Here’s a not-so-scientific anecdote: While manufacturers are turbocharging cars for efficiency and fuel mileage, the only reason anyone would ever supercharge a car is raw power. That’s why I asked you to send me the best examples of cars you could and should buy for less than a $20,000 budget.
10. 1929 Ford Model A
While I’d probably shy away from someone else’s half-finished project, this Ford Model A with a 700 horsepower blown V8 engine is just the insane vehicle to attract all the divorced middle-aged balding toner salesmen to your parking space when you show up at your local Cars and Crumpets.
Sure, it’ll need a few things, but with a project this utterly ridiculous, it’s worth it to see your neighbors with jaws agape, when you flatbed it into your driveway.
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
9. 2003 Mercedes CL55 AMG
This Mercedes CL55 AMG is basically an S-Class coupe that has just enough quirky charm to be a love-it-or-hate-it car that drives down prices in the general market, but is a cult classic to MB diehards far and wide.
This just happens to have the 5.4-liter supercharged V8 engine that, in modified form, could give anything with a Hellcat badge a run for its leased money.
(Suggested by Color-Commentary)
8. 2002 Jaguar XKR
Before Jaguar made cars for gritty James Bond villains, they made cars for cartoonish James Bond villains. This Jaguar XKR is, in my humble opinion, one of the best looking contemporary Jag designs ever. It looks great even today, has a raunchy engine note that won’t quit, even after repeated misuse, and it will look at home in any garage the world over. If you’re searching for a supercharged car value that can’t be beat, this car is exactly that.
(Suggested by For Canada - Oppo’s only Asuna Sunfire fanboy)
7. 2006 Cadillac STS-V
I’ll level with you all. I didn’t know that this Cadillac STS-V existed before I wrote this article. After the abysmal front wheel drive Northstar V8 version of the STS, I swore off that particular car forever. However, with my love for well-appointed luxury sedans with ridiculous amounts of power, I may have to give this Cadillac a second look. This STS-V has the powertrain from the now-iconic CTS-V, with a longer wheelbase and a price that approaches something you’d pay for a slightly used Chevy Aveo with optional undercoating and an extended warranty.
(Suggested by The Crazie Kanuck)
6. 1999 Buick Riviera
This Buick Riviera was, believe it or not, a direct competitor to the rear wheel drive Lexus SC platform. What Buick did was use their 3800 supercharged V6 engine in conjunction with more tactile comfort than your grandpa’s TV watchin’ chair to make a car that was unlike anything on the market.
No, it wasn’t the best seller, but with the time lapse between its inception and the present day, its looks have come back into favor and it resembles something a bit more upscale and distinguished than whatever Buick’s making to rehash their brand today.
(Suggested by Doctor-G-and-the-wagen)
5. 1995 Toyota Previa
If you’re in the market for this Toyota Previa, then you have exquisite taste in cars. Not only was this one of the last rear wheel drive widely-available minivans, but it was available with a supercharger, all wheel drive, and a manual transmission, though all those options were never combined from the factory.
Thankfully, you can mix and match to have your dream van that employs an amazingly forward-thinking design, with surprising performance coming from its supercharged four cylinder engine driving the correct wheels. Remember, just because you had a litter of children doesn’t mean your automotive enthusiasm has to go in the trash. Yes, that was a garbage pun.
(Suggested by Jordan Hewlett)
4. 2003 Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG
This Mercedes-Benz E55 AMG was, at the time, the competitor to the BMW E39, which was, at the time, one of the finest driver’s cars ever made. However, this Merc one-ups the Bimmer in a few key aspects. First, it offers up a fair bit more power and torque from a larger displacement engine accompanied by a supercharger, naturally. Second, the build quality simply can’t be compared. The shoddy BMW plastic falls apart after years of use, while the Mercedes-Benz continues as new if you give it a spit n’ polish every once and again.
It’s just as fun to drive and it a monumental bargain if you do your homework and get parts at reasonable cost. If I wasn’t up to my neck in S-class, I’d buy this myself.
(Suggested by Dr.Kamiya)
3. 1997 Jaguar XJR
I’m a sucker for odd engine configurations, and thus am utterly in love with the supercharged inline-6 engine offered in this Jaguar XJR. Most manufacturers have shied away from the inline six for some strange reason, and they’ve definitely stopped adding belt-driven blowers that make a whine when pushed, so to see one of these cars, especially in this great of a shape, is a rare sight indeed. It’s basically a four door Aston Martin with all the appeal of a smoking jacket and a polished monocle, for no money at all.
(Suggested by BenLikesCars)
2. 1989 Toyota MR2
The AW11 Toyota MR2 is the result of LSD-fueled experimentation by Toyota engineers in the ‘80s to give the world a sports car that was as fun as it was economical. It has a zippy four cylinder engine that employs the use of a small supercharger to give it just enough power to give you Ferrari thrills for Fiat money. Be warned, edges may be sharp.
(Suggested by ReverendDexter)
1. 2000 Ford SVT Lightning
Every once in a while, car manufacturers have enough leftover stock of various components that they can create entirely new lines of car by mixing and matching what they have already, and while I don’t have confirmation, I’m sure that’s how this Ford SVT Lightning was born.
Ford took a Mustang’s supercharged V8 and adopted a few bits and pieces and made a truck that wasn’t as fast as a car and didn’t have the towing or payload capacity of a truck, and none of that mattered. It was brutish, it had presence, and it was faster than it had any right to be, because that’s the point of a supercharger tire smoke and a ear-to-ear, shit-eating grin.
(Suggested by BigNSlow EH)