The answer to most automotive questions is always the Mazda MX-5 Miata — at least that’s how the joke goes. But as with the best comedies, there’s an iota of truth behind naming the Miata as a solution to any car-related queries. It is one of the most loved sports cars around the world, thanks to its lively handling, happy behavior and tremendous modability. The Mazda minivan even makes an excellent choice for an engine swap or a starting point car. Although we’ve seen many Miata alterations and British looks over the years, this new one from Gorgona Cars is no ordinary Miata-based car. Instead, the NM Concept is a complete vehicle based on the original NA-generation MX-5 chassis and transformed into a truly Italian-designed Barchetta. Stripped of the basics, the only added feature is today’s MX-5’s new ND-generation Skyactiv engine. Maybe the answer isn’t always Miyata, but less Miata.
Gorgona Cars is a startup based in Rome, Italy by passionate car enthusiasts Omar Abu Eida and David Galliano, and when you just look at the Gorgona NM concept, you see where their passion sits. This concept evokes classic racing cars such as those that attacked Le Mans or Mille Miglia. From the beltline down, it looks almost like a regular Miata, right down to the NA’s pop-up headlights, skinny turn signals, and bland taillights.
And on top of that, everything is unique. Built in Barchetta, it lacks the Miata’s folding top and windshield and should prove more aerodynamic. The NM also includes a full tonneau lid that leaves only one slot for the driver to exit, as well as a matching round lid that slopes into the trunk lid, just like those classic Mille Miglia parquettes. However, the subfloor acquires a modern touch, having been transformed into a real flat floor. The rear diffuser creates some negative pressure under the car to improve downforce without using a spoiler. The NM doors are also converted to half carbon-fiber versions, but retain the classic NA Miata’s finger-operated door handles, which were already appropriate for a 1960s-era sports car. Gorgona claims that these doors also improve the side-impact safety of the NM City, albeit without going into detail about how or whether the lower frame is reinforced at all.
A spoiler has been integrated into the NM’s trunk lid and new mirrors, LED lighting and a front diffuser have been added, but other than that, the NM is all Miata on the outside. Also added was a set of iconic Enkei RPF1 lightweight 15-inch wheels in black with a set of Yokohama A052 205/55R15 tires throughout. With the heaviest pieces removed, the NM Concept can weigh in at around 1,830 pounds with the use of some lightweight plug-ins.
The interior has been stripped down with a bit of carpeting on the floors, while a plain metal panel and rubber boot surround the transmission. The original Mazda steering wheel has been replaced with a Momo piece while the gauges and starter button come from the ND MX-5 chassis. There’s also a small fairing just above it and it should help with some wind deflectors, but we’ll recommend some form of goggles, goggles, or maybe a full-face helmet to keep wind and road debris from blinding you.
As mentioned earlier, ND-generation gauges hint at the Miata’s modern connection: Underhood ND MX-5’s 181 horsepower and 151 pound-feet live on the Skyactiv 2.0-liter I-4. Replacing the modern engine with the older Miata, the crew put it farther back in the car than it normally would; This should improve driving dynamics and offer better weight distribution, although the Miatas’ stock is already almost perfect in this regard. Since there is no windshield and the tonneau cover allows a hole between it and the rear hood line, you can also see it while driving. With the optional “power kit,” Gorgona claims it can bump up the Skyactiv’s output to 225 horsepower and 166 pound-feet of torque, delivering an incredible power-to-weight ratio of 8.13:1. Additional driving improvements come from a set of adjustable coils, and an improved braking system, use of reinforcement bars on the front and rear subframes with additional stiffener welding done to the chassis to make a truly solid chassis with minimal flex, despite the huge mass of losing it for being a bare-breasted car.
The goal of Gorgona Cars is to turn the NM concept into a fully consistent and productive reality for road use. At least in Europe, as many states in the United States require a windshield. They also don’t build an entire NA Miata to build the NM, but instead require a donor car plus about $70,000 – and European Value Added Tax (VAT) – to build the NM. In addition to all the parts mentioned above, the Gorgona can also add carbon fiber parts like the hood, doors and front fenders. Gorgona Cars NM Concept was built jointly with OfficineCubo and Carrozzeria Di Vitale (body producer), Giantymir (composite bodywork), Roman Del Broccolo (half-door producer) LamaLaser, Officinanica Prina (axle builder), and FOL Mecca.
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