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.
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.
The FJ40 was produced from 1960 all the way to 1983, but the mid-seventies models are going to be your best bet. With these examples, you’ll get the classic Land Cruiser look that will turn heads everywhere you go, one of the most capable 4×4 systems ever produced, and Toyota reliability that even extends well beyond the end of the paved road.
The 2JZ is like the LS of Japanese engines: the mere mention of it calls to mind the sound of a 240sx bouncing furiously off its rev limiter. It’s as easy as changing your shoes to drop a 2JZ into a variety of cars, and because so many Japanese cars used engines from this family, there are literally thousands of them to choose from and they’re all pretty cheap.
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.
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.
As if that is not enough, the Koenigsegg CCXR Trevita is powered by a 4.8L V8 that is capable of 1018 hp, blasts from 0 to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds and will hit 120 mph in 13.55 seconds. With a top speed of 255 mph, the CCXR Trevita is capable of 1.5G of lateral G-force. All that for the rock bottom price of $4.8 million. The price tag may be part of the reason that Koenigsegg only built a few of these hot cars.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Studebaker only built the Avanti for two years and sales totaled less than 6,000 units, but the car is amazing. The lines are unique and the interior is head-and-shoulders above any other car of the period. Studebaker had to build the body from fiberglass because trying to build such a unique car from steel would have been a daunting task. Power comes from 289 cu.in. V8 borrowed from the Studebaker Hawk lineup. Output topped out at just 240 hp; but, like the ’53 Vette, power is not the Avanti’s main reason for being on our list of hot cars.
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!