That performance does come at a cost, though. Apparently, the EPA has officially rated this as the least fuel-efficient wagon for sale in the US at 14 mpg. Let’s not forget that this car also runs the quarter mile in about 12 seconds, so is fuel economy really going to be our concern here? I didn’t think so.
Find one of these in any old breadvan in the RV section of Craigslist no lowballs, I know what I have. The Cones-in-a-Parking-Lot Society scoffs at you for doing anything to a stock Miata outside of firming it up, so putting used engines in Miatas means provoking an internet army. It’s rare to hear about a swap that improves something about the stock balance of performance and durability, because most of them throw it out the window.
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What would you do with a couple used engines from the local junkyard? Take them down to the shop and make something crazy? Some people have the balls to do it, and a few even have the time, money, and resources. And unless you have the dime to spend on a crate motor, building used engines is the way to go. But which ones can you actually count on?
Sure, it weighs in at nearly 4,000 lbs, but it’s no slouch. Speaking of the SH-AWD (SH stands for Super Handling), that’s the model you’ll want to go for. It features some really intelligent engineering that allows the car to cruise at highway speeds with a 90/10 front/back power split, but can allocate up to 70% of power to the rear wheels for acceleration. On top of that, it can send 100% of that 70% to either of the back wheels independently, making this car one hell of a cornering machine.
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