Due to its no-nonsense, straightforward and simple performance, the Mazda MX-5 quickly gained a massive following. But this ND model is a little bit different.
Unlike the regular NDs, which are propelled by small (but frisky) four-pots, this particular model was converted to accommodate a 6.2-litre, 430 hp, LS3 V8 engine (from a 2015 Camaro SS) under its bonnet. A far cry from the stock 1.5-litre, 129 hp and 2.0-litre, 158 hp engines, to say the least.
But the company responsible for the build, Flyin’ Miata, didn’t stop there, as it also offers some alternatives, including an LS3 E-Rod Big Block crate engine or an LS376/525, which develops 525 hp, 489 ft-lb of torque.
Those are crank figures, by the way, and to cope with them, Flyin’ Miata offers a long list of upgrades, including a carbon fiber driveshaft, bigger brakes, ceramic coating for the headers and cat pipes.
All parts used in the conversion are brand new, as the company utilizes as many factory parts as possible in order to ease servicing right down to the rubber in the motor mounts, and provide a warranty. Moreover, apart from the traction control, all other functions are left intact, albeit the electric power steering is replaced with a hydraulically assisted unit with a variable ratio.
The conversion adds approximately 250 lbs (113 kg), but Flyin’ Miata says that they’ve taken great pains to retain the Miata’s handling and character, without transforming it into an uncontrollable monster. In fact, Mazda’s weight distribution remains nearly unchanged, with a 53:47 front/rear weight bias comparable to the stock 52:48.
Otherwise, the car was kept almost completely stock, the only giveaway being the V8’s howl. Flyin’ Miata says they can also convert the Retractable Fastback variant of the ND, or the Fiat 124 Spider – if you’re looking for a retro-vintage look. Pretty neat!