The Flyin’ Miata LS Swap is The Best Way to Miata

The 525 on the door panel indicates the amount of horsepower the engine in this Miata from Flyin’ Miata produces. Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.

Flyin’ Miata Gives This Mazda Miata a 525 HP LS V8

 

Miata, LS Swap
The 525 on the door panel indicates the amount of horsepower the engine in this Miata from Flyin’ Miata produces. Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.

Flyin’ Miata is a small company that takes the mild Mazda MX-5 Miata and turns it into a beast. Take this 2016 ND Miata as an example. From the factory it had a two-liter Skyactiv-G four cylinder engine that produced all of 155 horsepower. Fast forward a few weeks and it rolls out of the Flyin’ Miata shop with a fire-breathing 6.2-liter Gen II LS engine that produces 525 horses.

This Isn’t a One-Off That Nobody Can Own

There are a number of shops out there that build cars just to show people what they can do or what’s possible. However, most of those are concept cars that you and I will never get to drive, let alone own. However, creations that roll out of the Flyin’ Miata shop in Colorado are all cars that, with a deep enough wallet anyone can own and drive.

 

A Little Background on Flyin’ Miata

Flyin’ Miata originally started life as The Dealer Alternative and specialized in German cars-Porsche, VW, and Audi. One of their regulars dropped of his Miata with them in 1989 and asked them to “soup it up.” A month later, they had their own Miata that they’d turbocharged and a new direction for the company.

They moved to their current location in Colorado in 1996. Many of the special parts they created for the Miata platform had been given the name “Flyin Miata, so they changed the company name to match in 2000. As the saying goes “The rest is history!”

 

Taking a Look at Flyin’ Miata’s 2016 ND Miata

 

Look closely. That’s an LS376/525 under the hood. Image courtesy Flyin Miata.
Look closely. That’s an LS376/525 under the hood. Image courtesy Flyin Miata.

The 2016 ND Miata is the latest in a evolutionary chain of Miatas that dates back to that first one in 1989. They’ve taken everything they’ve learned since then and incorporated it into one badass car that looks absolutely stock from the outside and the driver’s seat. The misconception that this is a stock 2016 Miata ends once you turn the key, though. It has that well-known small block Chevy howl.

Unlike some other shops, these guys don’t just stuff a V8 into the car and call it quits. The ND Miata is completely re-engineered so the original 52:48 weight distribution is only slightly changed to 53:47. When doing their conversions, the company uses as many factory parts as possible so that working on the car in the future isn’t a hassle.

They work hard to keep the factory systems during the conversion process. This means that you’ll retain the original infotainment system and push-button starter. The only differences other than the drivetrain are the deletion of the traction control system and the changeover to a variable ration hydraulically-assisted steering system.

 

Let’s Look at That Drivetrain

The Chevy Performance LS376/525 found in this ND Miata. Image courtesy Chevy Performance.
The Chevy Performance LS376/525 found in this ND Miata. Image courtesy Chevy Performance.

The engine in the ND Miata pictured is the 525 HP LS376/525. It’s basically the E-Rod LS3 with a cam that’s quite a bit more aggressive. The idle is “lopey” and it’s got a throttle response that is finger-snap quick. This engine basically turns the ND Miata into a Trans Am race car.

 

A closer look at the LS376/525 installed in the 2016 ND Miata from Flyin’ Miata. Wipe y our chin, you’re drooling! Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.
A closer look at the LS376/525 installed in the 2016 ND Miata from Flyin’ Miata. Wipe y our chin, you’re drooling! Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.

A custom shift lever sits on top of a Tremec T56 Magnum six-speed manual transmission. The clutch and flywheel can be found backing up LS7 engines. A 2015 Camaro also donated its AAM rear end to the Flyin’ Miata ND Miata. Stuck between the transmission and differential is a custom carbon fiber driveshaft as an option. Standard with this conversion is a custom aluminum driveshaft.

 

The Suspension Is Custom Also

 

Take a gander at the 2015 Camaro independent rear suspension and the other custom goodies. Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.
Take a gander at the 2015 Camaro independent rear suspension and the other custom goodies. Image courtesy Flyin’ Miata.

Flyin’ Miata custom-crafted the front and rear adjustable sway bars for this conversion. They worked with FOX Racing to build the rest of the shocks, control arms, and the rest of the suspension. The wimpy stock brakes on the Miata weren’t anywhere near enough for this beast, so it receives a set six-piston calipers up front and four-piston rear calipers.

What do you think? Is this something you’d be willing to plunk down almost $50 grand on? Remember that doesn’t include the price of the car. If you don’t currently own a 2016 or 2017 Miata, they’ll work with you to get you one that they ca work their magic on.

About Mike Aguilar 202 Articles
Mike's love of cars began in the early 1970's when his father started taking him to his Chevron service station. He's done pretty much everything in the automotive aftermarket from gas station island attendant, parts counter, mechanic, and new and used sales. Mike also has experience in the amateur ranks of many of racing's sanctioning bodies.
  • Ngau Hu Phart

    When all is said and done, what’s left, is a Mazda Miata… Flush $75K if you’re wealthy and spontaneously crazy. Me – I’d rather buy a used ZO6, and have some residual value when I’m done playing with it.

    • Cobranut

      Flyin Miata has done their homework, and in the right hands this thing will absolutely destroy a Z06 on track.
      If properly taken care of, they also hold their value about as well as the Vette’s do.

  • Cobranut

    I considered using Flyin Miata’s kit to swap a 7-liter LS crate motor into my 99 Miata, but ran across an even more desirable 1995 RX-7 FD3S that already had the swap done, so I bought it.

    I had installed an Eaton MP62 blower, and a bunch of other stuff from FM and others, on the 99 Miata, so I hated to disassemble that package. The third guy who looked at it bought it, and loves it. 🙂

    The motor in the RX-7 is a pro-built LS3, bored and stroked to 7 liters. It makes a bit over 540HP at the wheels (well over 600HP at the crank). I think there’s more in the tune, since it was setup on 91 octane CA gas, and we have 93 here.
    Makes for a really nice package, still has A/C, and is a blast to drive, but you do need to pay attention.

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