Several times I have seen posts, where the little Miata is put down as a girly car. I started this post with a little bit of a mad on. People making fun of my favorite car. The more I wrote the more I realized I did the same things when I was young and then I started laughing. Please accept my humble words with the love I have intended.
Now for some mind changing. The Miata is a car that comes out of the box ready to take to the track and have fun.
The engine, no the entire car, is designed to shift at 7200 rpm every single shift, all day long. No other car can take that kind of abuse. I know, because, I have destroyed: 2 Corvettes, 1 Viper, 2 BMWís, a couple of Porscheís several Mopars, GMís, and Fordís and a Jag or two. I have a very aggressive driving style and I live in a rural area with few houses and very little traffic. Most of our houses are 1/4 to Ĺ mile from the road (horse and cattle country). Most of the cars I have abused, lasted about 35k and then I start having major problems and so I get rid of them.
The ignition system in the Miata cannot be improved on. There are no ignition systems on the market which will improve the stock system. Just by changing the stock timing from 10 degrees to 28 degrees produces a 12/15 Hp increase. More then enough to put down the S2k or MR2. All of the magazine comparisons use stock tuning on the vehicles during the tests. If the Miata timing is changed to 28 degrees, then there is no contest.
The lower block assembly will withstand 30 psi turbo boost plus a shot of N02 at the same time and still live for over 100,000 miles. Thatís about 550 Hp out of a 1.8L for those with inquiring minds. Youíll need a six speed to handle that kind of power.
This little engine will not self destruct if the timing belt blows. It comes with a redline limiter set at 7200 which shuts of the fuel. Maita engineers say. ďBump that thing all you wantĒ
There is nothing on the market which will improve the engine breathing except a CAI and a turbo muffler. These two changes produce about 15 Hp. The headers which are available only produce a few Hp. Yea, there are cams and pistons and big valve kits, but none of them have shown more than a 4-5 Hp gain over stock. Thatís a lot of money for very little Hp gain.
The brakes were increased in size in 1991 and again in 1999. I have never had a problem with the brakes overheating or fading or failing to stop, ever. With the Miata, I have been on the track several times for hours at a time with no problem. I did change to steel reinforced hoses, it adds a better feel to the brakes. Brake fade was a constant headache on the Viper and I spent a lot of money trying to correct it. The Viper also loves to come out of a corner backwards, it should have a steering wheel in the trunk.
The stock Miata with the RS package will do .84 on the skid pad. Just add springs, adj shocks, and sway bars, and the car will do 1.04 on the pad. I am sure that could be improved on with fine tuning. I talking about out of the box install and a new aggressive alignment and go hit 1.04. I have taken 90 degree turns at 70 mph (70 going in and 80 coming out), and Iím a scared old man. A power slide in a car this light is a wonderful thing to feel and behold.
Turbo kits are available and the cost varies from $2500 to $5000. If youíre good, and know what your doing you can improve on those costs. My intercooler and blowoff valve, are Mitsubishi. My injectors are RX7. You can save a lot of money if you roam around a junkyard for a while. Try 18 psi on a Ford, Mopar or Chevy and still get 100k (gee, where is that rod and piston catalog?).
The little car weighs between 1800 - 2200 lbs. Thatís almost 1200 less then most cars out there.
The highest weight difference I have seen between the front wheels and the back wheels was 7 lbs. My car running 16/18 PSI has 340 Hp @ 1821 lbs (with me in it). Calc that Dog.
The shifter is the absolute best of any car on the road today. It is like stirring warm butter, It is only slightly gated and it just seems to know where you want it to go. There is no real side to side motion with this gearshift, except for reverse. I have never missed a shift with this shifter, and I have never had to hunt for a gear. I canít say that for the Viper and Corvette.
The little car from 1995 on comes with a limited-slip diff, which really hooks up with 10 inch wides on the back.
For those of you that want to look bad, Wings West has a sharp looking body kit for $750, that actually improves aerodynamics a small amount. I believe WeaponR has a Ninja style kit that looks AWESOME. I have the Wings stuff. The stock body has been wind tested at +200Mph, thatís 50 mph faster then the Cobra which hits a wall at 150 mph. The Cobra just doesnít want to go faster, no matter how big the engine, it grunts and strains for every mph after 150.
Show me another car like the Miata, where you can log on the net and talk to the head engineer who designed the car.
Now, Iíll be the first to admit that nothing sounds good like a big bore V8, running dual glass packs , and a set of solid roller tappets, trying to idle off that big cam. Thatís the sweetest sound in the world. Thatís why a company called Monster Miata, in California, puts 5.0L ford engines in Miatas.
I have had my Miata since 1996. I have driven the pi$$ out of it. At 38,000 miles, I added the turbo, because I got beat by a neighbor with his new Mustang GT.
Since that time the little car has never been beaten, and no one will even try me anymore. Now that is no great brag or feat, since I live in the middle of Oklahoma, not really the speed capital of the world. Iím sure the west coast guys have some great cars that could blow my doors off, but I bet they have a lot more money in their cars than I do. So now I just go to the track on weekends, and have fun going in a circle. I still drive the heck out of it, I just donít race anymore on the street. Oh, I did get a ticket for 134 mph once, back in 2003. (Cost me $1700). Good thing, I was letting off the gas. The cop said he was going to go out and celebrate that night. He had the biggest s**t eating grin on his face I have ever seem.
In 1992, I sold my Cobra to an attorney friend of mine. He drives it maybe three or four times a year. After I installed my turbo, I let him get behind the wheel of my little Miata. He bought a brand new one 2 weeks later, and three weeks after that we supercharged it. He drives it to work every day. Now this guy is like me, we can buy any car we want. We both choose the girly Miata as our daily driver.
The little car has never leaked a drop of fluid on my floor, and the only maintenance I have performed is plugs, brake pads, and oil changes. A compression test at 70,000, showed the same readings that the car had when new, except for one cylinder which was 2 psi low (probably the Mobile 1).
The 1980 Triumph was just about the last two seat sports car sold here in the US (I have one). In 1989, Mazda brought out the Miata. It sold like hot cakes. I can assure you of the 700,000 that have been bought, not all of those were bought by women. It took almost six years for the other car companies to catch up and produce a two seat roadster. Now nearly every company makes one now, because of the success of the Miata.
Spec Miata racing has become the fastest growing motor sport here in the US, for the last two years. Last year alone, 24 tracks opened up season access to Miata racers. Miata SCCA racing is booming here. Most of the people I know, drive the Miata to the track and race and then drive the car home. It never enters their minds that the car may quit on them. I know two guys who pull small trailers with their Miatas, just to haul their track tires. In a six hour SCCA Enduro race at the Dallas International Speedway this year, Miata took the first five places. Corvette took 6th and 7th, and a Viper took 9th. There were no MRís or S2K's in the top twenty. You can read and compare all you want from the mags but, the track will always offer the best proof. Donít pay a lot of attention to these Vets and Vipers going around the track in those big races. Those cars have another $250k thrown in them to make them competitive. Quite a feat for a girly car.
There are people who sit and read about cars, and there are people who go out into the world and drive and enjoy cars. There are guys who can sit and quote Hp and handling charts and canít drive to the Seven Eleven without breaking a half dozen traffic laws. I am the kind of guy that will ride my motorcycle when itís sleeting, or put the top down and take a 300 mile trip during the winter, because I want to hear the exhaust. Hell, my bass boat has been clocked at 105 by a park ranger. He wanted to know where I was going, since the lake was only 5 miles long. ďChasing the biggest bass I have ever seen,Ē I said. Remember guys,Ē a boat, is a hole surrounded by water that you constantly throw money intoĒ.
Continue to part 2