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Miata NA Performance Upgrades – Your Guide to MX5 NA Enhancement”

If you’re a proud owner of a Mazda MX5 Miata NA, you already understand the thrill of open-top driving and the agile handling it offers. However, like any sports car enthusiast, you might crave even more power, precision, and performance. That’s where Miata NA performance upgrades come into play. In this guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know to unlock the true potential of your Miata.

What Are Miata NA Performance Upgrades?

Before diving into the specifics of enhancing your Miata’s performance, let’s clarify what we mean by “performance upgrades.” These are modifications aimed at improving various aspects of your car, from horsepower and speed to handling and aesthetics. It’s about turning your beloved Miata into a personalized, high-performance machine.

Types of Performance Upgrades

There’s a wide range of upgrades to choose from, each with its own set of advantages. Let’s break them down:

Engine Enhancements

If you’re after more power under the hood, engine upgrades are the way to go. Consider:

  • Intake Systems: Upgrading your air intake can significantly boost horsepower.
  • Exhaust Systems: A performance exhaust system enhances airflow and gives your Miata a powerful sound.
  • Turbochargers and Superchargers: Forced induction systems can dramatically increase your engine’s power output.
  • Tuning and ECU Replacements: Customized tuning and ECU (Engine Control Unit) replacements allow precise control over your engine’s performance.

Suspension and Handling

For better control and a smoother ride, consider:

  • Springs and Shocks: Performance suspension components improve handling and reduce body roll.
  • Anti-roll Bars: They minimize body roll during cornering, enhancing stability.
  • Upgraded Brakes: Better brakes provide shorter stopping distances, crucial for high-speed driving.

Exhaust and Intake Systems

Upgrading these components can increase horsepower, improve sound, and add a touch of style to your Miata.

Aesthetic and Weight Reduction Upgrades

Enhance the look and feel of your Miata while also improving performance with upgrades such as:

  • Lightweight Wheels: They reduce unsprung weight, leading to better handling.
  • Aerodynamic Kits: Improved aerodynamics enhance both performance and style.
  • Racing Seats: Lightweight, ergonomic racing seats keep you secure and comfortable on the track.

Benefits of Performance Upgrades

With these upgrades, you can enjoy a host of benefits, including:

  • Acceleration and Speed: Performance enhancements can significantly increase your Miata’s acceleration and top speed.
  • Improved Handling: Your Miata will take corners with confidence and precision, thanks to upgraded suspension and tires.
  • Enhanced Sound and Style: Performance exhaust systems not only boost power but also provide an exhilarating engine note.
  • Personalization: Upgrade options are nearly endless, allowing you to make your Miata truly unique.

Considerations Before Upgrading

Before diving into performance upgrades, keep these factors in mind:

  • Budget: Plan your upgrades within your budget, as costs can vary widely.
  • Legal and Emissions Compliance: Ensure that your modifications meet local regulations.
  • Vehicle Maintenance: Routine maintenance is crucial to ensuring your Miata is in peak condition before any upgrades.
  • Choosing the Right Upgrades: Select upgrades that align with your driving style and goals. A balance between engine power, handling, and aesthetics is key.

Performance Upgrades: Step by Step

Depending on your preferences, here are some step-by-step guidelines:

Engine Enhancements

  • Start with Intake Systems: These are relatively affordable and provide immediate power gains.
  • Progress to Exhaust Systems: Enjoy better airflow and an enhanced exhaust note.
  • Explore Turbochargers and Superchargers: For substantial power boosts, consider forced induction.
  • Consult a professional for Tuning and ECU Replacements to ensure precise tuning.

Suspension and Handling

  • Begin with Springs and Shocks: This upgrade improves ride quality and handling.
  • Add Anti-roll Bars for better cornering.
  • Upgrade your Brakes to reduce stopping distances and enhance safety.

Aesthetic and Weight Reduction Upgrades

  • Lightweight Wheels: Swap out stock wheels for lightweight alloy alternatives.
  • Install Aerodynamic Kits to optimize airflow.
  • Consider Racing Seats for added support during spirited driving.

DIY vs. Professional Installation

Some upgrades can be done as DIY projects, while others require professional installation. Consider your skills and comfort level when deciding.

Top Brands and Manufacturers

When choosing parts for your Miata, it’s essential to opt for quality brands and manufacturers. Here are some trusted names for various upgrade categories:

Engine Upgrades

  • K&N: Known for high-quality air filters and intake systems.
  • MagnaFlow: A reputable brand for performance exhaust systems.
  • HKS: A popular choice for turbochargers and superchargers.

Suspension and Handling

  • Bilstein: Renowned for shocks and struts.
  • Eibach: Famous for performance springs.
  • Brembo: A trusted name for high-performance brake components.

Exhaust and Intake Systems

  • AEM: Known for performance intake systems.
  • Borla: A respected manufacturer of exhaust systems.
  • Mishimoto: Offers a variety of cooling and intake components.

Aesthetics and Weight Reduction

  • Enkei: A reputable brand for lightweight wheels.
  • Sparco: Known for racing seats and other motorsport accessories.
  • APR Performance: Famous for aerodynamic kits and carbon fiber components.


In conclusion, upgrading your Mazda MX5 Miata NA’s performance is a thrilling journey. With the right modifications, your Miata can deliver a unique blend of power, style, and handling. Whether you’re new to performance upgrades or a seasoned enthusiast, there’s a wide world of possibilities to explore. Personalize your Miata, unleash its full potential, and enjoy the exhilarating driving experience that it has to offer.

Read our related articles


Are performance upgrades legal for street use?

Many upgrades are street-legal, but it’s essential to research your local regulations to ensure compliance.

Can I install performance upgrades myself?

Some upgrades are suitable for DIY installation, while others require professional expertise. Choose accordingly.

How much should I budget for performance upgrades?

The cost varies widely based on the type and extent of upgrades. A modest budget can cover basic enhancements, while a substantial budget opens the door to more extensive modifications.

Will performance upgrades void my warranty?

In some cases, extensive modifications can impact your warranty. Consult your dealership to understand the warranty implications.

How do I choose the right upgrades for my Miata?

Consider your driving goals, budget, and style preferences. It’s often best to consult with professionals and other Miata enthusiasts for recommendations.

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