10 forgotten sleeper cars built to compete with sports cars | Taza Khabre

Even if you’re not a gearhead, there are cars that look fast on first impression. These are usually sports cars and supercars with stunning designs that always attract attention, sports bodies with aerodynamic features such as air vents and spoilers, bright paintwork and powerful loud engines. Any Lamborghini immediately comes to mind.

However, there is a special type of car with a conventional design that you can easily overlook if you don’t have a sharp eye, but are fast enough to keep up with the supercars. Usually called sleeping carsthese cars are essentially wolves in sheep’s clothing as they look completely innocent and unassuming until the driver hits the gas and they destroy others performance of cars.

Unfortunately, sleeping cars are also easy to forget because they are easy to ignore because many people don’t even know they exist. We’ve taken a journey through automotive history and found ten of the best sleeper cars that aren’t getting the recognition they deserve these days.

Using performance data from trusted sites like AccelerationTimes, we’ve compiled this list of some of the best sleeper cars that don’t mind.


10 2014 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon

Via: Cadillac

When Cadillac introduced the CTS in the early 2000s to take on the likes of the BMW 5 Series and Mercedes-Benz E-Class, it quickly realized it needed to build a high-performance version just like its competition. This is how the CTS-V appeared. The CTS-V was mostly offered as a sedan or coupe throughout its production run, but in 2014 someone at Cadillac had the crazy idea to create a wagon version, resulting in the CTS-V Wagon.

Under the hood of the CTS-V Wagon lived a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine that produced 556 hp. and 551 lb-ft of torque, enough to make it one of the fastest wagons ever built, with a 0-60 time of less than 4 seconds. Other cool features included powerful Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride Control, 19-inch lightweight aluminum wheels wrapped in performance tires, and the option of a manual transmission.

Specifications

Engine

6.2-liter supercharged V8

Horsepower

556 hp

A turning point

551 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear drive

0-60 mph

4.0 seconds

The highest speed

185 mph

RELATED: 10 Best Sleeper Cars for Every Budget: $5K, $10K and Under $20K

9 1991 Mercedes-Benz 500E

1991 Mercedes-Benz 500E
Through Mercedes-Benz

In the late 80s, Mercedes-Benz wanted to create a new sports sedan that could compete with BMW’s M-powered cars, such as the M3. However, since its engineers were too busy working on the legendary W140 S-Class, Mercedes-Benz partnered with Porsche to create the car. Mercedes-Benz wanted Porsche to redesign the W124’s chassis so that it could accommodate the 5.0-liter V8 used in the SL-Class, as well as other necessary changes to the suspension and transmission.

Porsche did not disappoint, and after several years of hard work, the Mercedes-Benz 500E debuted in 1991. We used the phrase “Wolf in sheep’s clothing” in the introduction, and it was the same phrase that the press used to describe the 500E in the early 90s. This is not surprising Collectors have to pay almost $40,000 to get a Mercedes-Benz 500E in good conditionaccording to Hagerty.

Specifications

Engine

5.0L V8

Horsepower

322 hp

A turning point

354 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear drive

0-60 mph

5.5 seconds

The highest speed

155 mph (electronically limited)

8 1990 Vauxhall Lotus Carlton

A dark green 1992 Lotus Carlton parked by the ocean
through Lotus

As we saw above, the early 90s were an exciting time for the sports sedan market. GM did not want to miss this event, and since it owned Vauxhall and Lotus at the time, it hatched a plan to combine the resources of both companies to create the ultimate sports sedan. Vauxhall provided the base car – the Vauxhall Carlton GSi 3000 – while Lotus worked on the engine, increasing the power and adding a pair of turbochargers.

The result was the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton, whose 377 hp. were almost twice the power of the base car. A sprint to 60 in just 5 seconds and a top speed of 280mph meant the Vauxhall Lotus Carlton could keep up with the fastest sports cars of the 90s.

Specifications

Engine

In-line 6-cylinder 3.6-liter twin turbo

Horsepower

377 hp

A turning point

419 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear drive

0-60 mph

5.1 seconds

The highest speed

180 mph

7 2014 Chevrolet SS

Red Chevrolet SS 2014 outdoors
Chevrolet

GM has a habit of selling branded vehicles in markets where the original model is not available. A lot of gearheads hate it when GM does this, but sometimes it gives us gems. 2014 is one of those times, as that’s when the Chevrolet SS debuted.

The Chevrolet SS was essentially a redesigned Holden Commodore SS-V Redline, using the same 415-horsepower V8 as the base C6 Corvette. It’s no wonder the Chevrolet SS is one of America’s best sleeper cars.

Specifications

Engine

6.2L V8

Horsepower

415 hp

A turning point

415 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear drive

0-60 mph

4.7 seconds

The highest speed

160 mph (electronically limited)

6 2006 MazdaSpeed6

2006 MazdaSpeed6 - Front
Mazda

Mazda does not chase speed records when creating its cars. Even its sports cars, such as the legendary Mazda MX-5 Miata, prioritize lightness, handling and overall driving feel over speed. However, when you see the word Speed ​​in a Mazda model name, just know it’s not a bluff.

Take the 2006 MazdaSpeed6, for example. This car is very similar to the first generation Mazda6 on which it was based, but it was a completely different beast in terms of performance. The MazdaSpeed6 had a 274-hp turbocharged 2.3-liter inline-four engine that made it extremely quick. A six-speed manual transmission that sends power to all four wheels was the icing on the cake. Definitely one of the fastest cars up to 5 km today.

Specifications

Engine

2.3-liter in-line turbocharged engine

Horsepower

274 hp

A turning point

280 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, all-wheel drive (AWD)

0-60 mph

6.0 seconds

The highest speed

150 mph

RELATED: 10 cool slippers that will last 500,000 miles

5 2016 Ford Focus RS

2016 Ford Focus RS exterior front corner
Ford

Unknown to many Americans, Ford used to own a European motorsport and performance car division known as Ford Team RS. This division was responsible for building iconic rally cars like the 1975 Escort RS1800, as well as high-performance versions of regular Fords like the car we’re talking about today, the Ford Focus RS.

The Focus RS enjoyed three generations until Ford shut down the RS division in 2015, and our favorite is the third-generation model. The third-generation Focus RS debuted at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show and was powered by a 2.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine producing 350 hp. All this power went to all four wheels, making Focus RS is one of the fastest hot hatchbacks, accelerating from 0 to 100 in just 4.8 seconds.

Specifications

Engine

2.3-liter in-line turbocharged engine

Horsepower

350 hp

A turning point

350 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, all-wheel drive (AWD)

0-60 mph

4.8 seconds

The highest speed

165 mph

4 1992 GMC Typhoon

1993 GMC Typhoon Front View, White
through Mecum Auctions

Today, powerful SUVs are everywhere. However, this was not the case in the 90s, when even SUVs were rarely seen on the road. However, GMC changed that in the early 90s when they built one of the fastest SUVs ever, the GMC Typhoon.

The Typhoon was an SUV version of the legendary Syclone and used the same 4.3-liter turbocharged V6 engine that produced 280 hp. With a sprint to 60 in just 5.3 seconds, the Typhoon could outrun such fast sports cars as the Nissan 300ZX Turbo, Chevrolet Corvette C4 and even Ferrari 348ts.

Specifications

Engine

4.3L turbocharged V6

Horsepower

280 hp

A turning point

360 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, all-wheel drive

0-60 mph

5.3 seconds

The highest speed

126 mph

3 2006 Dodge Magnum SRT8

Red 2008 Dodge Magnum SRT8
Via mecum.com

Dodge previously used the Magnum name on several vehicles. It first came in a coupe in the ’70s, which is why gearheads were impressed when Dodge revived the Magnum in 2005 as a large wagon on the Chrysler LX platform.

The current Magnum may not have looked like a performance car, but a look under its hood revealed that it’s otherwise the top-spec SRT8. Powered by a 6.1-liter Chrysler Hemi V8 engine producing 425 hp, this large wagon needs only 5 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph.

Specifications

Engine

6.1L HEMI V8

Horsepower

425 hp

A turning point

420 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, rear wheel drive (RWD)

0-60 mph

5.0 seconds

The highest speed

155 mph (electronically limited)

2 2019 Ford Taurus SHO

2019 Ford Taurus SHO parked looking from the front quarter angle in blue
through Ford

Today, the Taurus is no longer produced, but it will always be one of Ford’s most important vehicles. The Taurus was such a commercial success when it debuted in the late ’80s that it helped Ford maintain its reputation as the only American automaker to never go bankrupt. Ford even built a performance version of the Taurus called the Taurus SHO, and that too was a hit.

The fourth and final generation Taurus SHO ran from 2010 to 2019, and it was pretty cool despite being a big four-door sedan weighing in at over 4,300 pounds. That’s because it has a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 that puts out 365 hp. and 350 lb-ft of torque.

Specifications

Engine

3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V6

Horsepower

365 hp

A turning point

350 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, all-wheel drive (AWD)

0-60 mph

5.2 seconds

The highest speed

150 mph (electronically limited)

RELATED: 10 Modern Sleeper Cars You Should Think Twice About Racing

1 2008 Audi S6

Silver 2006 Audi S6 front third quarter view
Audi

Most gearheads know the legendary BMW M5 E60 because of the roaring V10 engine it had under the hood. Many don’t remember that Audi followed BMW’s lead and created its own V10 sedan shortly after the debut of the E60 M5 – the 2006-2011 Audi S6.

The heart of the S6 was a 5.2-liter V10 engine with an odd engine that produced 435 hp. and 398 lb-ft of torque, giving it incredible performance. What else can be bought The 2008 Audi S6 is under $10,000, according to KBB is a testament to how underrated it is. This is definitely one of the cheapest ways to buy a V10 car.

Specifications

Engine

5.2L V10

Horsepower

435 hp

A turning point

398 lb-ft

Model

Front engine, all-wheel drive (Quattro)

0-60 mph

5.1 seconds

The highest speed

155 mph (electronically limited)

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