When a customer offered Autokonexion a 1992 Miata as payment for one of their Fastback hardtops, Mike Burlas didn't hesitate to accept. Mike isn't new to the Miata, he's owned several of them before. Like most Miata owners, once you've owned one, you really can't let it go. It's a whole different story when you actually own a Miata.
The Autokonexion Fastback hardtop, inspired by the infamous Mooncraft hardtop for the Honda S2000, was the first thing to go on the Miata. The sleek Fastback design helps reduce aero drag and possibly results in quicker lap times. This is a two-piece kit that works in conjunction with the OEM Miata hardtop. The only modification to the OEM hardtop was the removal of the rear glass. No cutting was necessary to the OEM unit.
Being the owner and designer for Autokonexion, Mike has designed countless custom widebody kits for the industry. And although he already had a wide body kit designed for a Miata, he decided this special Miata was going to receive a newer version. Taking influences from Japanese GT cars, he crafted a bumper with a simple yet aggressive look. The hood, sides and fenders were more of an influence through the likes of RE Amemiya and other Japanese favorites.
To fill the wide fenders, a set of massive 15x9" and 15x11" Work Equips were special ordered. Giving it a bit of an old drift style setup two different Equips were used, 01 rims in the back and 03 in the front. With offsets rarely seen in a 4x100 bolt pattern, the wheels give the Miata a stance like a bulldog. Making things a bit more interesting the fronts were customized, with every other spoke painted black. Just another modification to keep the would-be biters at bay.
I never really liked Miatas until a few years back when my best friend Kendall bought one. After going thru the build up with him, I realized how great of a platform they are to build on. Not very popular in the States with the macho guys, these cars are very popular in Japan, with a good range of aftermarket support. It's hard to think of another rear wheel drive car you can buy that is this small and light. A perfect weight balance and sports car-like suspension geometry makes Miatas extremely fun to drive, especially in the turns.
The only obstacle with building a Miata is power. Out of the box, these things are very underpowered. This is where Mike, as well as most of the Miata owners, bring a little help in the form of a custom turbo setup. The B-series engines found in Miatas were originally designed for a Mazda Familia, which came with an OEM turbo. With no turbo, Miata engines were still equipped with a low compression, closed deck, iron block great for forced induction. With a top mounted Advance Racing manifold, Mike fitted his little corner carver with a T3/T4 turbo. Much like a 5'2" girl with `upgrades' the Miata with a turbo is a handful of fun.
It's damn hard to come up with new styles for cars that have been built for over a decade, not mention a car with a feminine connotation. But with a custom Fastback hardtop, wide body kit, turbo kit, and wheels that make AE86 owners jealous, Mike Burlas and Autokonexion brings new life to a classic roadster.