Enthusiasts have always begged Mazda for more power in its flagship roadster, the MX-5, but it's only caved once. The NB Mazdaspeed is the only Miata ever to be graced by anything more than a naturally aspirated four-cylinder. As a result, a slew of aftermarket companies have been responding to the demand for more power for a long time, one of the most popular being Flyin' Miata. The Colorado company has been putting small-block Chevy V8s into ND Miatas since 2008. Now it has to stop because it fears an emissions-related crackdown.
In a statement on its website, the company said: "While Flyin' Miata had an extensive history of building LSx-converted Miatas from 2008-2019 and built some of the most exciting Miatas to grace streets, autocrosses, tracks, and hill climbs all over the world, we have discontinued our V8 conversion service and are no longer offering turn-key builds or conversion parts for V8 builds. There are two factors here: there are questions about the federal legality of the conversions, and we have limited resources to build cars and do R&D. It wasn't an easy decision, but it was the best one for the future of the company." It then goes on to detail alternatives to the 500+ horsepower LS3s the company used to put into ND Miatas, like emissions-compliant turbo kits.
A turbo kit on a stock Miata engine is, of course, not a replacement for a small-block Chevy. There isn't much Flyin' Miata can do, though. The company is under the same immense pressure that other tuners like COBB have also caved to. The trend has begun: A lot of the companies you might've expected to operate in a grey area or bend emissions rules aren't going to do it anymore.
There's still at least one company that will sell you a kit to V8 swap a Miata called V8 Roadsters. There's also a slew of resources online for regular people to do a swap themselves. Remember: The EPA won't crack down on your build if you don't post it all over social media. If a tree falls in the forest...
You can also buy a used turnkey V8-swapped Miata. They come up on auction sites like Bring-a-Trailer relatively often. So is this bad? Yes. Is it the end of the world? Maybe not. Unless Mazda sells a faster MX-5, demand will always exist for stuff like this whether the EPA likes it or not.
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