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The Mazda Miata is one of the most popular sports cars ever made, known for its agile handling, impressive reliability, and affordability. But for some enthusiasts, the stock engine isn’t enough. That’s where engine swaps come in – replacing the convertibles’ original engine with something more powerful, unique, or just plain crazy. In this article, we’ll look at five of the craziest Mazda roadster engine swaps ever completed, from a V8-powered monster to a rotary engine that spins to over 10,000 RPM.

Hellcat Miata

Hellcat Miata orange
Hellcat Miata | Hoonigan

Coming in at number one on this list has to be the Hellcat swapped Miata. You would imagine a giant engine like the 6.2-liter supercharged Hemi wouldn’t fit in a roadster. However, one man made it happen while pursuing 707 horsepower in a 2400-pound car. Would you drive a small convertible with the power-to-weight ratio of most hypercar?

Cummins Diesel Miata

4BT Diesel Miata red
4BT Diesel Miata | Engine Swap Depot

Another seemingly impossible swap, someone stuffed a 4BT Cummins diesel engine in an MX-5! Nicknamed the “Soot Saloon,” the turbo diesel Miata is set up for shredding burnouts and drifting. The engine is three times heavier than the stock one, but the car now makes 400+ horsepower.

Subaru WRX engine in a Miata

WRX Miata blue
WRX swapped Miata via Gingium on Instagram

The WRX engine is perfect for a Miata if you want even more weight distribution. The flat-four turbo engine sets the weight even lower in the chassis, improving handling. However, it does not weigh much more than the standard engine, keeping the 50/50 balance everyone loves. One of the most complex parts of the swap is how wide the engine is, but somehow, it fits!

V12 Toyota engine in a Miata

A massive 12-cylinder engine from a Toyota Century will also cram into a Miata engine bay. The 1GZFE produces 295 horsepower and 295 pounds of torque. While it isn’t the most powerful on this list, it is undoubtedly one of the best sounding. Fitting a custom exhaust system to this engine creates a Formula One racecar sound.

Rotary Miata

Rotary engine miata
Rotary Miata | Grassroots Motorsports

Although this is a somewhat common swap, it is still one of the coolest. Rounding out the top five is a rotary engine in a Miata completed by Grassroots Motorsports. Staying true to the brand, the compact rotary engine is an ideal swap for the car. Not only does it make more power, but it saves weight over the original motor! Naturally aspirated, they make nearly the same horsepower, but turbocharged versions can reach 500+ horsepower. But the best part of the swap is the sound they make.

What is the craziest Miata engine swap?

In conclusion, the Mazda Miata has proven to be a versatile platform for engine swaps, with enthusiasts pushing the boundaries of what’s possible. From the monstrous Hellcat engine to the unique rotary engine, these five swaps are some of the craziest and most impressive ones completed for the convertible. Each engine brings its unique characteristics. Whether it’s the raw power of the Cummins diesel or the Formula One-like sound of the V12 Toyota engine, they are all insane ideas. The Miata community continues to innovate and push the limits, and we can’t wait to see what crazy engine swaps they come up with next.


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