In its original definition, a muscle car is something small, two-door and American with a large-displacement, usually V8, engine up front spinning the rear wheels.
A regular-sized burger but with triple meat and triple cheese, if you will. It’s a formula we at Top Gear can definitely get on board with, but that’s not to say it can’t be improved upon.
For starters, something small and American isn’t small at all by anyone’s standards other than their own. However, introduce a bodyshell from somewhere that specialises in miniaturisation and lightness, like Japan, but stick with a stars-and-stripes V8 for that authentic slug of torque, and the power-to-weight ratio climbs handsomely. Who knows? It might even go around corners…
Allow me to introduce the Flyin’ Miata V8 conversion for the fourth-generation MX-5 – the emphatic answer to everyone who knew the MX-5 chassis could take more, but had to stand by for decades as Mazda refused to offer anything over 158bhp.
Images: Rowan Horncastle
This feature originally appeared in issue 291 of Top Gear magazine