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.
One thing used engines from Subarus were practically made to do is power Volkswagens. Beetles, Westphalias, buses, Transporter trucks, even Synchros can adapt 2.5 Subaru used engines with ease. The original mills had well under half the power of even a stock EJ, and most people report an increase in gas mileage as well. Subaru reliability, classic Volkswagen style, what’s not to love?
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.
Fuel economy and reliability are both profound (as is expected), but the model year difference is where you should pay attention. The ’90 and ’91 models are going to be your best bet because, after some minor restyling, Honda decided to give the CRX four-wheel disc brakes and new wheels, which can make a world of difference as far as handling is concerned.
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.
The Pontiac Fiero isn’t what most people would describe as exciting. They were overhyped even at the time, and they used engines that always left something on the table in terms of performance. With over 370,000 produced, a Fiero today can be a great platform for one of those shitty Ferrari kits or better yet, a 3800 V6 swap. A modern V6 really wakes these babies up.
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.
For the sake of clarity, our list of hot cars encompasses everything…recently built supercars, classics, and; because it is a genre that many of our fellow gearheads are passionate about, we will include several classic muscle cars. Really, it covers anything that might capture your imagination and make you dream about hot cars, fast women, and places where you can enjoy both.