Alphadawg
Alphadawg New Reader
Feb. 25, 2014 6:32 p.m.

Now that I know the answer, I am looking at cars for autocross and hopefully some HPDE. Will it really matter if I get a Miata with the 1.6 instead of the 1.8? I am mostly interested in a low budget but I would be willing to spend a little more if the difference is worth it. I don't want to make the purchase and then wish I had the extra horsepower or torque. Thanks!

Keith Tanner MegaDork
Feb. 25, 2014 6:47 p.m.

Go for the 1.8. It's got a better diff, a stronger R&P, bigger brakes and will always make about 10% more power for the same effort as a 1.6.

Don't get me wrong, you can still have a lot of fun with a 1.6. I've got two cars with 1.6 Miata engines, and a used 1.6 Spec Miata might be a great budget way to get into an HPDE car. But all else being equal, the better hardware that was introduced in 1994 make the 1.8 a superior choice.

I am ignoring any potential class considerations for autox.

captdownshift Reader
Feb. 25, 2014 6:59 p.m.

1.6L makes the later decision to go 5.3L that much easier...

thestig99
thestig99 HalfDork
Feb. 25, 2014 7:06 p.m.

Whichever one is least rusty.

Klayfish SuperDork
Feb. 25, 2014 7:41 p.m.

Keith is the answer on the answer car, so definitely listen up.

I haven't raced either one, but I own a 1.6 and 1.8. Side by side and for the same price, I'll go 1.8 every day of the week and twice on Sunday. But that's not to say that I wouldn't jump all over a properly priced 1.6.

Oh, and yeah, whichever has the least rust.

ouchx100 New Reader
Feb. 26, 2014 2:36 a.m.

I have a 1990 base ( 1.6, no power steering, ac, or fancy diff ) that I use in autocross. If properly driven I'm just as quick as the 1.8 cars. I have no experence with the NA 1.8 but have driven an NB and didn't notice too much difference.

z31maniac
z31maniac UltimaDork
Feb. 26, 2014 7:14 a.m.
ouchx100 wrote: I have a 1990 base ( 1.6, no power steering, ac, or fancy diff ) that I use in autocross. If properly driven I'm just as quick as the 1.8 cars. I have no experence with the NA 1.8 but have driven an NB and didn't notice too much difference.

You can't really compare two different drivers in two different cars.

OP, no reason to go for a 1.6 unless you can get for a song. I'm currently deciding what to do with my 1.6.

To swap in a VVT engine and torsen, is likely going to take $4500-5000 to do it properly. $5k will already buy a 01-05 Miata that already has both installed.

belteshazzar UberDork
Feb. 26, 2014 7:30 a.m.

you used the term Low Budget, just buy the nicest one you can find.

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