What do you get when you cross a lifted MX-5 with a Subaru WRX? We'll get back to you on that.
It's a verifiable fact that off-roading is just simply better with the top down. That's why the Jeep Wrangler has long offered drivers the option of open-air motoring, and reports indicate that the forthcoming Ford Bronco has been designed with a removable roof, as well.
But what if you were to take a different route, transforming one of the best-selling convertible sports cars of all time - the Mazda MX-5 Miata - into a lifted, Subaru-powered rally machine? That build exists, believe it or not, thanks to Instagram user gingium.
What you're looking at is a Mazda Miata NA with a full powertrain swap from a donor 2002 Subaru WRX. That's right; this pint-sized Japanese roadster has all-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter turbo motor.
Gone is the factory front valance, replaced with some coated tubular steel, and the hood boasts a broad, aggressive scoop for improved airflow.
You'd think that WRX's factory 227 horsepower would be enough for the anemic NA Miata, but gingium appears to have taken things a step further. Poking out at the front of the car is what appears to be a Mishimoto oil cooler and a big, wrapped section of exhaust, while at the back, the radiator takes up most of what was once the trunk, with a pair of exposed Mishimoto puller fans perched on top.
If we were placing bets, we'd say this thing will really fly.
There's plenty more to love about this build, too, from the full roll cage to the flared fender extensions, to the sleeker pop-up headlamps with dual projectors. It looks absolutely epic.
The first-generation of the Mazda MX-5 Miata has a massive following, thanks to a low curb weight and holistic driving experience, but if there's one common complaint, it's that the car's naturally aspirated engine offerings just don't have enough get-up-and-go. A full Subaru WRX powertrain swap is certainly one way to overcome that.