This beast of a Camaro proves used engines can perform better than new ones. Its owner wanted something he could drive every day and on long trips, so had a full-custom LS2 built to 500 horsepower and 430 torques. And damn, does it look mean.
These cars are not your average fuel-sipping sedans and reliable Hondas, though. What we’re looking for here is a list of cars that have unique characteristics, or are far cheaper than people expect them to be, or even surprisingly cheap for what they are. Expect to find ravenous V8s, surprisingly bulletproof off-roaders, and some serious sleepers that will smoke a whole host of cars off the line.
We have covered a few North American hot cars, but we haven’t covered a North American built supercar. The one that comes to mind immediately is the Ford GT. We say North American built because the car was designed in the U.S., but built in Ontario, Canada.
The current third-generation BN Mazda 3 is hands-down one of the most handsome hatchbacks on the market. It follows the Japanese automaker’s exterior design philosophy that’s become a hallmark feature of all Mazda vehicles in the last few years. The 5-door hatchback Mazda 3 is $1,300 more expensive than its 4-door sedan counterpart, but it provides almost double the cargo space with the rear seats folded. Other than that, there are no real differences between the two body styles. MY 2019 will, however, bring at least one important update to the powertrain department, and likely an entire body revision.
It’s generally more powerful than its sedan sibling since neither of the Forte5 trims dabbles with the Atkinson-cycle 147-horsepower version of the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine. The Forte5 hatchback generates either 164 horsepower or 201 ponies in the top SX trim, which benefits from the 1.6L turbo four unit. Similar setup will likely carry over into 2019.
If you want to get on board with a driving job as soon as possible, registering with a ride-sharing agency may be your best bet. Uber and Lyft are the most popular options and they do offer a fine opportunity for drivers. Best part? You do not need any special training, license or experience. Sure, some requirements still exist:
It’s a common misconception that Subaru’s EJ line of engines can be powered solely by vape. The neat thing about Subaru’s used engines is you can find any old 99-09 Forester, Legacy, Impreza, Outback, or even Baja in the USA and under the hood you’ll most likely find an EJ25.
The Plymouth Road Runner made no pretense about being a family sedan with an upgrade package. It was built for balls out speed and delivered in spectacular fashion with the 426 Hemi engine installed.
Any car made before 2008 or even the second generation of the S2000 claiming to be a club racer is a fraud, which is why you’ll find some examples as low as $10k. Don’t be fooled though while these are crazy cheap cars, they’re not that cheap. Expect to spend around $22k for a genuine Club Racer.
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.
If you want to do this, read about what it takes to shoehorn one of these used engines into a Fiero. Spoiler alert: it’s not a lot. Everyone talks about the larger Cummins used engines, but what about the four-cylinder 4BT? The “baby Cummins” will allow you stick one of those crude stickers on any car you want. Turns out not everybody knows what those stickers mean, so follow that link to get learnt. I’ll wait.
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.
That performance does come at a cost, though. Apparently, the EPA has officially rated this as the least fuel-efficient wagon for sale in the US at 14 mpg. Let’s not forget that this car also runs the quarter mile in about 12 seconds, so is fuel economy really going to be our concern here? I didn’t think so.