In the tiniest of drag races, two custom Mazda MX-5 Miatas face off to prove which is the fastest.
These aren't your typical Miatas. First, they're both old. Mat Watson's MX-5 is a second-gen model from the early 2000s. When it was new, it featured a 1.8-L inline 4-cylinder engine with 146 hp and 124 lb-ft of torque. It still has that same engine, but now it has a supercharger boosting power to 196 hp and 175 lb-ft at the rear wheels. That makes it somewhere north of 200 hp at the crank, which is a lot for a car that weighs as little as an MX-5.
Alex's (of Car Throttle fame) Miata is a first-gen that he lovingly refers to as "Phil." It's even older than Mat's as it first hit the road before 1993. We know that for certain since it doesn't have anti-lock brakes and that's the first year the Miata received ABS. It would have been born with a 1.6-L inline 4-cylinder with 114 hp and 136 lb-ft of torque, but it's had its motor swapped with a 3.0-L V6 with 250 hp and 240 lb-ft of torque.
That's not all. Alex has spared no expense on his personal ride, giving it a racing steering wheel, new bucket seats, quilted leather interior, new sound insulation, and a roll bar.
Both cars are convertibles running with the top down, and while both are covered in GoPro cameras, Alex’s ride has a bit more drag thanks to its pop-up headlights. It also weighs about 100 lbs more thanks to its engine swap and various additions. Is that enough to overcome a 50 hp difference?
No, of course not. Why would you even think that? They’re both basically the same car, but one has the V6 out of some Toyota van while the other is just barely supercharged. Why would that ever make enough of a difference in a drag race?
It’s not a stark difference, mind you, with only a half-second separating the two cars in terms of quarter-mile times. What really separates these cars are the brakes, with Phil locking its wheels on the brake test and causing a big plume of smoke. Doesn’t get any more old-school than that.