When I saw the bright orange Audi—wide hips, meaty tires— I knew what I had to do. He was stopped at the light as I rolled up in the lane over. 5mph, eyes forward, clutch depressed. I didn’t want the crackling fujitsubo exhaust giving him the idea that this wasn’t your ordinary Roadster.

Light turned green, I revved to 6k and change, dropped into first and shot off like a bullet. Redline came, and went. I held it to within a centimeter of the fuel cutoff, squeezing out every ounce of power that was available and then some. Second gear. I glanced over in his lane... It was empty! I’d done it! “Miata’s are plenty speedy, you just can’t be afraid to wring that engine out!” I thought to myself with a smirk, thinking about the man in his cushy Audi, probably reeking of embarrassment at that very moment. As I was congratulating myself, the sound I had mistaken for a low flying jet changed in pitch. I heard crackles and pops of a thousand broken windows run through a stack of Marshall’s, mixed in with the deep bass crunch of a miles wide fissure tearing a gaping wound into the face of the planet. Good god. That... That CAN’T be what I think it is. I chuckled at Dodge’s hubris, they had no idea what four-wheeled beast truly deserved to be named “Hellcat.” Demon? There’s only one, and after hearing that Audi I can tell you that the Demon is no Mopar. The small orange dot in the distance, growing ever smaller..? Oh. He was already 100ft ahead of me. Make that 200.

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RIP my eardrums. That was the second loudest car I’ve heard in my entire life, right behind a 900hp FD rx7. So yeah, the “definitely-not-stock-but-if-it-was-it-would-still-be-making-almost-500-hp” Audi RS4 sedan trounced me, completely and utterly. But I caught him on the curve, which is all that matters. Miata’s in the twisties are no joke guys.

Oh and the engine? At 350,000 miles this 1.8 liter will just not die. In the past month I’ve been driving at 11/10 multiple times, for anywhere between a minute, to hours on end. I’ve changed my oil 3 times in the last 5 weeks, but other than that there have been no issues. May be weaker than a newborn kitten, but Mazda sure did make a solid little engine. Here’s another picture I grabbed afterwords, that Audi is a beast. May not compare to a similar (stock vs. Stock) m3 performance-wise, but on the “presence scale” the BMW would be a 2 and the RS4 a solid 9.