little bit better suspension than regular Miata
17" heavy as hell wheels
6spd has shot-peened gears, regular 6-spd is not, 3.9 final drive
Owners say stock intercooler heatsoaks quick.
Owners say clutch is good for 250whp.
Decent stock cars w/low mile= $15k.
Check the Flyin Miata and Bell website for their MSM upgrades
Flyin' Miata : Engine/Drivetrain : Upgrades for Mazdaspeed
Around $2k will get you into the 200whp (perhaps a bit more) range buying production parts and keeping the entire stock fuel system... but can DIY for a lot less for that power.
FM sells their "Big Enchilada" package for $3600 which includes the Hydra and injectors. Hydra is the only domectically available ECU that is PnP and will control VVT and all the other NB funkiness.
Above 220-230whp, you're gonna be interested in another turbo... which also means another manifold unless you can find somebody modifying the stock MSM turbos. New Garrett GT25xx+manifold=$1200-1500.
Xede is a great PnP product that will take you right up to the limits of the stock turbo/mani but there aren't that many guys running over 250-260whp on any setup with Xede. It's a piggyback that works side-by-side with the stock ECU and lets it control the VVT and other mundane functions.
In the end, if you're looking at 250+whp, you're gonna end up spending the same amount of money on aftermarket parts as turbo'ing a regular Miata because the entire stock MSM turbo system and the ECU won't support that much power.
So, assuming you were shooting for 250whp and were happy with the stock MSM suspension/bodykit/tranny... you're in for $14k-$15k for the car, plus $5k for turbo... we'll call it $20k.
Now, $20k spent another way.
Stock low mileage '01... $8k
FMII w/GT2560: $5k =good for 300whp
6UL's+RS2's: $1000 =traction for 300whp
3"Enthuza: $900 =flow for 300whp
Hard Dog: $500 =safety for 300whp
Wilwood's: $1500 =stop 300whp
Tein/GC/Koni,etc: $1500 =handle 300whp
3.6 R&P: $600 =get 1st gear back and run 1/4 mile in 4th
ACT XT + 2 spare 5spd's =$1000
Total: $20k =go twice as fast as MSM for same price.
The MSM is what it is. There are pro's and con's and the car certainly isn't for everybody, but for some people it's perfect. If you'd like to hear MSM owners tell you why you should buy an MSM, then visit Mazda-speed.com - Index
Their main argument is the "unreliability" of aftermarket turbo kits and the awesome "potential" of the MSM for making power if you have a spare $5k in cash.
Most people here are very DIY oriented and would rather drive over their own dick than buy one though.