For its legion of fans, one of the joys of the Mazda Miata has been the little roadster’s flexibility. Few vehicles are more frequently personalized with everything from custom wheels to rollbars and even bigger engines.
The stock Miata powertrain has, indeed, been the source of perhaps more laments than anything else, owners and critics alike frequently wishing for something with a bit more of what Mazda long called “Zoom-Zoom.”
Throughout the years, we’ve seen owners come up with all sorts of innovative ways to boost the roadster’s performance, starting with aftermarket engine control chips and bolt-on turbos and even opting to replace the stock Miata engine entirely. But no one – at least that we’ve yet heard of – has gone to such great lengths as the owner that popped out the stock four-cylinder package, replacing it with a Dodge Hellcat V-8.
Your first reaction might be to call that idea “crazy.” But if it gets your adrenaline going, you might be in luck. That specially modified Miata is about to roll across the block at the upcoming Barrett-Jackson Auction in Las Vegas.
According to Automobile, which was the first to spot the modified Miata in the BJ catalogue, it started out as a second-generation 1999 two-seater, a Miata NB to serious aficionados. The hefty modification work was all covered on video that you can find on YouTube channel KARR.
Somehow, the team found a way to replace the original, 140-horsepower 1.8-liter inline-four engine with a Dodge Hellcat V-8, all 6.2 liters of it. Of course it did, as you may notice, require cutting away much of the hood.
To put things into perspective, consider this: the Hellcat’s supercharger alone displaces 2.4 liters, or a third more than the entire original engine. It also needs about 80 hp to operate the blower, or more than half what the stock, four-cylinder Miata engine produced.
Of course, you really don’t notice the parasitic loss considering the dyno-tuned version of the Hellcat engine used in this mad, modded Miata sends 683 horsepower and 647 pound-feet of torque to the rear wheels. That’s the sort of power-to-weight ratio that could dazzle a Ferrari owner.
To handle all that power, the engine has been paired with a beefier six-speed manual gearbox and, of all things, a Ford 8.8-inch differential. And 10-inch wide Hoosier R7 race tires, mounted on aftermarket wheels, help put all that power to the pavement.
The engine, as you can imagine, gets a modified cooling system, and there are plenty of other changes, including a front exhaust system and beefy Wilwood brakes.
The convertible now sports a rollbar and much of the original interior has been gutted. There’s a pair of Sparco racing seats, and a Sparco steering wheel, as well.
As for what all those changes will reap for the eventual buyer? KARR claims the Hellcat Miata should be able to hit 175 mph in fifth gear – if you’re willing to give it a try.
Still interested? Then, put the Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas Auction on your calendar. It will go across the block sometime between October 3 and 5.