Half the appeal of the Mazda MX-5 for enthusiasts is how good a base the sports car is for modifications. It’s not exactly a thriller in stock form, but with a little work, amazing things are possible.
OK, so the NA Miata belonging to Kostas Sidiras of One Lap Heroes YouTube fame may have received somewhat more than “a little work,” but the car still proves our point. It’s had a V6 transplant, but not of the Jaguar AJ ‘Rocketeer’ variety us here at CT are familiar with. Instead, Kostas’ MX-5 sits a General Motors LFX Camaro engine on a custom subframe.
It’s far from the most common V6 swap for these cars, but dropping one of these in makes a lot of sense. The 3.6-litre unit is reliable, all aluminium, in plentiful supply, and makes around 320bhp straight out of the box. Providing you apply the right kind of chassis changes to make the most of that power, you can get around your favourite circuit very quickly indeed. How does a 7min 33.8sec lap at the Nurburgring sound?
Despite admitting being a little “rusty” behind the wheel and claiming the car isn’t quite finished (standard project car stuff), Kostas was able to put what’s thought to be the fastest ever Nordschleife lap for an MX-5. Previously, that honour went to an extensively modified NC MX-5, which managed a 7:37.38.
With its 7min 33sec lap, the LFX-engined Miata is in fine ‘Ring lap time company. The Lexus LFA and Pagani Zonda F went round in similar times via Sport Auto conducted tests, although it is worth pointing out that tyre technology has moved on significantly since then, and track modifications in the last few years have sped up some sections. But still, not much over seven and a half minutes is breathtaking stuff, and there’s likely more to come.