2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club Hot or Not: Fastest Sibling of them All? [Video]

Testing the latest 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club – is it Hot or Not?

In 2015, Mazda introduced the fourth generation of its beloved, rear-wheel drive roadster, the MX-5 Miata. Shortly after that, Fiat released the 124 Spider, it’s co-developed version and modern take on its own classic Italian roadster from the 1970s. We featured the Abarth 124 Spider and the MX-5 on the track last year, but now there’s a new contender. It’s another MX-5 variant: the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club. How does it fare on the track against its siblings? Check out the video above to find out!

So what makes the MX-5 Miata Club different? The Club is a trim level that sits above the base-level Sport and the top-spec Grand Touring in the range. It’s the Miata’s performance-oriented model. It still houses the same 2.0-liter, naturally aspirated engine as the others. You still get 155 horsepower and 148 lb-ft of torque. However, the Club has 17-inch alloy wheels, Bilstein sport-tuned suspension, and a limited slip differential. It also has wider, grippier summer tires, at 205 millimeters on each corner, as opposed to the 195s you get on the other versions.

If you want to take the 2018 Mazda Miata MX-5 Club’s performance a step further, you can also fit the Brembo/BBS package. For $3,770 on top of the $29,155 base price, Mazda fits BBS forged 17-inch alloy wheels. You also get Brembo front brakes and caliper, in addition to red-painted Mazda rear brake calipers. Not only that, but this package also includes heated Recaro leather seats, side sill extensions, and a rear bumper skirt. All in all, the 2018 Mazda Miata MX-5 Club costs $35,240 as equipped.

2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club
2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club (without BBS/Brembo package). [Photo: Mazda]

Result time: the numbers

Here on the track, you’d expect little difference among the three cars: the 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata, the 2017 Fiat 124 Spider Abarth, and the current MX-5 Miata Club. And you’d be right – they’re not incredibly far apart. However, the tests did turn up some interesting results.

The older Mazda MX-5 Miata turned out a 7.76 second 0-60 time. That compares favorable to the Fiat’s 8.48 second run, but the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club did beat that time, at 7.65 seconds. However, in the timed lap, the original MX-5 was the fastest, at 1:07.17. The Club nearly matched the 124 Spider’s time at 1:08.00, while the Fiat was just 0.02 seconds slower.

Despite the difference in the timed lap, the 2018 Mazda MX-5 Miata Club is still Hot, thanks to its grippier rubber, sport suspension and, perhaps most importantly, its six-speed manual transmission. This roadster is just fun to chuck around, and thanks to its balance and nominal power output, it’s not frightening to handle either.

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