If you own a car that’s underpowered and want a little more grunt, you can either upgrade your existing powertrain or instead, take out your car’s engine and swap it for something more powerful.
Both methods work but there’s something especially appealing about fitting an engine into a car that was never meant to support it. Like putting a huge Hellcat V8 in a Mazda Miata, for example.
This may sound like something you’d only expect from the world of Hot Wheels or a cartoon, but it’s very real and the build is currently under way in the United States. The finished product is bound to be absolutely phenomenal.
The group of friends responsible for this most epic of engine swaps acquired a wrecked 2017 Dodge Challenger Hellcat and quickly took out its almighty 707 hp 6.2-liter supercharged V8 and Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission. They could have decided to fit this engine into virtually anything and ultimately chose perhaps the most unlikely candidate imaginable: a 1999 Mazda Miata.
Not that much of a hassle as you’d imagine
When new, the tiny NB-generation Miata was fitted with a small 1.8-liter engine pumping out 140 hp. Much to our surprise, the engine bay of the Miata can actually accommodate Dodge’s Hellcat engine. They had to widen the transmission tunnel to fit the powertrain, but other than that, sliding the V8 in wasn’t too hard.
Of course, this Miata won’t hit the streets with simply a Hellcat engine and transmission and the rest of its factory parts intact because that would be… inconvenient. One example is the rear differential, which will be replaced with a Ford 8.8 that can handle the power and torque instead of exploding at the first nudge of the gas pedal.
The build is ongoing, but you can watch the first four parts in the playlist below. And you can bet we’ll be keeping a close eye for the final parts of this crazy build.