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paulcroft
#1 Posted : 11 September 2018 00:34:54(UTC)
paulcroft

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Since buying my first MX-5, a 1.5 ND Sport Nav, in March 2016 I've taken the opportunity to visit a lot of the high mountain passes in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, France and Italy and had a huge amount of fun. 

This last March I swapped the 1,5 for the 2.0 litre ND Z-Sport and tackled a few more in June but, for a change, I've just spent the last couple of weeks in the Jura mountains around Annecy then down to Provence following some of the Tour-de-France routes from the last few years and, on the trip south to Provence, I discovered 105 miles of sheer, unadulterated bliss.  The roads were so good, and so deserted, that I thought I'd keep them a secret but then I thought that was a little uncharitable of me so, as long as you promise to keep the route a secret just between us MX-5 fans, I'll share:

Heading south from Grenoble the fun starts on the south side of Monestier-de-Clermont where you turn right off the D110 onto the D1075.  After 8 miles, at La Gare, turn right again onto the D7 to Mensac, then over the next 10 miles, follow the D120, the D140 and D93 to Luc-en-Diois. Now turn right once more to follow the D61 to Rémuzat, the D94 to Nyons, the D538 to La Tuilière and, finally, the D938 to Carpentras.

The route sounds complex but check it out using Google maps and you'll see it follows a pretty direct, but decidedly 'interesting', route between these two towns.

The route consists of almost every kind of road the MX-5 excels at, there are, currently, no speed cameras and, when I visited, virtually no traffic either.

I use MyRoute-App to compile my routes then transfer them to a Tom-Tom which saves me a ton of time once I'm on the road.

As an aside, next March I anticipate swapping the Z-Sport for another 1.5 Sport Nav.  Although the greater torque of the bigger engine makes overtaking easier it has few other advantages and, oh, how my wife and I miss the glorious sound of the smaller engine's exhaust, especially as the revs rise up towards the ever-beckoning 7,500 rpm red line.  The 2.0 litre's exhaust is about as interesting as a Toyota Auris, it's absolutely devoid of any aural excitement.  As well, the smaller engine is so delightfully willing to explore these higher revs and it seems much better suited to the light weight of the car.  I know there's a revised 2.0 litre engine due out soon with a lot more power and a revised exhaust - and I will certainly have a test drive - but I rather feel that the 2 litre engine is, really, a sop to the Americans for whom. as we know, "there ain't no substitute for cubes".  For me, that's not what the MX-5 is about.  The real joy of the ND4 isn't provided by its power, per se, but the balance between the power and the weight and, in my experience, the 1.5 is a terrific match and a great example of Jinba Ittai.

Edited by user 11 September 2018 00:37:46(UTC)  | Reason: grammar

Soul red 1.5ND Sport Nav March 2016 to March 2018
Machine Grey ND Z-Sport (03/300) March 2018 -
Vaughan
#2 Posted : 12 September 2018 10:17:30(UTC)
Vaughan

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Thanks for this route, I struggled to follow it exactly on Google maps but get the idea... It does look interesting, and will bear it in mind if I'm in that area of France.

 

On the subject of your ND, why don't you look at replacing the exhaust, rather than the whole car if the exhaust is the main reason for wanting to change? Somewhere like BBR could help you out I'm sure.

paulcroft
#3 Posted : 12 September 2018 10:49:45(UTC)
paulcroft

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Originally Posted by: Vaughan Go to Quoted Post

On the subject of your ND, why don't you look at replacing the exhaust, rather than the whole car if the exhaust is the main reason for wanting to change? Somewhere like BBR could help you out I'm sure.

Been there and done that, although it was the Moss Cobalt exhaust I tried and which I talked about in another thread (https://www.mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst108086_ND-exhaust.aspx).  In fact I recently swapped the original back to the Moss Cobalt one again to see if I had made a mistake but after a couple of days I swapped back to the original once more.  But it's more than just the sound - although that's a large part of it.  In the 2.0 litre version I almost invariably change up before about 5000 rpm when making progress because there doesn't seem to be anything to be gained by holding on to the revs.  The smaller engine, on the other hand, has little useful torque or power below 4000 and only really starts to come on song above about 5000 so, to make progress, the secret is to keep it between 5 and 7½ and, while doing so, you also get the aural pleasure as well.

Soul red 1.5ND Sport Nav March 2016 to March 2018
Machine Grey ND Z-Sport (03/300) March 2018 -
paulcroft
#4 Posted : 12 September 2018 10:51:45(UTC)
paulcroft

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Originally Posted by: Vaughan Go to Quoted Post

On the subject of your ND, why don't you look at replacing the exhaust, rather than the whole car if the exhaust is the main reason for wanting to change? Somewhere like BBR could help you out I'm sure.


Been there and done that, although it was the Moss Cobalt exhaust I tried and which I talked about in another thread (https://www.mx5oc.co.uk/forum/yaf_postst108086_ND-exhaust.aspx). In fact I recently swapped the original back to the Moss Cobalt one again to see if I had made a mistake but after a couple of days I swapped back to the original once more. But it's more than just the sound - although that's a large part of it. In the 2.0 litre version I almost invariably change up before about 5000 rpm when making progress because there doesn't seem to be anything to be gained by holding on to the revs. The smaller engine, on the other hand, has little useful torque or power below 4000 and only really starts to come on song above about 5000 so, to make progress, the secret is to keep it between 5 and 7½ and, while doing so, you also get the aural pleasure as well.
Soul red 1.5ND Sport Nav March 2016 to March 2018
Machine Grey ND Z-Sport (03/300) March 2018 -
paulcroft
#5 Posted : 12 September 2018 11:17:47(UTC)
paulcroft

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Originally Posted by: Vaughan Go to Quoted Post

Thanks for this route, I struggled to follow it exactly on Google maps but get the idea... It does look interesting, and will bear it in mind if I'm in that area of France.

I'm sorry, I'm not surprised, I've just tried to follow it myself from my notes and some of the villages seem to have moved!! However, to trace it as I drove it ask google maps for the route from Monestier-de-Clermont to Carpentras - which will default to routing you via the A49 and A7 motorways - then add Mensac as a waypoint.

Soul red 1.5ND Sport Nav March 2016 to March 2018
Machine Grey ND Z-Sport (03/300) March 2018 -
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