These crazy cheap cars are some of the most badass wagons on the market, plain and simple. It does 0-60 in 4 seconds flat and features the same 6.2L supercharged V8 (inspired by the C6 ZR1 engine) as its sedan brother. It’s good for 556 hp, 551 lb-ft. of torque, and a shitload of good times, screeching tires, and sideways turns.
If anyone deserves to have too much time and money on their hands, it’s someone who will stuff a Ferrari 458 engine into a Toyota GT86. Enter Ryan Tuerck, an American professional drifter from New Hampshire who ran the internet a few years back with his wildest creation to date, dubbed the GT4586.
There’s only one place to find these used engines: the venerated Honda S2000. That means someone will have to wreck one and extract its beating heart for you to commit automotive debauchery. But act fast: Honda only built about 110,000 for you to choose from, and we can already think of 50,000 perfect uses for an F20C.
The HCCI engine doesn’t use spark plugs for ignition since such lean fuel mixtures can’t be ignited by them, but the SkyActiv-X tech does. Mazda’s new engines manage that by using a second dollop of fuel that isn’t as lean as the primary air/fuel mixture. This secondary mixture gets ignited by a spark plug, raises the cylinder pressure and, in turn, combusts the primary mixture. The new engine tech is promising even better efficiency and more power, but it seems that engine noise may need some more fine-tuning.
When I was young I rode to school in the back of a Nissan Stanza, and not once did I consider it to be a performance car. Little did I know that Stanzas used engines from the venerated KA line, the ones found in the early 240sx.
For 1970, the Cuda shed its fastback design and added a few engine options. The top engine was the 426 Hemi. Capable of 425 hp, the Hemi Cuda sucked air through dual Carter AFB four-barrel carbs sitting under a functional Shaker scoop. To handle its power, the ’70 Cuda had extra-heavy-duty front torsion bars with a spring rate of 124 lbs. per inch and a heavy-duty front stabilizer bar. Sitting out back were 148-lbs. per-inch rear leaf springs and extra-heavy-duty shocks. The 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda was built to run full out all day!
And then, daddy came home. In the final year of production, Buick gave us a car that history will never forget: The GNX (Grand National Experimental). While Buick marketed this car with 276 hp and 376 lb-ft of torque, it actually produced 300 hp and 420 lb-ft. These cars are rare and expensive, so don’t bother looking for one unless you’ve got the budget.
The SE and Autobahn models come with 8-inch screens, larger brakes, and an electronically-actuated torque-sensing limited-slip differential. The latter also throws in adaptive dampers and a Fender premium audio system. Regardless of your choice of trim, all Golf GTIs come with the same 220-horsepower 2.0L turbo four mill. The only way to beat that is to opt for the Golf R, which yields 292 ponies and starts perilously close to the $40,000 mark.