Video: Barra-powered MX-5 modified for 1000hp at the hubs!

In this episode of Carnage, Scotty gives the Lightning McBarra MX-5 one final round of mods, with the goal of making over 1000hp at the hubs


Last time we took our Lightning McBarra Mazda MX-5 to Heathcote Park Raceway, it pulled a stonking 8.72 seconds at 160+mph!

We considered retiring the car at that point, but we’ve decided to make a few more judicious mods to get the very best out of the combination.

The goal is 1100hp at the hubs, which puts a low eight-second pass or even a seven within the realms of possibility.

The most pressing upgrade is to convert the car from the dead-head fuel system it has run since the MX-5’s original twin-turbo V8 form into a proper return line system. This will include upgrading to 2000cc injectors, a 2000hp-capable rising-rate fuel regulator, and girthy Proflow Teflon fittings and lines throughout.

These mods alone will allow the Barra to reach higher than ever before with a good margin of safety.

And remember, the MX-5 is running the Dandy Engines-built short block that was originally destined for Turbo Taxi, including I-beam rods and JE pistons. It’s far from cutting-edge spec-wise, but it is a world away from the SBE and hillbilly-honed Barra we’ve played with before.

Other features that have been holding the MX-5 back have been the dump pipe and the intercooler. With this in mind, Ben from Top G Fabrication has helped us out with both, squeezing a full four-inch dump pipe into the Mazda’s tight engine bay, which exits through the guard, and fitting a massive 600x300x125mm Proflow intercooler behind the front bar.

In the name of safety, Ben also fabbed a sturdy 3.5mm-thick catch tray that sits under the engine to contain any wayward fluids.

Scotty has also fitted an eight-button Haltech CAN keypad to the MX-5’s dashboard. This will add touch-of-a-button functionality to whatever parts of the Haltech ECU he desires. Options include boost limits, thermo fans, nitrous purging, page up and down, anti-lag, setting burnout and launch rpm, extra fuel pump and more.

Finally, Scotty added a bunch of heat shielding to the dump pipe and wiring to keep vital components cool at the track.

Check out the video to see it all in this week’s episode of Carnage, and tune in for the next MX-5 instalment, when we hit the hubs at Maxx Performance!