Is a 525-HP Corvette V8 Too Much Engine For an ND-Gen Mazda MX-5 Miata?

DRIVETRIBE’s Henry Catchpole takes the Flyin’ Miata V8 MX-5 to Willow Springs’s Horse Thief Mile circuit.

byDanny Choy| UPDATED Feb 8, 2017 4:13 PM
Is a 525-HP Corvette V8 Too Much Engine For an ND-Gen Mazda MX-5 Miata?

A performance shop in the United States is shoehorning engines making 525 horsepower into a tiny roadster platform weighing just a tick over 2,300 lbs. No, we're not talking about a Shelby Cobra 427 kit car, but the people at Colorado's Flyin' Miata could see why you'd make that mistake. Flyin' Miata calls its LS3-powered ND Mazda Miata the "Habu," after a very dangerous small venomous snake from Japan. 

DRIVETRIBE features editor Henry Catchpole recently brought the Flyin' Miata Habu MX-5 to Willow Springs's Horse Thief Mile circuit to experience what "the world's smallest muscle car" feels like on a track. According to Catchpole, while the ND Mazda MX-5's nimble footprint is well suited for the track, the LS376-525's monstrous power delivery may be a little too excessive for the little circuit. 

Of course, Flyin' Miata's mad scientist approach will anger Miata purists who appreciate Mazda's traditional handling philosophy of 'Jinba ittai,' but this was Flyin' Miata's intention all along–why throw a Chevy small-block V8 into an MX-5 if it doesn't make you crap your pants?

Camaro/Corvette power, Miata handling

The "standard" Flyin' Miata Habu conversion package starts at $49,995 (car not included) and gets you a 6.2 liter LS3 V8 from a sixth-generation Corvette, making 430 horsepower. Other upgrades that come with this package include the GM wiring harness and engine management, FM spec Moroso steel oil pan with baffling, custom dual pass crossflow radiator, a T56 6-speed transmission, LS7 clutch and flywheel, new aluminum driveshaft, hydraulic steering conversion, FOX Racing suspension, rear mounted battery, and more. But for an extra $1,780, Flyin' Miata will gladly arrange an LS376/525 transplant to give the MX-5 525 horsepower and 489 lb.-ft. of torque. Other available upgrades include a carbon fiber driveshaft, 6-piston front, 4-piston rear big brake kit, roll bar, and more.

According to the Flyin' Miata official website, the Habu MX-5 is capable of launching from 0-60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and hit 150 mph in just 18.7. The text did not indicate whether the numbers were achieved by the standard engine or the LS376/525 upgrade, but interested buyers can tick off that option just to be safe.