The Mazda MX-5 Cup one of the best entry-level sports racing cars in the world. Based on the ND Miata, the MX-5 Cup uses a sealed stock engine paired with a SADEV sequential gearbox, and gets a full roll cage plus extensive suspension and brake upgrades. The car competes in the one-make Global MX-5 Cup series—which produces some of the best racing on the planet—and it’s also a popular choice for track-day goers. Flis Performance, the Daytona Beach, Florida shop charged with building MX-5 Cups, just built its 300th example.

Flis, which has built all MX-5 Cup cars since 2019, intends to keep this car as a development vehicle. So unfortunately, you won’t see it bump drafting around America’s road courses in the MX-5 Cup series. But it will help ensure that the racing is as tight as ever. Still, #300 has already hit the track in the hands of 11-year-old Keelan Harvick, son of retired NASCAR star Kevin. 


When it launched in 2016, the MX-5 Cup cost just $53,000, making it one of the cheapest factory-backed race cars in the world. Now, it costs $99,000, but the latest car features a number of upgrades. And it could be a decent investment. There’s a $250,000 prize for the first-place winner in the MX-5 Cup, with $85,000 going to runner up, and $50,000 to third. Sure, it costs about $150,000 or more to be part of a front-running program, and you need to be a damn good driver to win, but hey, whatever helps you justify the car.

What’s amazing is that the 300 MX-5 Cups built represent just a fraction of the Miatas out there racing around the world. Mazda has long claimed that the Miata is the most raced car on the planet, and when the 150th MX-5 Cup was built, it said in a press release that over 3,000 had been turned into race cars. But that feels conservative. On any given race weekend, there are probably hundreds of Miatas racing in America alone. The continued success of the MX-5 Cup means that should keep going for quite some time. 

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Last Update: June 30, 2024

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