GT Concept

The Mazda MX-5 GT Just Got Real!

If you’ve been reading EngageSportMode for a while, then you’ll know the Mazda MX-5 GT Concept shown at the 2012 Goodwood Festival of Speed ended up being one of our stars of the show. It also picked up a prize in the 2012 ESM Awards. Now, thanks to Jota Sport, concept becomes reality.

JOTA Mazda MX-5 GT 001

The heart of the GT Concept has lived on virtually unchanged from the one which roared up the Goodwood hill last year. Jota has taken the standard naturally aspirated 2.0 litre engine and extracted 203 bhp from it, resulting in a 0-60 mph time of just 6.4 seconds; some 1.5 seconds quicker than the regular car. Top speed is limited to 140 mph, with fuel consumption alleged to be unchanged from the standard vehicle.

Bilstein dampers are fitted to enhance what is, arguably, and already sweet handing car. Full road and track Öhlins suspension is available as an option for those who really want to push their MX-5 to the limit. A carbon fibre rear diffuser is fitted to aid aerodynamics, whilst a jutting carbon front splitter and rear boot lip spoiler can all be added at extra cost. If they’re anything like the ones fitted to the GT Concept, ESM would certainly be ticking those boxes.

One thing which, sadly, doesn’t make the extras list is the retina searing orange paintwork of the Concept. Instead you’re given the choice of white pearl (pictured above), true red and aluminium silver metallic. All three options come with the roof painted brilliant black and stylish anthracite-finish alloy wheels.  (more…)

2012 EngageSportMode Awards (Part One)

After a long twelve months, the time has finally come to hand out the infamous EngageSportMode ‘macaroni and glitter’ trophies to this year’s award winners. It may now be 2013, but cast your mind back (a few days) to last year.

Despite the world’s ongoing financial problems, the ever-present environmental lobby and the ridiculous price of fuel, 2012 still managed to be an enjoyable year for motoring enthusiasts. In addition, representing a three-fold increase on 2011, ESM now has six (!) awards to dish out.

With so many awards, the ceremony has been split into two parts. So, without further delay, are the first three winners.

Best Car Driven in 2012 Award

The long running saga of potentially buying a new car has provided me with a number of different vehicles to try over the past year. But there was one which stood out amongst everything else in 2012 as being the most complete automotive package. Ladies and Gentleman, I give you the Audi A1 1.4 TFSI:


Ignoring the fact I haven’t bought one – due to Tyneside Audi’s refusal to negotiate on price – the A1 was a superb vehicle, and one I enjoyed immensely when I tested it at the end of November. (more…)