Question: Which New Car Would Make the Sneakiest Sleeper?
Old-timers will tell you that the Golden Age of the Sleeper ran from the end of World War II through the late 1960s, when you could take, say, a Grandma-spec ’61 Lancer wagon and stuff the engine compartment full of Max Wedge 413 power. I think the old-timers are as wrong about that as they are about the superiority of film cameras over digital cameras; the current era of computerized engine controls, big turbochargers, and tougher drivetrain components means you can get ridiculous power (and handling) out of quotidian transportation appliances. So, looking at the current lineup of snore-inducing machinery that nobody would ever in a million years suspect of being quick, which new car would provide the best balance of potential performance and invisibility? A Kia Rio with a huge turbocharger and the finest suspension upgrades that cubic yards of cash can buy?
The problem with the Rio is that it’s so invisible that nobody would quite know what to think when one is sighted getting 100 yards of rubber shifting into fourth gear on the highway. That’s why I think the Camry would be my sleeper of choice. The ’12 Camry’s V6 makes a fairly decent 268 horses, but the use of the same engine family in Toyota trucks means that you can get all manner of aftermarket supercharger and turbocharger kits for it. I’d want a manual transmission, and (if I couldn’t find some JDM unit that bolts onto the tranverse-mount GR engine) I’d see if the RAV4 6-speed could survive 400+ boosted horsepower.
Yeah, nobody would know what to make of a bone-stock-appearing Camry that could really haul the mail! What new car would you choose for such a project?
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It's old, 1971, but this is a real trickster. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KnqdIsBJT0A&feature=related Supervan (the original) was road legal. 5 liter Gurney-Weslake mounted midships. Supervan2 was even faster. Supervan3...hang on. http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=xdDeL5KSKPw http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=kthDA_E2qqA
Early RX-7, 1650 hp (alleged) 427 SBC. Not as squirrely as you'd think. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KB1Wrv0SiyQ&feature=player_embedded/