The Mazda MX-5 is the world’s best selling roadster, as well as a firm Top Gear favourite. But it’s always had naysayers who wish it had a bit more power.
May we present them with this, the Flyin’ Miata upgrade. That’s the name of the Colorado-based tuning company, if you’re confused.
As you may have read on its door, it has 525 horsepower. And that’s a lot, particularly when a) the regular MX-5 has 158bhp and b) this one weighs around 1,200kg. So we’re looking at a power-to-weight ratio in line with a Ferrari F12’s. Yikes.
That power – a 332 per cent hike on standard – comes courtesy of an LS3 V8 engine from General Motors. That means a 6.2-litre, naturally aspirated engine. You’ve a choice of 430 or 525bhp versions, but we think we know which will be the most exciting.
No performance figures just yet, but Flyin’ Miata’s old, mk2 MX-5 conversion achieved 0-60mph in 3.8 seconds, and it reckons this new, mk4 iteration will “comfortably beat” that.
You’ll be delighted to know that all the oily bits have been upgraded to keep up, so there are beefier braking and suspension components, as well as a stronger six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential at the rear.
In fact, just about every item you can’t see is brand new, which is at odds with the interior and exterior. You’ll notice they completely hide what lies beneath (once you’ve peeled those door stickers off, obviously).
Flyin’ Miata promises it still handles exactly like an MX-5, “the gas pedal just does things it’s never done before.” You don’t say. “The weight balance shifts from 52 per cent front weight to 53 per cent front,” it continues, “which is similar to the difference between a full and empty fuel tank.”
It also says that all of the car’s functions remain intact, “from the stop/start button to all the factory gauges to the infotainment system. The one system that is deleted is traction control.” Um, yeah. Might want to make friends with your local tyre fitter.
Not a fan of the MX-5’s looks, or fancy a hard rather than soft top? Don’t fear, for Flyin’ Miata will also shoehorn a raucous V8 beneath a Fiat 124 Spider or the flippy-roofed Mazda MX-5 RF.
The cost of all this starts at $49,995, not including a donor car. Add $1,780 if you want the higher power output, which takes a total cost for a brand new, 525bhp 124 or MX-5 hot-rod to around $77,000, or the equivalent of £58,000 at current rates.
For that many dollars, you can buy a Corvette Z06 or Mercedes C63 S, hot rods in the more traditional sense. Where would your cash go?