Some of these used engines are more common than others, but the only real limitations are your wallet and your imagination. Without further ado let’s dive in to some of the best used engines available, broken down by country of origin.
That said, the Grand National is one of the best factory sleepers ever made and you should be able to find one of these crazy cheap cars for around $20k, even though the average asking price seems to be MUCH higher.
Whether it’ll receive a new CVT gearbox remains to be seen. The sedan will come with a standard 6-speed manual and, for the first time, an optional CVT for upgraded fuel economy, which should see the new Forte sedan deliver up to 3 mpg more than the current model. The 2019 Kia Forte will also feature 54% more high-strength steel in its frame which should ensure it gets top crash scores.
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.
Built to honor the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, the SLS AMG GT embodies eye-catching lines and superlative design. The SLS AMG GT possesses beauty that is more than skin deep. Under the hood is a 6.2L powerplant that creates 583 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque. Those numbers allow the SLS AMG GT to jump from 0 to 60 mph in just 3.6 seconds. It is able to finish a quarter mile in 11.7 seconds at 125 mph on its way to a top speed of 197 mph.
This had a heavy impact on the brand as a whole, hence they decided to pull a somewhat unorthodox move. The new Buick Regal that goes under the Sportback moniker is now a hatchback. The Euro-styled intermediate will also be available as the TourX wagon, while the good old sedan remains a Chinese market exclusive.
The only problem with these crazy cheap cars is that they are getting more expensive as time marches on. With plenty of examples reaching upwards of $80,000 at auction, you may be intimidated at first. Rest assured there are plenty of examples resting comfortably around the $25k-$30k range, and we even saw one with more than 600,000 miles that was still going strong!
Later 240sx models used engines of the KA24DE derivative which had double overhead cams and four valves per cylinder, as opposed to the KA24E’s three-valve SOHC setup. This resulted in higher power, torque, and redline figures. As far as used engines go, either one is a reliable starting point for your next swap.
Being one of the most iconic Buick nameplates still around, it’s not surprising that the Tri-Shield badge’s sales revolved heavily around the good old Regal. However, the aging Regal sedan couldn’t keep up with the more advanced competition and its sales took a nosedive in 2017.
As always, the Volkswagen Golf offers better interior quality and overall feel than all of its direct competitors, and GTI models hit the sweet spot in terms of bang for your buck. The GTI has been an exceptional car for decades now, and will again be one of the best hatchbacks 2019 brings our way.
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.
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.
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.
The thing that makes these rides so special is that they offer performance that new models do at a fraction of the price. While some of these cars could easily still be compared to new models from other segments, they’re still very affordable for what they can do.