Perhaps the lone upside of the new Fiat 124 Spider feeling about as Italian as an Edamame Soybean Kit-Kat is that it will inevitably benefit from the ridiculously extensive Mazda MX-5 aftermarket. Naturally, that includes Flyin’ Miata’s V8 conversions. Why? Because tires are evil and must be punished, that’s why.
Flyin’ Miata already took delivery of a white 124 Spider named “Tony” for research and development purposes, the continuing adventures of which you can follow on their site here. But it won’t be Tony getting the first LS3 V8 inside—that’s more likely to be a customer car. Keith Tanner of Flyin’ Miata explained to Road & Track:
Because [the 124 Spider] has so much in common with the Miata, the first build will be a customer build. Under the skin, all the stuff that makes them different is the stuff we take out.
The cars are so similar that it’s really going to be that simple to adapt what they learned from stuffing a 525 hp LS3 V8 into the MX-5 to the Fiata. In fact, it may even be simpler, as the Fiata’s more ample curves give the mad scientists at Flyin’ Miata more room to work with under the hood. Extra cooling provisions made for the Fiata’s intercooled, turbocharged engine also means that the V8 will stay cool and happy.
The full V8 conversion as installed by Flyin’ Miata is expected to run $50,000 in addition to the cost of a donor car, Tanner told Road & Track. Not only is it expected to cost roughly the same as the Miata conversion, but it’s expected to include many of the same goodies, including a fuel-injected LS3 crate engine, Tremec T56 transmission, upgraded suspension, Brembo big brake kit, Positraction differential and wider tires.
The floaty, boaty ride height on Tony, for example, has already been cured with Flyin’ Miata springs and bumpstops and Bilsteins from the ND MX-5. So, in addition to the V8 conversion, I foresee many, many trackday-oriented toys in the Fiata’s future.