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.
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.
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.
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.
Of course, the true Cobras are going to be sublime in every way, but the kit cars can come pretty damn close, too. These crazy cheap cars are a good way to get your classic muscle fix, break some necks, and haul ass in a V8 roadster all at the same time. Who wouldn’t want that?
Everyone throws one of these used engines into a drift missile, but that’s been done. We’d rather see a turbocharger and a supercharger piled onto this straight-six to create a 900-horsepower road weapon. In stock form, these yachts used engines from BMW that were prone to failure at over 100,000 miles, since few Rolls Royces have ever seen that kind of use.
Sure enough, there are plenty of kit cars and replicas for sale right now that are going for less than $30k! You could be driving your dream car tomorrow and unless you’re an absolute stickler for detail, you probably won’t even notice the difference!
Find one of these in any old breadvan in the RV section of Craigslist no lowballs, I know what I have. The Cones-in-a-Parking-Lot Society scoffs at you for doing anything to a stock Miata outside of firming it up, so putting used engines in Miatas means provoking an internet army. It’s rare to hear about a swap that improves something about the stock balance of performance and durability, because most of them throw it out the window.
The new car will be slightly longer and wider, and it’ll sport an entirely new interior something past generations have struggled with. What’s more, the Blue Oval will source the hatchback from their new assembly in China instead of building it in Mexico as was originally intended. The current Ford Focus is still being built in Wayne, Michigan.
Smarts originally used engines under 1 liter in size, and you can pick up a rolling shell for under 3k easy. That means you can have this much fun for under 8k fabrication included. Try doing that with a 5-liter ‘Stang.
See, some can earn $300+ by placing advertisements on the car. Will they look a bit cheesy? Well, probably, but that is what it takes for an additional $300+ per month. Actually, I am not sure this fits this category of driving jobs as it is actually a marketing job. However, it could be good for you if you need some additional funds in your account. Google companies that would pay for this kind of advertising; they are out there.
So what do you get for $22k? One of the best and most balanced driving experiences of your life. This car is the ultimate daily roadster, and it offers a perfect blend of performance (thanks to a 237 hp, 160 lb-ft 2.2L I4) and handling (thanks to aero upgrades which reduced aero lift by upwards of 80%). It may not fit in terribly well with some of the other crazy cheap cars here, and especially not on craigslist, but it’s worth every last penny.
That’s why builders of the 240sx, FD RX7, and all kinds of custom applications have used engines from the LS family they’re all durable, well-built, and cheap to modify.