My Miata is finally having some much needed rust repair so its going to be in the shop for a couple of weeks with a friend who is taking care of it in his spare time. In the mean time, I still have autocross events to run so I ended up codriving with someone! I drove down there in my HOONDAI rental car (thanks Enterprise $9.99 a day special) and brought my tires with me and then had a blast in the crazy modified MR2.
Thanks to the common 4x100 bolt pattern, we were able to run my nice lightweight TRM wheels with Maxxis RC1 tires. He only had a very worn set of RE71Rs on very heavy wheels so this was certainly a nice upgrade. And since he runs XP due to the crazy motor swap, these tires are already legal there anyways.
So onto driving the car. Oh man was this thing nuts. Clutch grab was on the floor and the shifter needed to really be manhandled to get it into second. And the manual steering rack made steering feel spectacular. I dont think I am going to be able to deal with power steering in my Miata anymore lol. But even crazier was the power. This is making somewhere around 280hp with the motor from some AWD JDM station wagon. Apparently the boost was also turned down for reliability so he says its much faster when he is able to remove the engine cover and run it like that for track days. It being a front engine stuffed into a mid engined car, he has trouble getting the intercooler to stay cool properly.
This car is just so 80s that I love it. All of the interior and just everything about it made me want one quite bad. I have just started getting used to the ‘98 Neon I picked up which has that old school 90s feel. But the 80s, thats a whole nother level of cool. We had to take the T tops off so that I could fit in it with my helmet on, but of course top down life is better anyways!
For how it handled on course, he is running a swaybarless setup so its all springs. It was different to me since my Miata is mostly sway bar with softish springs. And the midengine pendulum thing definitely bit me in the ass once. There was a nice sweeper near the beginning of the course and I let off the gas right as it got tighter at the end and there went the rear end! I am used to my Miata understeering at the limit in that situation and needing to let off the gas to get it to turn in beautifully. But this needed much more maintenance throttle and a carefully inputted turn in. I only spun a little past 90 degrees and didnt stall it so it was all good. Plus it was my tires anyways so no big deal! After that I was fine and finally got a couple clean fast runs in near the end.
Every time I got on the gas, it was just beautiful how much this thing ripped. I need that in my Miata, a nice giant turbo would be quite fun!