By Tony Kim
The Miata is one of the best sports cars ever made, but it also has a reputation for being a bit feminine. That's not the case with these Miatas!
America's favorite British roadster from Japan, the Mazda Miata MX-5, has been the go-to sports car for aspiring motor racers. Its lightweight and perfectly balanced weight distribution between the front and rear made it one of the best handling cars money can buy. Not a lot of money, at that. Prices coming in close to the typical economy Civics and Corollas.
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Unfortunately, the Miata was also popular amongst hairdressers for its "cute" looks. Its tiny size and open-top look like it could be driven by Barbie to a beach party. But these ten examples might help pump some desperately needed testosterone into that meek imagine.
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10 Hellcat-Powered Mazda Miata
Just sitting in this Miata will make any teenage boy grow some chest hair and sound like Barry White. This car started out in life as a 1999 NB Miata. The old four-banger was ripped out and replaced with a motor from, you guessed it, a Dodge Challenger Hellcat. That giant 6.2-liter V8 engine produces a mind-blowing 683 horsepower and 647 lb-ft of torque.
This one is equipped with a much needed big brake kit from Wilwood to bring it to a halt. Discreet is definitely something this car is not. The hood is cut open so the engine could fit, and it's also a great way to showcase the monster inside, although, with the front exit exhaust, it doesn't need to be seen to be noticed.
9 Mazda MX-5 Super25
Ready and eager for the next race, this 2012 NC Miata was tinkered with by Mazda's own Mazdaspeed Motorsports Development team. The full roll cage inside and the custom four lamp lighting pod up front announces its true racing intentions to ward off all those with blow dryers in hand.
The number 55 displayed on the sides to pay homage to Mazda's historic victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans back in 1991, the first Japanese manufacturer to do so. The seventeen-inch Volk Racing T37 rims at all four corners put the cherry on top of those track aspirations in both form and function.
Those crazy cats at Hoonigan paid $200 for a beat-up Miata and stripped it down to make the Shartkart. The lack of body panels makes this car super light, but it exposes the passengers to all the elements.
For those unfamiliar with what a shart is. It is what the occupants will do when this Miata gets moving, especially, when the supercharger starts winding up, boosting the power to 215 horsepower at the wheels. Definitely not a car for those that need to keep their hair intact.
The Catfish, a kit car designed by Cord Bauer of Bauer Limited Production, uses the NA or NB Miata as the base. The sleek looks have a European feel to them, similar to some of the models to come out of the outlandish British carmaker, TVR.
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Not only does this kit make this car look out of this world, it reportedly drops the total weight of the car to 1,700 pounds. Flyin Miata, specializing in swapping Chevy V8s into Miatas, is one of two authorized "Catfish" builders and can give it the V8 treatment while they assemble this kit for those that don't want to do it themselves.
6 Tommy Farrell's Miata
Tommy Farrell of YouTube fame, better known as tommyFyeah created this delicious little NA Miata. Reportedly costing $36,450 to build, this one has gone through the full KMiata treatment. Implanting a Honda K24 motor, known to be able to take a serious beating at the track.
It is takingthe best that Japan has to offer and putting it together, Honda engine and Mazda's lightweight chassis. This is the greatest combination of two things since slicing and bread. Although not quite as loud as some of the other examples, aesthetically. The minimalistic touches like the white Volk Racing T37s is all this one needs.
5 Modified 1990 Mazda Miata
This Miata was up for auction on Bring a Trailer and sold earlier this year. Fitted with a stunning Simpson Design Italia body kit, it's a real head-turner that's easily mistaken f0r a classic Ferrari. There's one major difference though, this one won't leave you stranded on the side of the road.
And the hits just keep on coming. This Miata has a Jackson Racing supercharger to give it enough go to make sure the checks signed by the looks don't bounce. Selling for a very reasonable $11,800 US, this Miata punches far above its price and weight class.
4 Monster Miata
Ever wonder what eleven seconds at the quarter-mile on street tires looks like? Behold this Monster Miata. Powered by a Ford Cleveland V8, stroked to increase the displacement from 5.8 liters to 6.7 liters.
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Following the template of one of the greatest creations sold to the public - the Shelby Cobra - shoving a big Ford V8 into a lightweight roadster, this Miata would definitely get Carroll Shelby's approval. The bulging hood on this Miata is intimidating, like looking into the eyes of a three hundred pound linebacker ready to charge.
3 Woolery Miata
Meticulously customized by David Woolery, who's owned this Miata since 1989. This example accentuates the British inspiration that Mazda is not too shy about disclosing. Giving it those classic British teardrop lines and using the Lotus racing colors.
The engine remains naturally aspirated and manages to produce a very healthy 250 horsepower and 211 lb-ft of torque out of only 1.7 liters of displacement, propelling this machine from 0 to 60 in 4.9 seconds. To put that into perspective, that is .5 seconds faster than the series one Lotus Elise, putting this Miata in serious performance territory.
2 Flyin' Miata
Flyin' Miata's demo car, using the latest ND Miata, will eat many supercars out there for lunch. Showcasing the work they are known for, fitting this tiny drop-top with a Chevy LS3 V8 that produces 525 horsepower. Weighing in at 2696 lbs, the power to weight ratio is absolutely staggering.
Admittedly, the latest version of the Miata did a fantastic job of shaking off that "Chick" car image all on its own with the aggressive, furrowed brow front end. Flyin' Miata took it and gave it the grunt it needed to perform even better than it looked.
1 Project Banshee
Stacey David, the host of the TV series GearZ, decided to take on the Miata as a project. It's a response to the rising prices of classic muscle cars that are making their owners too afraid to drive them and relegating those once-mile-munching cruisers to becoming nothing more than garage queens.
With the legendary Shelby Daytona fetching prices that even a multimillionaire would struggle to pay, this look-a-like convertible is a lot more obtainable for the average person. Equipped with a 302 Ford V8 making 400 horsepower, it's making more power than the original Daytona. The Banshee, in addition, has more modern suspension and similar weight which translates to a much better driving experience.
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