Track-Prepped and Daily Driven: Kento’s Supercharged NB Miata
The first time I saw Kento’s 1999 NB Miata was in 2014, tearing around Streets of Willow Springs. It was a cold and windy day, and the surrounding hills were awash in the glorious noise of engines spooling out along the straight leading up to turn 1. I was out shooting for fun with the guys of Autotuned, and even though the track was full of stripped out Hondas, caged and boosted FR-Ss and all sorts of other track-prepped coupes, this Sapphire Blue Mica NB Miata just caught my eye like no other.
Later that day I would be introduced to the owner, Kento Koyama, and I knew I had to get his car in front of my camera. Since then, I’ve had the pleasure of shooting his car through a few variations, with film and digital cameras, or during the day and at night. Of all the different situations and progressions of his build, I think this is certainly my favorite.
I’ll be honest, before I saw Kento’s 10th Anniversary Edition, I wasn’t the biggest fan of NB Miatas. I, like many other car guys my age, have an illogical attraction to flip lights and the ability to ignore the numerous disadvantages and problems they present. Having owned a pignose S13 and having been surrounded by friends that owned 1, 2, even 3 NA Miatas at once, flip lights were a big (yet purely aesthetic) part of my boy racer dreams.
That being said, every part installed on this NB has gone further in helping change my opinion.
Growing up with Japanese automotive videos, a purely stance-oriented build was pretty much out of the question for Kento and his NB. Each step down the performance path was an opportunity for Kento to take the time to find, afford and procure quality parts.
Carbon Dating: A Perfect Match
You'll swipe right on first sight when seeing the large amounts of functional carbon fiber on Kento's Miata. Starting from the top, the convertible soft top has been replaced by a CarbonMiata carbon fiber hardtop and an acrylic rear window, which reduce the weight more than any Jenny Craig diet ever could. In the front, the carbon aero starts with a Track Dog Racing splitter and GarageVary canards to keep the nose planted.
The Balance of Power
All of that “show” wouldn’t be very helpful without the “go” to back it up. After owning a supercharged Miata in the past, Kento knew this car was pretty much destined to follow the same path.
This is where Jackson Racing stepped in to help. Under the custom vented hood you’ll find the said predestined Jackson Racing Supercharger and a DDMWorks intake feeding the 4-cylinder powerplant, while exhaust vents through a Roadstersport midpipe and Borla Exhaust in the rear.
The resulting horses are managed through Tein coilovers, a Wilwood big brake kit and a meaty wheel and tire combo tucked under Autokonexion flares that really plant the car to the pavement. You can’t really go wrong with TE37s; they basically improve any car they’re bolted to.
Step Into Kento's Office
Even though he tracks this car with the best of them, Kento says the power steering, audio system and air conditioning aren’t going anywhere – this car has the honorable duty of also being a daily driver after all!
Every photoshoot I do, I form a bond with the car and the owner, some stronger than others and some quicker than others. Having shot this car about five times now in various progressions and being lucky enough to call Kento a good friend, I’m extremely excited to see what’s next and will keep you updated.
TUNING MENU: 1999 Mazda Miata – 10th Anniversary Edition
- OWNER: Kento Koyama
- ENGINE: Jackson Racing Supercharger with PowerCard, Roadstersport midpipe, Borla exhaust, DDM Works intake, Garagestar radiator cooling panel, Mishimoto radiator, electric fans, and radiator hoses, Project G sparkplug cover and oil dipstick, Mazdaspeed Engine Mounts, Exedy Clutch, Lightweight flywheel
- SUSPENSION & SAFETY: Tein Street Flex Coilovers, Eibach front and rear swaybars, Fab9Tuning reinforced swaybar mounts, Racing Beat rear chassis brace, Hard Dog M2 Sport roll bar, Hard Dog harness bar
- WHEELS & BRAKES: Volk Racing TE37V, ARP extended wheel studs, Muteki lugnuts, Wilwood big brake kit (front), Hawk brake pads, Singular Motorsports brake duct backing plate, custom brake duct fog light delete
- INTERIOR: Sparco Sprint V seat, Sparco 6 point harness, Garagestar seat rails, Nardi deep corn steering wheel, Works Bell steering wheel hub, Voodoo shift knob, AEM digital gauges
- EXTERIOR: CarbonMiata carbon fiber hardtop with acrylic rear window, Track Dog Racing front splitter, GarageVary carbon fiber canards, Autoconexion fender flares, custom vented OE hood, APR GTC-200 wing with 2.5” risers, APR side mirrors, Shine Auto rear diffuser, custom rewired circle brake lights, custom blacked-out headlight housings, Project G side fusers
View the gallery below for more shots of this blue beauty.