This Wild Rotary Miata Did 173.4 MPH at Bonneville

A Miata is not your typical salt-flat race car, but with the right mods, it can produce results.

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Sam Okamoto built this rotary-powered Miata with the goal of racing at Bonneville in 2014, but heavy rain at the salt flat delayed its debut by two years. In 2016, after much anticipation, inspectors at Bonneville told Okamoto's team it had to make before the Miata could be set loose on the salt.

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The team worked against the clock. Then, the moment of truth:

Powered by a naturally aspirated 13B twin-rotor originally used in the second-generation Mazda RX-7, Okamato's Miata crossed the two-mile line at 151 mph. Not bad for a roadster that, in stock form, generates quite a lot of drag, even when its top is up. No top seems to be the way to go.

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Two years later, Okamato's Miata was even faster, evidenced by its new record of 173.4 mph set at Bonneville last weekend. Ever wondered what true salt happiness looked like?

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