Plastic surgery

The Garage Long term diaries

FUEL THIS MONTH 7.19L/100KM | AVERAGE 9.07L/100KM | DISTANCE THIS MONTH 296KM | TOTAL 4184KM

Our Mazda checks in for a new bodykit

ORGIVE ME, but what Iím about to say is a little superficial. Itís not easy to be seen in an MX-5.

Sure, the ND-series is the toughest looking generation so far with its sculpted front haunches, swoopy silhouette, and squinty eyes. But my last long-termer, a Chrysler 300 SRT, could awe a mobster.

So Iíve felt a little uneasy to fold away our carís soft-top. Hairdresser taunts start swirling in my mind.

And ceramic white isnít the most brooding shade of colour.

Of course if your MX-5 ambitions suffer the same anxiety there are ways to avoid this. Firstly, you could buy an MX-5 from Fiat. Its new Abarth 124 Spider hunkers F lower over 17-inch wheels, offers four-pipes at its rear, and hide red Brembos behind its front wheels.

You could also venture down the aftermarket path. There is already a plethora of parts available for the MX-5. Though weíre not sure how easy coilovers and a wide-body kit would be to live with, and how well theyíd get along with warranty.

Or you can turn to Mazda, like we did, and tick the box for a ĎKuroií pack. Offered across its model range it sprinkles on a slew of exterior parts. In the MX-5ís case, it pastes on a front and rear lip along with 17-inch Y-spoke alloys and a rear spoiler. All finished in black, warranty intact.

Without the risk of making our MX-5 look any blander, we signed up straight away.

How many days were we without a ride? Hardly any. Our local Mazda dealer simply wheeled the car down the road to a Mulgrave panel shop.

Here the bits are bolted on in one day, and then the car was ready for pick-up the following afternoon.

We know what youíre thinking. If itís so easy, you could just order the parts yourself and have a crack in your garage. Well, there isnít much point if you crunch the numbers.

After scrounging around online I found the bits for $3650, a fair bit cheaper than Mazdaís price of $4031 fitted, which amounts to a decent saving. But the boys at Police Road Panel Service revealed youíll at least need a nut insert tool to actually fit the pack, which can run up to

MONTH

two

Liked

It now has some visual cojones

Disliked

The person who reversed into it

favourite MOMENT

Heel-toeing. Pedals are made for it.

$200. And after dropping by to see them at work, I figured a couple hundred bucks is what youíll heap in the swear jar anyway if youíre not a whizz on the tools.

That four grand might not be much on a BMWís options list, however in our case it amounts to 10 per cent of a MX-5 GTís price, or $43,851 all up. A hefty slice for some plastic parts and new wheels.

You could snag an Abarth 124 Spider at that cost, and score an extra 50Nm and Brembos in the process.

But the Fiatís nowhere near as pretty.

The Mazdaís new lips and skirts literally underline its sexier face and Iím not the only one who enjoys drinking in its new look. More and more eyes have been locking on to our MX-5 at traffic lights.

If thereís one thing missing, we wish Mazda Oz stole the Bilstein adjustable coilovers from the Club Edition sold over in America. A racier ride height would complete the look.

To our original point, itís hard to say if the Kuroi pack will ward off hairdresser taunts for good. But itís as close Iíve come to not caring. Ė LC

More and more eyes have been locking on to our MX-5 at traffic lights