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.
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.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that used engines from Pontiac sedans can fit in just about anything that uses a transaxle. It’s also one of the most common used engines in the world with over 25 million produced to date. It’s been rated one of the best engines of the 20th century, so yeah, it’s reliable.
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.
In other words, the 2019 Honda Civic Type R won’t be bringing any unnecessary changes. For around $34,000, you’ll be getting a whopping 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque courtesy of a turbocharged 2.0L 4-cylinder engine which generates 23.2 psi of boost and redlines at 7,000 rpm.
Of course, no good list of crazy cheap cars would be complete without some American muscle. Of course, the Ford Mustang is iconic as any of its counterparts, so we sprung for the 1996-98 SVT Cobra. Unfortunately for the purists, this is the first model Mustang that saw Ford retiring its 5.0L V8 in place of a new 4.6L Modular unit. The Crown Victoria actually shares the same engine, albeit in a slightly different configuration that makes about 100 fewer hp.
We love the Celica. It’s underrated, inexpensive, and reliably built. A vintage example is the perfect pairing for a 22RE. This beauty lives in California, home of rust-free classics parked on every corner. It’s an example of a swap that simply improves on the experience of the original car without losing the spirit of that which came before.
Despite the Grand National’s fame and success in the 80’s, there is a surprising amount of people who have never heard of this car. Introduced in 1982 to roaring applause and exiting the stage in 1987 to a thunderous standing ovation with the GNX, the Grand National was the pinnacle of performance in the 80’s. We recognize this is kind of a silly thing to say about a Buick, but it’s absolutely true.