1. Chrysler PT Cruiser GT: A Classic with a Twist While the PT Cruiser may be seen as one of the most uninspiring cars ever, the GT version houses a Dodge Neon SRT-4 engine, a performance variant that provides a surprising twist to this otherwise mundane classic. Here’s a fun fact: This car sports an award-winning rear suspension, making it a high-performance sleeper under the disguise of a family car.
2. Mercedes R63 AMG: The Muscled Minivan The R63 AMG is no ordinary minivan. Equipped with a robust hand-built 6.2 liter V8, this Mercedes powerhouse generates over 500 horsepower, morphing the standard family minivan into a high-performance vehicle. Crazy fact: This minivan churns out power that matches some supercars, making it one of the most powerful minivans ever produced.
3. Chevy HHR SS Panel: The Van with Vigor Chevy’s HHR SS Panel might appear to be another cargo van, but hidden under the hood is a 2-liter turbocharged engine from the Cobalt SS. It’s a workhorse that can tackle both your delivery needs and your need for speed. Did you know: This van laps the Nurburgring in the same time as a Subaru BRZ, earning it respect in both cargo and racing circles.
4. Toyota Matrix XRS: The Practical Powerhouse While the Toyota Matrix XRS is a practical vehicle, it’s also a powerhouse, thanks to the co-development with Yamaha of the 2zz GE engine. This blend of practicality and performance sets it apart. Intriguingly, Lotus loved this engine so much that they used it in the Lotus Elise, a high-performance sports car.
5. Ford Taurus SHO: The Overlooked Icon Even though the Ford Taurus SHO houses iconic engines, including those from Yamaha and the Ford GT, it has often been overlooked by consumers. This makes it a hidden gem in the car market. Interestingly, the third-generation Taurus SHO boasted a 3.4-liter V8, a significant upgrade from its predecessors, making it one of the most powerful sedans in its time.
6. Honda CRV: The Bland Powerhouse The Honda CRV might seem the epitome of blandness, but beneath the surface lurks a powerful secret: the b20b engine. This little powerhouse can be tweaked to produce serious horsepower. Fun fact: This engine is a favorite among the Honda tuning community, making the CRV a popular choice for those looking to customize their ride.
7. Mazda Millennia: Unleashing the Beast Within Mazda’s Millennia might seem like another boring daily driver, but Mazda’s reputation for performance shines through with a special supercharged six-cylinder engine under the hood. Here’s a remarkable tidbit: Despite the car’s mundane exterior, this engine is a marvel of engineering, making the Millennia a hidden marvel in the car world.
8. Ford Flex: Family-friendly with a Twist The Ford Flex, marketed as a family-friendly vehicle, hides a secret – an engine borrowed from Ford’s supercar, the Ford GT. The unassuming exterior belies the power within. An interesting fact about the Ford Flex is that despite its minivan-like appearance, it houses a 3.5-liter EcoBoost V6 engine, enabling it to hustle on the quarter mile while also ferrying the kids around.
9. Buick Park Avenue: The Grandpa’s Hotrod The Buick Park Avenue may seem like a senior’s favorite car, but the Ultra model’s supercharged 3800 V6 engine tells a different story. Its exterior might say AARP, but the engine is quick and reliable. Did you know that despite its sedate looks, this engine makes the Buick Park Avenue quick enough to leave other sedans in the dust?
10. Saab 97X: The Unlikely Powerhouse Saab’s 97X might seem bland and boring at first glance, but this re-badged Trailblazer SS hides a GM LS2 engine, turning it from a dud to a stud. Interestingly, the LS2 engine transforms the Saab 97X into a Swedish supermodel on wheels, making it a unique blend of power and elegance.
11. Infiniti fx50: The Lone Wolf While most Infiniti FX models came with a 3.7 liter V6, the fx50 was different. It was powered by a unique 5 liter V8, making it the only production car ever to receive this power plant. A fascinating fact: This engine was also used in various lmp3 race cars, which participated in the famous 24 Hours of Le Mans race. Despite its SUV styling, the fx50 houses a race car heart!
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