I’ve always wanted to drive a Bugatti Veyron, but my job never seems to pay enough for me to get that opportunity. Like many motorheads, I do love the sheer power and the insane speeds that these supercars can achieve. But if I’m honest, I can’t even afford the supposedly affordable sports cars like that $60,000 Corvette.
That’s why I think that these sports cars are not accurately named. Sure, they’re sporty, but they’re also a real luxury. Yes, they’re powerful, but have you looked at their fuel economy? What about what the insurance company says about insuring it? The practical side of me, the side that thinks that gas prices are too dang high, would rather drive a Camry or a Subaru, something that’s cheap and economical. Maybe I’d just drive less so that I can save on my car insurance.
But all that mindfulness about being a practical driver in this day and age went away when I saw that someone rigged a 707 hp supercharged V8 engine from a Dodge Hellcat onto a little 2,500 lb Mazda Miata.
Engine swapping isn’t a new thing but it’s always a fun time when you see something so insane like that. Of course, unfortunately, regulatory bodies don’t think that a Miata with a 707 hp engine should be driving on public roads. So that’s a reminder from the government that practicality is a practical consideration to make when it comes to cars.
But still, it’s amazing and hilarious to see that tiny orange Miata doing burnouts on a race track. Hoonigan Daily Transmissions, the folks that decided that it was a great idea to do this engine swap, says that the Hellcat engine is about half of the gross weight of this super Miata. They do say that even though it’s a 707 hp engine, the Miata actually only ends up getting about 685 real horsepower. Still, for a 2,500 lb car, that’s an insane power-to-weight ratio.
A Mazda Veyron
Some quick math shows that this mighty Miata has a power-to-weight ratio of over 540 hp per ton. There are some hypercars out there that have a higher power-to-weight ratio, but that’s actually a higher power-to-weight ratio than a Bugatti Veyron! So it does seem like those Hoonigans created a monster of a Miata. It’s great seeing those childhood experiments of putting rockets on the back of toy cars finally paying off and having a practical purpose in life.
Unfortunately, because this mighty mouse of a Mazda Miata falls apart as it’s being driven around a race track, we may never know how high or how fast this Miata can soar. The tires on the Miata simply can’t handle all that Hellcat power and they start disintegrating the moment a foot touches the pedal.
And don’t even get started on the heat. The Hellcat needs a complex and elaborate cooling system so that those 700 horses don’t run away from the car. The Hoonigans did a good job at creating a solution to the Miata’s cooling problem, but there’s no guarantee that this Miata won’t turn into several smaller Miatas after being driven longer than a few minutes.
And then there’s the pricing. The Hoonigans don’t mention how much this swap costs but a Hellcat isn’t cheap to start with. Edmunds gives a quote of about $65,000 for one but maybe they just bought the engine off of someone else. The Miata is pretty cheap though, so it wouldn’t be surprising if that Hellcat engine cost them more than the Miata did.
Fortunately for fans of this mighty Miata, Mazda is upgrading the power of its latest Miata model. The newest Miata comes with a perfectly street-legal and slightly more practical 2.0-liter 181 hp engine. It’s disappointing that we can’t drive a Hellcat-swapped Miata with the power-to-weight ratio of a Bugatti Veyron, but at least it exists.