Ryan Passey's Amazing Mazda Hyper Miata

By Mike Kojima

We have always liked the super-efficient cars of Moti Almagor's Blackbird Fabworx. His cars have a distinct signature; lightweight, elegant, very fast with very little horsepower. Focus is put on maximizing handling, braking and cornering grip in a simple package. His creations have always piqued our curiosity. Moti is also a master of the difficult art of aero balance, getting grip while not creating drag, critical with small amounts of power. 

Recently at the last Global TIme Attack event at Buttonwillow raceway we got to check out Ryan Passey's, of Goodwin Racing, 1990 Mazda Hyper Miata that was built by Ryan in collaboration with Blackbird Fabworx. This Miata is far from an ordinary Miata. It is currently tearing up the limited RWD class in GTA.

Ryan has worked on the car for many years starting in Miata Challenge, then in 2014, moving to do battle in GTA. Ryan also worked as an apprentice at Blackbird Fabworx for two years to hone his skills while developing the car before starting Singular Motorsports. He now works for Goodwin Racing, a major player in the Miata performance world.

Let's take a close look at this very unique machine.


The heart of the Hyper Miata is the Chevy LFX V6 engine swap.  The LFX engine is an all-aluminum 3.6 liter DOHC V6 found in base models of the Cadillac CTS and Camaro LS.  It has variable cam timing, direct coil on plug ignition, direct injection and is flex-fuel capable.

On the Hyper Miata it is totally stock and is one of the main reasons why the car is stone reliable and runs every session for the entire time, unusual for a time attack car!

The LFX engine has been installed using a swap kit from V8 Roadsters using a V8 Roadsters subframe. The carbon plenum cover is one of the sole concessions to cosmetics. It covers the somewhat plain looking plastic intake manifold. 

For engine management, the LFX engine runs the stock ECU tuned using HP Tuners calibration suite. The tune takes full advantage of the OEM flex-fuel capability and 11.5:1 stock compression ratio to get the most out of E85 fuel.

All of the engine side injectors, fuel rails and regulators are all stock due to the complexities of direct injection. The low pressure in tank pump is a DeatschWerks DW300 to feed the GM high-pressure engine mounted pump that feeds the direct injection common rail.

The engine harness and wiring were modified by V8 Roadsters while the chassis and auxiliary harnesses were designed and built by Ryan with complete schematics and tagging also done by Ryan for the ability to properly troubleshoot the wiring if it is ever needed. All wiring forward of the firewall is terminated with bulkhead fittings to make engine removal a snap.  The wire harness can easily and quickly be removed with the engine as one unit.

The engine makes a healthy 326 whp at 7000 rpm and 293 lb/ft of torque at 4700 rpm which is very close to GM's claimed crank hp for the engine!



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Tuesday, May 01, 2018 8:20 PM
Amazing that the DOHC motor fit in there. Quite awesome!
Mike Kojima
Mike Kojimalink
Tuesday, May 01, 2018 9:33 PM
my thoughts exactly!
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 9:19 AM
It never ceases to amuse me what fits into these cars as far as driveline.
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 10:35 AM
I really, really like the brake duct pickup locations.

I have seen Toyota 1UZ dohc V8s fit into these cars.
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 2:11 PM
I want an RX8 with one of these engines... they make a kit for the NC, so RX8 should be doable (and there's a shop in TX that already has one)
Wednesday, May 02, 2018 4:37 PM
Great build! Awesome details; I especially like the wiring work and the attention to sealing of the front air dam and the hood to the components behind/under each. Some questions, though:

Why is there no cage or stiffening between the roll hoop and the a-pillar/upper-firewall area? I see the door bars, but I don't see anything tying the top of the roll hoop to the front portion. It seems like an area for improved chassis stiffening.

Since the differential is from GM, does that mean that the stock powerplant frame between the transmission and differential was removed? Also, what transmission is being used?
Dan DeRosia
Dan DeRosialink
Thursday, May 03, 2018 7:21 AM
I can't find the build thread quickly... I'm pretty certain that the PPF was not used. Transmission is mentioned as being Cadillac CTS - it's an Aisin LY6. CTS has different ratios than the V6 Camaro.

Actually, one build thread is here: http://www.trackhq.com/forums/f378/lfx-gm-v6-miata-%40-goodwin-racing-9566/
Thursday, May 03, 2018 9:06 AM
@BANFSTC They are making a compromise where they have achieved good roll and side-impact safety, and good longitudinal stiffness with the door bar and wheel intrusion bar tie-ins. I think the halo and A-pillar bars would have been left behind to maintain lower CG. You do not expect a competitors car to come through your windshield in time attack.

What I do question are the little bars from the strut towers to the firewall. I know the firewall sheet metal in that area is flimsy and meant for sealing rather than being structural. I would like to see if there is additional sturcture added in behind to tie those bars into something significant.
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