Mazda MX5 MK1 & MK2 bucket seat guide

The Mazda MX-5 Mk1 and Mk2 are being increasing popular for fast road and track day use due to their incredibly affordable pricing while sporting one of the most reliable engines on the market.

The small chassis of the vehicle makes it one of the all time best handling cars that’s been designed and from the day it was released back in the 1990’s it’s never lost the appeal from all petrol heads.

However the one major problem with the vehicle were it’s seats. The tomb stone design which came fitted in most of the MX-5s didn’t offer any shoulder support and the base wasn’t great as the base also didn’t provide any thigh support meaning that vigorous driving around a race track left you holding onto the steering wheel and tensing your legs against the central tunnel just to hold your self in place.

The moment your having to position your body in this way, you lose focus, you lose speed and you lose lap time. Almost as important you lose the enjoyment factor of driving your car so it’s time to get some new seats!

You and your MX-5:

We feel it’s important from the start to outline some facts about the size of the seats available for this vehicle and the size of the vehicle. This is a small sports car with a very small cabin which is made even more limiting by the central tunnel and the position of the B posts. With this in mind the seats we recommend and that we know fit are generally smaller seats suitable for drivers who are between a 32″-34″ waist and upto around 6ft tall.

If your over 6ft tall and your above a 36″ waist then we feel to create a professional, safe and secure seating position you are going to have to compromise on a smaller tighter seat as the vehicle will simply not allow any XL or GT size seats. We regularly get asked to fit in a Cobra Suzuka GT, or Corbeau Pro Series or Sparco Pro 2000 II. These large fibreglass seats tend to have a shoulder span of over 58cm wide and they simply will not fit even if you find there a perfect fit your self. So the recommendations below are mostly suitable for drivers between a 32″-34″ waist and upto around 6ft tall without compromises.

Seats with seat sliders: 

Due to the small cockpit of the MX-5 there are limited fitting kits on the market and currently there are no fitting kits which come with sliding runners or allow a sliding set up. Because of this we recommend that you retain your existing sliding runner set up, remove your original seat and bolt the new seat to the top of your original sliders.

  • Important notes about this set up
    • You will not be able to lower your seating position and retain a sliding movement
    • Your drivers seat will fit by simply re-drilling 4 holes in the top of your sliders
    • Your passenger side sliders are a slightly different width and will need a mechanic to do some basic adjustments.
    • Most seats are to wide at the shoulders to install into this vehicle so the list we’ve made comprises of all the seats we know fit after testing with customers.
  • Seats you can use for this setup

Fixed position bucket seats:

If you want to get lower in the vehicle and don’t mind having a fixed position seat that doesn’t slide then there’s a few great ways of doing this. Our supplier JB Fabrication made a great side mount system which works with a small hand-full of seats to get you lower and positioned nicely for the average height person.

  • Important notes about this set up
    • if your very tall (over 6ft 2″) you must understand you have to compromise with a smaller car and you will not be able to position the seat right back almost touching the rear bulk head. The seats and mounts are made for the average set up and height driver.
    • If you want to adjust the seat’s rake or position you will need to mount it into the various holes located on the JB mounts, some seats may only work in a hand full of positions and if you want a specific rake or angle you will need to modify them.
    • Most seats are to wide at the shoulders to install into this vehicle so the list we’ve made comprises of all the seats we know fit after testing with customers.
  • Seats you can use for this setup
    • Sparco Sprint bucket seat: This is a narrow fit bucket seat which fits the MX-5 very well.
    • Cobra Monaco Pro: Great narrow fit seat which fits original sliders with 2 adaption bars.
    • Cobra Racer Pro: This is a very narrow fit FIA fibreglass race seat for those of athletic physique.
    • JB Mounts: These are the mounts you need to work with the above seats

Modifying larger fibreglass seats to fit:

This article focuses on seats that can be installed with ease and do not need modifications to the vehicle or internal trims. If your running a race car or your happy to modify the vehicle or plastics then you can squeeze in slightly larger fibreglass seats as we have seen it done many times using a variety of seats but we must comment that a skilled professional is needed to do this work.

We hope that you have found this guide help and that the products we have linked to and recommended work for your needs and requirements. If you have any further questions for us then please do contact us via the contact form here. 

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A big thanks from myself, Garreth, for visiting my e-store. My family-run, motorsport equipment showroom is based in the heart of the UK and we specialise in motorsport safety equipment for every motorsport fanatic. From track-day fans to the hardcore rally drivers.

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