Five hundred horsepower and less than 1700lbs? Welcome to our new project.
As a promo/project car we are building an Exocet! It’s a kit car that uses the double wishbone suspension and (typically) the drive train from a Mazda Miata. Our build however is going to be far from standard, with lot’s of custom fabrication and engineering involved, including a custom built forced induction system. And we will most certainly not be using the Miata engine to achieve 500hp!
While our build will be on the extreme end of the spectrum, a standard one can be built for $10-$15k. We chose it because the build will will appeal to a wide range of audiences.
In Depth Look: Engine selection
A lot of thought was put in to selecting an engine for this project. It literally took 3 months to decide. Many engines were considered, with the last two contenders being the Chevy LS engine and Honda K-seiers.
Everyone knows the LS. It’s the most popular swap motor there is, maybe even too popular. They are easy to find, have a lot of torque, and there is a bolt in kit that can be purchased for the Exocet to make the swap easy. One downside is the power band is better suited towards a muscle car or sports car, not an extremely lightweight track car. Another downside is the weight. While the LS engine is light compared to an iron block v8, the engine and transmission weigh over 150lbs more then the Miata’ iron block 4 cylinder, and transmission. That’s a lot of weight to be adding to the front half of a car that only weighs ~1650lbs.
Now if you asked us several months ago if we’d ever consider swapping a Honda engine into anything, the answer would have instantly been NO! But the k-series is an incredible engine. They make over 100hp per liter from the factory (naturally aspirated), and because the head flows so great they respond to forced induction very well. With a safe redline of 8800rpm, the rev happy nature would be bettered suited to the goal of our build than a v8 would. The best part is, because the engine is all aluminum, the setup actually weighs more than 30lbs less than the Miata engine, while being much more modern and powerful.
For forced induction, supercharging was is obvious choice in this scenario. This is going to be a lightweight nimble track car, so the instant lag free power that a supercharger can provide made it a no brainer over a turbo setup. While people have made as much as 700whp (horsepower at the wheels) on the stock engine, to start we will be keeping ours around 430whp, which equates to about 500hp at the crankshaft.
The supercharger setup will add about 35lbs, but as stated previously the weight savings the k-series engine provides is over 30lbs. So hardly any weight penalty for nearly 4.5 times as much power as the miata engine!
In the end the K-series engine was selected because it will have the horsepower of a v8, but the rev happy behavior and light weight of a 4 cylinder. As a bonus, there will be lots of fun fabrication involved in the creation of a custom supercharger setup!
Below are a couple of sneak peeks of the progress, including the supercharger/alternator bracket that we custom built. We are a little behind in the blog, but will be catching you up on our progress over the next few weeks.
Facebook Giveaway and Updates
Be sure to like our newly created facebook page to be kept up to date. As a bonus you will be entered in to our wheel alignment tool giveaway, all you have to do to be entered is like the page. Simply click the button below, if the check mark appears next to the like you are good to go!
Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/WheelAlignmentTools/