Targa Miata
August 14, 2007 - So, how does it drive?
The engine isn't fully tuned yet so the car doesn't have full power, nor does it like to idle much. But ignoring those little foibles, it's a blast. The car is conspicuously light. It's surprising just how much difference an extra 300 lbs can make to a car, but it will happily surge forward on even just a tickle of the throttle. Even in the semi-tuned state there's a real snap to the throttle response. The car wants to run, and the short gearing exaggerates this.
The power steering is very light. A bit too light, perhaps. I'll try disabling it to see how that feels and if I'd want to deal with hundreds of kilometers of shattered roads without it.
The car is very rigid, with absolutely no flex - even compared to a modified Miata with a butterfly brace, structural foam in the frame rails and a rollbar. Amazingly, there are no rattles although there's a fair bit of noise and vibration through the uninsulated chassis and competition motor mounts. It's also rather warm inside as the engine and exhaust heat gets nicely transmitted. I'll have to do something about that.
The springs are stiff, but the Íhlins shocks control them very well. It'll be interesting to see how well that works on the track even without sway bars.
In short, the car is a ball to drive. It's a reminder that it's not just a Miata with a cool paint job.
tags: suspension