Of course, even a 1.2-liter rotary makes upward of 130 horsepower, so that’s the tradeoff. Tuned examples can make over 250. 250 horsepower sounds a lot better when the entire car weighs under 2000 pounds; such is the case with this 13B-powered 1966 Volkswagen Beetle. It runs a 10.5-second quarter mile and packs eight times its original horsepower.
My 1000RR recently decided one of its rods belonged outside the crankcase. When I started looking at used engines I found out you can get a 2008+ 1000RR engine, one that’s good for 200 horsepower with only mild tuning, for under $2000. And my mind started running. Smart cars, MGs, Minis, Miatas every small car in the world would be a lot crazier with a redline of 15,000 RPM. Lucky for me another deep-pocketed gearhead has lived this dream too.
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The Pontiac Fiero isn’t what most people would describe as exciting. They were overhyped even at the time, and they used engines that always left something on the table in terms of performance. With over 370,000 produced, a Fiero today can be a great platform for one of those shitty Ferrari kits or better yet, a 3800 V6 swap. A modern V6 really wakes these babies up.
Built between 2004 and 2006, then resurrected for the 2016 model year, the Ford GT is sleek, sexy, and determined to outrun its own shadow. The post-resurrection cars are powered by a 3.5L EcoBoost V6. But this isn’t the same V6 found in a Ford Fusion. It is twin-turbocharged and capable of 647 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. With a curb weight just barely north of 3,000lbs, the GT is able to blast from 0 to 60 mph in a breathtaking 2.3 seconds, hits 100 mph in just 6 seconds, and has a top speed of 216 mph.
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