We’re not ashamed – we’re proponents of LS-ing everything. Why wouldn’t you? The small block V8 engines are compact, powerful, and an outstanding value for the price. So when we heard Palisade, Colo., tuners Flyin’ Miata wanted to drop one such power plant into Mazda’s newest MX-5 roadster, the ND chassis, our curiosity was piqued – and what’s on the horizon looks very promising.
Flyin’ Miata is still early in the R&D process, but it’s eyeing LS3 motivation or even possibly the LT1, with the potential of power output well north of 400 horsepower (and maybe as much as 500 or more depending on what's ultimately swapped in). The mill will likely be mated to a six-speed Tremec T56 Magnum gearbox, and other driveline upgrades include beefier rear end with LSD and likely custom prop shaft and half shafts.
The swap is estimated to add some 250 pounds to the vehicle’s weight – a big chunk of that in the trans and rear – so Flyin’ Miata is expecting to throw on buffer suspension. The shop is also planning on new brakes, fuel system, and cooling system, among other tweaks, to suit the MX-5’s new power level.
How much will it cost? Well, it won’t be cheap, but then Flyin’ Miata is essentially giving the entry-level convertible supercar-levels of power; they anticipate turnkey options to be no more than $50,000. Availability depends on how long development runs, but if everything goes to plan Flyin’ Miata hopes to have a running V8 ND MX-5 by this fall. Parts should be available for DIY builders around that time, too.
But V8 swaps aren’t the only thing Flyin’ Miata has on tap for the ND MX-5; looks like a full complement of parts for the sports car’s native 2.0-liter lump are in the works as well. Interested parties can find further details at the Flyin’ Miata website.