It was only a matter of time before the mad scientists at Flyin' Miata put together a V-8 conversion for the fourth-generation ND-chassis Mazda Miata. That time has come, and the muscle-infused minimalist sports car is just as glorious as we could hope for.
Flyin' Miata has been offering go-fast solutions for the Mazda Miata since 1989 and has been shoehorning V-8s into Miata engine bays for the past eight years. The company says it took lessons learned from previous swaps and applied it to the newest Miata, addressing weak points from earlier conversions to make this one "the best yet."
The Flyin' Miata V-8 conversion endows a 2016 Mazda MX-5 Miata with a GM LS3 6.2-liter V-8, offered in three flavors. The base kit sources a stock engine found in a previous-gen Chevrolet Camaro or Corvette and is good for 430 hp. A step up from that is the LS376/525, a crate engine with a hotter camshaft. Lastly, an LS3 E-Rod equipped with emissions monitoring gear is offered for customers in less hot rod-friendly states. All engines come backed by a T56 Magnum six-speed manual transmission with a custom shift lever. Flyin' Miata says it can also perform the conversion on the upcoming power targa-top Miata RF and the Miata-based Fiat 124 Spider.
All parts used in the conversion are new, and Flyin' Miata says it tries to use as many OEM parts as possible to make future part replacement easier. As you might expect, the V-8 comes with some extra weight. The conversion adds roughly 250 pounds to the Miata's curb weight, but the tuner says the car maintains a similar weight distribution (53/47 front/rear versus 52/48 stock). Flyin' Miata says the conversion will produce a "fully integrated car and not just a big engine rammed into a little car."
To that end, the company strived to keep the Miata's handling characteristics intact. It also hopes to improve feel by replacing the standard electric power steering system with a variable-ratio hydraulically assisted unit. All other features that come stock with the Miata will continue to work, including the push-button start and original gauges. Traction control, however, has been removed.
How much will this marriage made in heaven cost you? The turn-key conversion starts at $49,995, not including the car. You could argue that you could almost buy a new Corvette Stingray for that money, but Flyin' Miata believes it's selling more than just a Miata with an engine swap. "The guys buying them aren't buying a Miata, though," company rep Keith Tanner told us in an email. "They're buying a hand-built V-8 sports car based on an excellent chassis."
Below is the company's full list of specs and options for the Flyin' Miata ND conversion.
- 430 hp 6.2L LS3 V8 engine with a two year warranty - a 2015 Camaro SS engine
- 6-speed T56 Magnum transmission with a custom shift lever
- FM spec Moroso steel oil pan with baffling
- LS7 clutch and flywheel
- AAM differential from a 2015 Camaro
- custom-built dual pass crossflow radiator
- dual Spal fans on a custom shroud
- new aluminum driveshaft
- heavy duty halfshafts
- stainless steel headers and dual exhaust with a lifetime warranty
- Magnaflow high-flow dual catalytic converters
- upgraded fuel system
- new GM-built engine wiring harness and engine management
- Flyin' Miata custom engine dyno tune for more power and improved drivability with our specific parts
- OE-style motor mounts for good NVH control
- custom air intake system with hot air baffle
- rear mount Odyssey battery with kill switch and engine bay jump start terminal
- Corvette C6 starter
- fully functional stock gauges
- FM sway bars front & rear with adjustable end links
- Flyin' Miata FOX Racing suspension
- FM four wheel little big brake kit
- air conditioning
- Hydraulic steering conversion
- relocated washer bottle
- many custom stainless brackets required for a clean installation
- Flyin' Miata alignment
Options and upgrade prices:
- LS3 E-Rod engine (better emissions compliance), $640
- LS376/525 (525 hp, 489 ft-lb), $1780
- carbon fiber driveshaft, $520
- aluminum oil pan, $70
- 6-piston front, 4-piston rear brake upgrade, $725
- Swain Tech White Lightning ceramic coating for the headers & cat pipes- $925
- Hot Rod Therapy DBW cruise control- roughly $1000, price TBD
- wheel and tire packages - please speak to us for recommendations and pricing
- Hard Dog roll bar - please speak to us for recommendations and pricing