Yesterday, Road & Track published some disappointing news: Flyin’ Miata is officially out of the V8-swapped ND Miata game. Unless you can find a used one, you’ll have to look to other companies such as V8 Roadsters to satisfy your eight-cylinder Miata needs. But technically, this isn’t new news.
First, though, it is true that Flyin’ Miata will no longer stuff a GM V8 into your favorite Japanese roadster. The company’s help page includes a statement saying exactly that:
While Flyin’ Miata has an extensive history of building LSx-converted Miatas from 2008-2018 and churning out 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. With emissions regulations becoming increasingly stringent and government entities seemingly eager to slap big fines on businesses that sell “emissions defeat devices,” we have made the difficult decision to lay our V8 program to rest.
But while the R&T article claimed this was posted earlier this month, when we talked with Keith Tanner, the owner of Flyin’ Miata, he told us his shop actually stopped building V8 cars “three to four years ago. It’s just that no one noticed until [yesterday],” he said.
Flyin’ Miata also didn’t stop the swaps because of a specific engineering problem or new law. It was just that the swaps “technically bypass emissions controls” and already took up a ton of resources. Considering Flyin’ Miata does significantly more four-cylinder business, it sounds like it simply wasn’t worth the effort to figure out how to continue making their V8s legal. And with more attention being paid to emissions, it wasn’t worth the risk to keep selling them as-is and hope no one noticed.
Incidentally, yesterday was Flyin’ Miata’s 39th anniversary, and as Tanner put it, “We want to stay in business for another 39 [years].” We hope that happens, too, because even without a V8, Flyin’ Miata’s modified four-cylinder cars are still pretty sweet.