The Mazda Miata is all about how a bunch of humble parts come together to create a car that is an overwhelmingly fun experience. That does mean that there are parts of the Miata that aren't as good as they feasibly could be. The engine is one of those parts.
The 1.8 liter engine in the NA and NB isn't exactly known for being the most exciting powerplant in the world. It does its job, but it could be far more evocative and free revving. What is free revving is the Honda K24, a fun little bruiser of an engine.
So, instead of swapping in a V8 like so many people do, o. The result, as Matt Farah will tell you, is pretty damn great.