My wife has given me the green light to build my dream workshop. I currently do all my wrenching in a 3 bay garage, which is nice but not really big enough to do a major project and still have room for the daily drivers. So next spring the 40x60 pole barn goes up behind the house. To put that in perspective, the shop will be 2400 sq ft and the house is only 1200 sq ft.

Now that I’ll have the room for a major project, i’m looking to build a dedicated track car for HPDE. I’ve been toying around with a few ideas: C4/C5 Corvette, Fox Mustang, Audi S4, Neon SRT4, NA or NB Miata.


I’m leaning towards Miata for a few reasons:

They’re cheap to buy- A quick search of the List of Craig in my area shows decent vehicles for under $3500.


It probably wasn’t owned by a teenager and given questionable mods or severely abused. Clean, stock Fox bodies or SRT4s are few and far between.

It’s fairly reliable- Germans can have some issues, and repair costs can be high.


Consumables are cheap and should last longer- I’d much rather buy 15" tires than the 20" tires I currently buy, and I imagine brakes last considerably longer when you don’t have to use them as much.

Lastly, fastback Miatas look freaking awesome:

Illustration for article titled Any OPPOs have a turbocharged Miata?

So this brings me to my one sticking point: POWER!!!! or lack there of. I don’t want a momentum car that just putters around the track. I like speed. And lots of it. I want to be able to hit 140+ on a straight.

I don’t want to build a V8 monster miata. Not for track use, anyway. I don’t want to upset the weight balance. Good chance with the heavier engine (even an aluminum 5.3 weighs more than a 1.8) and the added low end torque, the vehicle could exhibit some severe over steer issues. And it’s cost-prohibitive to do it properly. I’d use Flyin Miata’s kit versus backyard engineering my own.


So this leaves forced induction. Anyone turbo or supercharge their NA or NB? How much power are you making? What’s performance like? 0-60? Is 180-200 hp in a Miata enough to make it properly fast?

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