Faster With Finnegan Pits a Honda Talon Against a Mazda Miata

Mike Finnegan bravely sets forth to see how a lifted Miata fares against a Honda Talon.

Mazda Miata hill climb
Three drag racers, a Mazda Miata, and a nitrous bottle walk into a bar …Motor Trend

What do you get when you throw three drag racers, a side-by-side, and a Miata into the same room? Well, aside from a lot of fairly tiresome jokes about what driving a Miata might say about you, an epic race.

Mike Finnegan, of Roadkill fame, and his buddies David Newbern and Mike Cotten pitted a tired, diminished 1990 Mazda Miata against a 2019 Honda Talon in the latest edition of Faster With Finnegan on Motor Trend on Demand. The idea was simple: Hit the loud pedal at the bottom of a mud hill, and see who reaches the summit first.

Honda Talon
With massive mud tires, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission, and four-wheel drive, David Newbern’s 2019 Honda Talon acquits itself about how you’d expect.Motor Trend

The show’s formula revolves around first trying the race as a run-what-you-brung beater against a purpose-built machine, before modifying the beater to see how close you can get to the expensive rig’s time.

Predictably, the Talon screams through the challenge without flinching. But what is arguably more impressive is how well a lifted Miata on BF Goodrich tires huffing a 50-shot of nitrous fared against some truly burly terrain.

The show is behind MT's paywall, but you can see the whole episode by signing up for MTOD's seven-day free trial. If ever a free trial was worth handing over your information for, this is the time.

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