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 Ferrari Pininfarina Sergio is a Ferrari 458 Spider with a whole other body. Designed to honor the memory of Sergio Pininfarina, the car embodies the uniqueness and artistic nature of its namesake. None of the other hot cars on our list are built sans windshield or feature aerodynamic headrests which are attached to the roll bar. This Ferrari also features the powerful personality of Sergio Pininfarina in the guise of a 4.5L engine that is capable of 562 hp and accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds.
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.
The Grand National came stock with RWD and a 3.8L turbocharged V6 after 1984, so there’s your ideal model year window. It was originally intended to be a very limited production run celebrating Buick’s back-to-back wins in the NASCAR circuit but was so popular that it lived on for five glorious years.
Despite coming with a single 1.5L 4-cylinder engine that makes 130 horsepower, the Honda Fit still offers two transmission choices. The 6-speed manual arguably utilizes the small 4-cylinder’s potential better than the CVT, but it fails in the efficiency department. 33 mpg combined isn’t as good as the CVT gearbox’s 36 mpg combined, but the latter drones a lot and generally has trouble with acceleration.
Note, we said ”rated.” Actual testing has shown between 500 and 600 hp coming from unmodified engines. The power along with a top speed of 175 mph on a flat track combined to make the Ford Mustang Boss 429 one helluva production car for any era.
Porsche has built so many hot cars it is hard to narrow our focus. Even though we have listed the Carrera GT, we had the Porsche 959 and 918 Spyder on our minds too. In the end, we tossed a coin and the Carrera GT won.
The Japanese manufacturer’s cars are efficient and fun to drive mostly thanks to their revolutionary SkyActiv-G engine technology. Mazda isn’t resting on its laurels, though, and is preparing a whole new generation of SkyActiv-X powerplants. These new engines will be able to use extremely lean fuel mixtures like the homogeneous-charge compression-ignition engines.
Precious few vehicles can offer what the Chevy Bolt does in terms of money savings on gasoline. This dedicated small electric hatchback is one of the few such vehicles currently available, and it’s making the most of its situation. MY 2019 will spawn a number of new competitors for the Bolt, but GM’s subcompact hatch won’t be changed radically. Some sources are suggesting it’ll receive new semi-autonomous driving technology, but other than that only new colors and possibly trim options will be introduced.
Undeniably, one of the greatest hot cars of all time is the first model year of the Chevrolet Corvette. Granted, power numbers are nothing compared to the modern supercars we have listed so far, but this classic beauty is timeless. Cars with the original paint are easy to spot…they are all Polo White. Power comes from a 235 cu.in. inline-six. The 1953 Corvette features the Blue Flame version of this engine. The Blue Flame designation means that the engine features hydraulic lifters and produces 136 hp.
Okay, we all know the LS is the king of used engines, but it’s an unspoken rule that if you mention engine swaps you have to mention the LS so let’s get it over with. Now the stuff of internet memery, the LS swap began as the most economical way to get a light and reliable V8 into a small space.
What would you do with a couple used engines from the local junkyard? Take them down to the shop and make something crazy? Some people have the balls to do it, and a few even have the time, money, and resources. And unless you have the dime to spend on a crate motor, building used engines is the way to go. But which ones can you actually count on?
We can all agree that sportscars are the supermodels of hot cars. Just as there are supermodels that standout among their peers, there are hot cars that have the beautiful curves and the amazing lines that are every bit as visually appealing as they are aerodynamic. One of those cars is the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT.