Low Power Battle: EK Civic Challenges NB Miata on Track
How will the most versatile Civic of the Golden Era fare against a track-day favorite?
The “Driver Battles” segment on the Driving Line YouTube channel is absolutely excellent. We’ve seen some cars come out on top that really surprised us. And a few that didn’t. When we saw that they pitted an EK hatch against the infamous Mazda Miata, we had to take a look. Golden Era Honda Civic hatchback against the most-raced chassis in the world? Yeah, this couldn’t be anything but good.
So, here are the relevant deets for the Civic: non-VTEC B20 swap, B16 tranny with LSD, basic bolt-ons, Nitto NT01s, NSX brake calipers, and Winmax pads. Basically something that should be able to take some track-day abuse. That non-VTEC B20 was chosen for its affordability over its bragging rights. The contender is a second-generation NB Miata with basic bolt-ons. Though on the street the Miata may get a bad rap, on the track a Miata can more than hold its own. The Mazda is the most raced car in the world. Think cheap, but good, as far as racecars go. This also plays out the age-old FWD vs RWD argument.
The competition is run “time attack” style, so both the Civic and Miata drivers were able to lay down as many laps as possible during the day. The end result? By a hair, by literally a second, the Honda came in second place. The Miata took the lead early on in the race, but didn’t walk away from the Civic by any means. Though it’s hard to say for sure, we think some VTEC may have helped close that one-second gap.
It’s not small thing to run toe-to-toe with the Miata either. With basic bolt-ons, and a swap anyone near a large junkyard can accomplish, the versatile EK Hatch was able to hang with the most popular track-day car around.
How would you set up a Civic for track day use/abuse? Join us in the forums and let us know what you think!