This is going to be absolutely insane.
If you're into exhibition driving, there's no better time to be alive than in 2022. After Ken Block arguably set the trend for high-profile, one-off builds with his Hoonicorn, a number of other driving personalities have come up with crazy creations to satisfy their fantasies. One is Ryan Tuerck, with his V10-powered Toyota GR Supra while another is Daigo Saito, who is showing off a NASCAR-powered Hakosuka GT-R at Tokyo Auto Salon. Not to be outdone, New Zealand drifter and rotary fanatic 'Mad Mike' Whiddett has revealed his plans for a Pikes Peak contender in this, a Mazda 3 with a four-rotor engine, 1,200 horsepower, and, get this, four seats!
Little else has been revealed, but what most of us are most interested to know is if the originally front-wheel-drive Mazda hatchback will be converted to AWD, or if the Kiwi will be changing things up on the super risky hillclimb with a RWD setup. But Mad Mike didn't earn his name by accident, so when asked which axle(s) would be powered, he answered simply: "We'll be fast and sideways."
By "we", we assume he means the lunatics willing to occupy the other three seats in the unconventional hatchback. This is really unusual for a competition-focused build, but Mike has never been about honoring tradition.
What Mad Mike holds as sacred above all else is the rotary engine, and even his son Lincoln tears up the track with a rotary-powered Mazda MX-5 Miata. His significant other, Toni Cook, has a Cosmo RX5, and then there's the infamous RX-8 known as "BADBUL". Unfortunately, not all of Mike's builds are destined for Dorito treatment.
A couple of years ago, Mad Mike turned a Lamborghini Huracan into an 800-hp drift missile, but Lamborghini was very specific about its requirement of retaining the original engine and keeping it free of forced induction. Still, with motoring celebrities such as this keeping love for the Wankel engine alive, maybe Mazda will be forced to finally make good on its word. For now, we're looking forward to seeing and hearing this crazy car doing its thing at Pikes Peak.