • 0 avatar

            Whatever. I’m saying that in addition to understanding how to shift, you need to understand WHY you shift.

            Not a single optimal answer…it’s a step in a process.

            Back to this Miata Club…they have everything covered except more power.

            I understand these cars are not about power, but unless a car has an absolutely ridiculous amount of power already, I believe the supposed sport model needs more power than the regular one.

          • 0 avatar
            Internet Commenter

            I recall reading that the 2.0 will be tuned to deliver a different power band than what’s offered in the 3 and CX-5. I believe it was in a Mazda press release. However, it didn’t specify exactly what the curve would look like.

            Perhaps this will be significant?

  • avatar

    Adding non-adjustable Bilsteins seems like a wasted effort. I don’t get why they bother upgrading the dampers.

    Most serious drivers (even half-serious autocrossers, like myself) just replace them with adjustable KYBs or Konis (or, if you have money, Motons or Penskes).

    • 0 avatar

      They don’t spec the dampers for those who will replace them. Let the spec Miata builders start with a base model.

      Give me a Bil over a lowly KYB or even a Koni any day. I really like a monotube though. The dampers should be like every other Billstein everywhere, able to be rebuilt and revalved to suit. Sounds like a perfect club sport equipment.

    • 0 avatar

      Not everyone races. I’m keeping my Club’s Bilsteins until they are worn out.

    • 0 avatar

      Non-adjustable bilsteins are some of the best dampers on the market, and can be easily revalved if one has the inclination and knows a good shock builder. As mono-tubes they can take a hell of a lot more abuse than twin tube Konis or *shudder* KYBs.

      As a half serious driver/autocrosser/track rat, I’d rather have a matched spring/shock setup that works designed by a team of automotive engineers. $600 is better spent on track time than throwing money at new dampers if you want to be faster for 99% of the performance driving population anyway.

      Adjustability for adjustability’s sake just adds one more variable to why I’m not going as fast as I want to. Aside from a bit of feel most drivers don’t know what the fastest settings for a particular course are anyway, so they’re more likely to negatively impact the handling than anything else.

      lastly, I’m to old for coilovers in a car that I drive on the street. Yeah, they’re nice on track, but unless I’m over a 50/50 split, it just doesn’t sit well with me.

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