Exomotive MEV Exocet
With 750,000 sold between 1989 and 2005, the Mazda Miata is the bestselling two-seater sports car in history. A reliable, lightweight roadster featuring front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout with a soul that descends from the popular British sports cars of the 60s. There’s a reason we all love it: it really is that good. Just take a look at your local track on any given weekend.
So what is the problem with the Miata? Truthfully, not much. That’s why it makes an excellent platform for a new exoskeletal kit car. Designer Stuart Mills had very clear design goals from the beginning of the Exocet project: easy to build, lightweight, low cost and massive fun. A brilliant concept aimed at the novice car builder.
For 2013 and beyond, Exomotive has taken the Exocet concept to the next level by completely reengineering the chassis for improved rigidity, safety and build time. Every single tube and panel has been redesigned using the latest CAD software and extensive Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to eliminate weak points, improve stiffness and optimize weight. New front and rear bulkhead designs, stressed driveshaft cover, gusset plates, triangulation tubes, integral rollbar design, revised tubing wall thicknesses, a boxed-in engine bay, and a revised floor that now functions as a loadpath between the subframes and suspension points all contribute to an over 300% torsional stiffness improvement compared to the previous model.
In addition to the Miata powertrain, the new Exocet has been designed with LSx V8 power in mind. Improved front bulkhead, floor and transmission cover design allows for exciting options like an LS3/T56 with a Ford 8.8 or CTS-V rear end. Bolt on your Monster Miata, V8 Roadsters or Boss Frog V8 subframe kit and you can create something that will truly scare you. Even a relatively modest LSx build would put you at a power-to-weight ratio similar to the current crop of hypercars – and the new chassis can handle it!
The Build Process
The build progression is simple: strip down the body of a donor 1990-2005 Mazda Miata, remove the wiring harness, unbolt the front and rear sub-frames and lift off the old body with an engine hoist. You will be left with the entire mechanical underpinnings of the Miata.
Next, rivet the floors on to the Exocet chassis, install the brake/fuel lines and bolt the new exoskeletal Exocet chassis to the donor drivetrain. Now re-install the steering column, instruments, wiring harness, parking brake, fuel tank, seats and seat belts. Most builds are completed in about 100 hours. No welding, special tools or alterations to donor components needed. You don’t even need to take the engine out.
Source: Exomotive Press