Economy cars. They are compact, therefore they are light. They also have enough space for a bigger engine if you are willing to sacrifice some practicality. Or, in some cases, all of it.
Luckily, some manufacturers were more than willing, and these are their ten craziest creations from the budget segment:
For four years starting in 1990, Nissan offered a 230 horsepower all-wheel drive mini rally car in order to qualify in the Group A class. It's a badass machine.
Mazda had something similar with the 323 GTX, which was a bit down on power, but used a completely unique all-wheel drive chassis with the 323's body on top. If you're looking for a modern alternative, that would be the Mazdaspeed 3...
It was a synonym of crazy when it come out. 350 horses from a 2.5-litre 5-cylinder engine with 340 pound feet of torque. Darth Vader's economy car indeed.
The Sierra RS500 and the Escort Cosworth all over again.
Suggested By: Victorious Secret, Photo Credit: Ford
The A1 Quattro is a limited edition all-wheel drive hatchback with 600 modified parts compared to a normal A1 showing us that the VAG empire has the money to play around with. 333 were built, and rumor has it that the Dutch prince has one. I can see why.
Of course, in case you've missed this round, take a look at what's possible with a Subaru Justy...
Suggested By: Somethingwittyer is the Anti-Grammar Hammer
You weren't ever supposed to close it's engine cover. Is that crazy enough for you?
Suggested By: SennaMP4, Photo Credit: Fiat
Wow, this is something new, thanks to JEM:
Randall AMC dealership in Mesa, Arizona received AMC's endorsement to build 401 cu in (6.6 L) V8 powered Gremlins. The cars started out as 304 V8 models from the factory and after Randall's modifications would run 13.90's at 103-106 miles per hour (171 km/h) in the quarter mile, for $2,995 (US$15,489 in 2013 dollars). Known as the Randall 401-XR (X for Gremlin X, R for Randall), a total of twenty cars were built for the street and one for the strip during 1972, 1973, and 1974. Car Craft magazine tested one with some modifications and achieved 115.07 miles per hour (185 km/h) in 12.22 seconds while still remaining a "totally streetable, daily-driver"
If that's not a batshit insane economy car, I don't know what is.
Well, how about a Dodge Dart with a Hemi?
Well, this one is a legend, isn't it? First with eight, then with sixteen valves, these two-litre turbo monsters were the fastest out there when your team of experts could actually make them work. A cassette shaken very fast.
And if that wasn't enough for you, the S4 had a "street legal" version...
Suggested By: Highball!, Photo Credit: Lancia
It's ain't a Cobra, but it's no snail either...
Suggested By: Arch Duke Maxyenko, a Dyslexic, Photo Credit: Chrysler
A late night project done well.
Suggested By: SennaMP4
Most of you think the Clio V6 was insane, but imagine the same with an early turbo engine and much smaller brakes...
moarpowerr had this to say about the experience:
I had the pleasure of talking to the owner of one of two of these cars in canada. He gave me a ride and my god this thing is insane. With the engine in the cabin with you, it can get deafening in there. This car was truly the definition of an economy car gone insane.
I know, I know. This had nothing but the headlamps in common with the Austin Metro economy car. But it's CRAZY, and it wins, because racecar.
Suggested By: bobrayner
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Top Photo Credit: Lancia