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The Mega Miata

Ohmygod. Under the bonnet of this MX5 is a 300kW blown Ford V8 that gives this 1160kg Mazda a 0-100 time of about 4 seconds... Like it? You can order your own.

By Harvey Schwartz

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The Mazda Miata is one of the world's most popular small convertible roadsters. It takes off where the old MGB left off - nicely styled, inexpensive and a lot of fun to drive. And with its success in the later part of the 20th century, other auto manufacturers have introduced their own version of a small, relatively inexpensive, sporty roadster, namely the BMW Z3, Porsche Boxster, Lotus Elise, Toyota MR2, Honda S2000, etc. Here in southern California, the Miata is one of the best selling convertibles, taking advantage of the great year-round weather. There's only one item lacking with the MX-5 Miata - even in the latest variable valve timed version - and I'm speaking of the lack of good ol' power.

Southern California, the 'car capital of the world' has literally thousands of more powerful and faster high-performing roadsters prowling the streets and freeways. When you're sitting in a Miata and you get one beside you at a traffic light, the feeling is total emasculation - you're left in the dust of the Porsche, BMW, Ferrari, Corvette, Z28, Viper RT/10, SLK, etc. But to the rescue comes Monster MotorSports of Escondido, California, just north of San Diego. Monster MotorSports will take your Mazda MX-5 Miata and convert it into a Fire Breathing Monster that will blow away 99% of the sports cars that you might meet up with at a red-signal light.

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Over the past eight years, Monster MotorSports has converted over 275 MX-5 Miatas into Monster Miatas. I spent a morning with John Smith, chief engineer for Monster MotorSports. John gave me the lowdown on what makes up a Mega-Monster Miata as we quickly sped over the back roads of Escondido in a beautiful canary yellow Mega-Monster Miata.

The Mega-Monster conversion package will cost you US$35,000 and Monster MotorSports will keep your Miata about four weeks. The wait is well worth it because Monster MotorSports does an exceptional job with the finest quality parts and experienced personnel and they warranty the parts/labour for 12-months, 20,000km. Technicians first tear down your Miata to the frame and reinforce it with custom fabricated engine and transmission mounts which are integrated with additional chassis reinforcements. The engine bay then becomes home for the supercharged 5-litre EFI Ford V8 engine. A K&N airfilter and a Kenne Bell polished Whipple supercharger provides 6.5 psi boost to lift power to 300kW at 4800 rpm and just under 490Nm of torque at 3200 rpm. The transmission is then replaced with the Ford T5 world class, smooth shifting, 5-speed manual transmission to take on the added horsepower.

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The suspension is upgraded with Mazda RX7 R1 5-bolt hubs, uprights and spindles. The all double-wishbone suspension keeps a solid footprint on the road and includes forged aluminium A-arms, gas-charged shocks, custom high rate springs and 22.2mm front and 15.9mm rear sway bars with high-performance nylon bushings. A heavy duty Ford limited-slip differential is installed to keep unwanted wheel slippage to a minimum.

Safely stopping the Mega Miata are improved brakes. Monster MotorSports takes parts from the Mazda RX7 R1 with its larger rotors and calipers. These powered and slotted brakes measure 328mm up front and 305mm in the rear. Great grip and traction is assured as Monster MotorSports shods the Mega-Miata with Pirelli P700 high-performance tyres. Up front are 225/40 ZR 16 inch tyres and in the rear are 245/45ZR 16 inch tyres that are wrapped around Monster Pro-Lite 3-piece aluminium wheels, 16 x 8 up front, and 16 x 9 at the rear. Monster keeps the non-powered, stock Miata rack and pinion steering system, which can handle the extra stresses of the conversion.

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The exterior gets the Mega-Monster treatment next, and it includes a fibreglass front nose section with enlarged cooling intake and integrated pop-up driving lights, fibreglass flared fender and quarter panels with seamless joints, fibreglass valance with centre oval opening for the stainless steel, Monster cat-back, dual exhaust system's large oval tips. Body enhancements also include a rear deck-lid wing, a louvered, bulging, and braced aluminium bonnet for better engine breathing and a DOT-approved Monster 4-point roll bar. You'll also notice the race styled aluminium side-mirrors, a race styled aluminium fuel filler cap, windshield and side graphics.

On the inside, the finest quality glove-soft leather seats are installed. They are very comfortable and supportive. The door panels are stitched to match the exterior panels. You can also order a special M/M shifter knob. When viewing the Mega-Monster-Miata, a little of the older Cobra comes to mind.

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Besides better exterior looks, the Mega-Monster Miata has a quiet and calm idle, but once you mash your foot down on the throttle, the 1160kg Miata turns into an exploding road rocket accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph (97 km/h) in only 3.9 seconds, covering the quarter mile in only 12.2 seconds at 118 mph and topping out at 175 mph (282 km/h), thereby burying the stock 140 mph speedo! On the back roads driving with John, the Mega-Monster Miata easily handled the tightest turns at high-speed as the Miata can now pull over .98g's on the skidpan.

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If you love Mazda Miatas, love being noticed when you go by and want to burn Mustangs, Vettes, Porsches, Ferraris and the like, then you owe it to yourself to check out Monster MotorSports in Escondido, California. When you add up the price that you paid for your Miata and the US$35,000 conversion, it is well below the price for a Porsche, Dodge Viper, Ferrari, ZR1 Corvette, etc. Monster MotorSports ships worldwide and can be reached by telephone at +760 738-7592 or you can fax for information at + 760 738-7593.

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What is an extra US$35,000 when you can be behind the wheel of one of the world's fastest roadsters - the Monster MotorSports Mega-Monster Miata.

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