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.
Thanks to its 1.4L 4-cylinder engine, a 101-horsepower electric motor and an 8.8 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, the A3 e-tron generates up to 201 horsepower. It also allows up to 16 miles of all-electric range and either 34 mpg combined or 83 MPGe. It takes 8 hours to fully charge one, but a 220-volt Bosch charger that comes standard with the A3 cuts that to 2 hours.
The 5-door compact luxury plug-in hybrid hatchback from Audi doesn’t come cheap. The A3 e-tron Sportback starts from $39,500, while fully stacked models easily surpass the $50,000 mark. Although that’s a lot of money for a compact hatchback, the plug-in hybrid Audi A3 is one of precious few cars in its segment. With the BMW 3 Series undergoing a full redesign next year, and the Grand Turismo hatchback model likely leaving the game by then, the A3 Sportback will remain one of the only German luxury compact hatches on the market.
The Japanese manufacturer’s cars are efficient and fun to drive mostly thanks to their revolutionary SkyActiv-G engine technology. Mazda isn’t resting on its laurels, though, and is preparing a whole new generation of SkyActiv-X powerplants. These new engines will be able to use extremely lean fuel mixtures like the homogeneous-charge compression-ignition engines.
Pick one of these crazy cheap cars up for your next autocross project for around $4,500, assuming you can actually find someone willing to sell. These cars are only getting harder to come by, and you can likely kiss any expectation of the car having under 200k on the clock goodbye.
Japanese cars you’ve never heard called by these names include the Toyota Aristo, Chaser, Cresta, Progres, Brevis, Crown, and Gita, all of which used engines from the 2JZ family. If you’re feeling fast and furious you could pull one from a Supra too, but please don’t.
You know that there is such a thing as a stunt driving school!? It does exist and if you really want a high-paid driving job, this is it. Sure, making it to the A-list is a hard process, but if you make it you will have a lot of work. With this many movies, TV-series, and documentaries coming out every year, wrecking cars on camera can be required every single day.
Most of the compact Kia Forte’s sales come from the sedan, but the favorite American body style isn’t all that the Forte has to offer. The Forte5 hatchback is also a major part of the lineup with the price tag $1,500 higher than that of the sedan.