In what could be the greatest engine swap since Carroll Shelby jammed a 260-c.i. V8 under the hood of an AC Cobra and slapped his surname on it, the maniacs at Flyin' Miata have jammed a 525-horsepower V8 into a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata. Better yet: the tuner claims the change barely alters the car's weight or balance.
According to Road & Track, Flyin' Miata—a Colorado-based company that specializes in tuning MX-5s—has been working on cramming an eight-cylinder engine under the hood of a fourth-gen Miata for more than a year. Obviously, considering the tiny dimensions of an MX-5's engine bay, squeezing an eight-pot into the space where a four-cylinder engine is designed to go is a wee bit of a challenge. Especially when that engine is a 6.2-liter General Motors LS3 normally found under the hood of a C6-generation Corvette. But jamming smallblocks into small cars is old hat for Flyin' Miata; the company has already done so with the three previous generations of Mazda's tiny sports car.
As the old Pirelli commercials used to say, however, power is nothing without control. So to harness all that hoppin' horsepower and tasty torque, Flyin' Miata routs the V8's fury to the wheels through a six-speed T56 Tremec stick shift and a rear differential designed for Cadillac CTS-V duty.
Even if it were just vaporware, this V8-powered 2016 MX-5 would be enough to set our hearts a-fluttering in a way they haven't since Sandy O'Connell used to sit next to us in sophomore trig. But, because the world is a wonderful place, Flyin' Miata's eight-cylinder MX-5 is not just a concept. It's real, it's running, and it's spectacular.
While the final curb weight of this eight-cylinder Miata masterpiece is still unknown, the Flyin' Miata Facebook page says the company is ballparking the car's running weight at around 2,500 pounds, with a 53/47 front/rear weight distribution. For comparison, a stock 2016 MX-5 weighs in between 2,332 and 2,381 lbs, and has a weight distribution of 52/48.
We anxiously await the Anchorman-esque melee of journalists sure to occur once Flyin' Miata makes this puppy available for media drives.