Substance trumps style. Sometimes, ordinary-looking and conservatively designed vehicles are preferable to attention-catching, eye-grabbing supercars. What is important is the engine underneath. No one would suspect it, but these cars have power and speed.
They are the unexpected hits of the automobile industry. Here is a list of the top 10 sleeper cars in the market.
10. Ford Taurus SHO
Ford first produced the Taurus in 1989 and kept it in production until 1999 as a medium-sized sedan. In 2010, the company reintroduced the car to the market as a full-sized sedan. Despite the conservative sedan styling, this car has a lot of zoom in it because the same group that created the Mustang SVT produced it. The SHO stands for Super High Output, and that comes from the 3.5-liter Ecoboost V6 engine mated with a six-speed 6F55 automatic transmission system. This allows the car to produce 365 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque.
9. Honda Accord V6
The Honda Accord is a medium sized sedan made in Japan. It is just like the cars that moms will drive while doing grocery shopping or picking up kids after school. Underneath the hood however is a 3.5-liter 24-valve V6 engine that has an impressive 278 horsepower and 252 lb-ft of torque. It can also accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 5.6 seconds and can do the quarter mile in just 14 seconds.
8. Chrysler 200 Limited
The Chrysler 200 is supposed to be the carmaker’s version of an entry-level luxury vehicle. Also called the Lancia Flavia in some markets, the Chrysler 200 Limited has a 3.6-liter V6 Pentastar engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission system. It carries an impressive 283 horsepower and 350 lb-ft of torque. Not too many entry-level vehicles can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just above six seconds.
7. Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
Cadillac released three body styles for the CTS-V, namely the coupe, sedan and the wagon. The wagon, however, is the sleeper hit among these three because no one will ever suspect a family car to be powered by an engine based on the Corvette. That’s right, the Cadillac CTS-V has a 6.2-liter S/C LSA V8 engine mated with a six-speed transmission system that can come in either manual or automatic mode. The result is an impressive 556 horsepower with 551 lb-ft of torque. The car has a top speed of 185 miles per hour and can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just four seconds.
6. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT
The Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT has a 6.1-liter Hemi engine capable of 470 horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque. It can also tow up to 7,200 pounds. Heavily built and brawny-looking, this vehicle can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in under five seconds.
5. Acura TL AWD
While the Acura is a sturdy looking car, you would not really associate it as a tire burner that can accelerate quickly at the slightest step of the pedal. The car has a 3.7-liter VTEC V6 engine has a massive 305 horsepower and is mated with a six-speed transmission system. It can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 5.3 seconds. During normal driving, up to 90 percent of the available torque can be transferred to the front wheels. On the other hand, while accelerating or during hard cornering, up to 70 percent of available torque can be moved to the rear. Depending on the condition, the entire torque sent to the rear axle can be applied to either wheel.
4. Volvo V70 R
Volvo is usually synonymous with strength and durability, and even its styling won’t make anyone think of breakneck speed. However, Volvo shows that one can actually combine their classic style with power and performance. It put in a 2.5-liter turbocharged I5 engine that can produce 300 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. It has a top speed of 155 miles per hour and can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just six seconds. It also has an adjustable suspension system called the Four-C, or continuously controlled chassis concept.
3. Audi RS2 Avant
You stop at a red light alongside a station wagon, and you immediately think that it is a family car built with reliability and safety in mind. Then, the light turns green and you end up eating its dust. That is the Audi RS2 Avant, the station wagon with the engine of a Porsche. Audi and Porsche are actually sister companies under the Volkswagen Group. For this model, the Audi was outfitted with a 2.2-liter turbocharged inline-five turbo engine mated with a six-speed manual transmission system. The car is based on the Volkswagen B4 platform and has a permanent four-wheel drive. It has a top speed of 163 miles per hour and can go from zero to 62 miles per hour in 4.8 seconds.
2. BMW Alpina B7
The BMW Alpina B7 is a full-sized sedan with a look that is usually associated with businessmen and professionals. However, don’t let the look deceive you because this car packs a lot of power. It has a 4.4-liter V8 turbocharged engine mated with a six-speed automatic transmission with heavy-duty gears. This allows a massive 540 horsepower and 538 lb-ft of torque. Buyers can choose from either an all-wheel or rear-wheel drive. It has a top speed of 193 miles per hour and it can go from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 4.3 seconds.
1. Mercedes Benz S63 AMG 4Matic
Mercedes Benz is all about quality and luxury, and at the top of the list are its models from the S-Class flagship. It boasts of luxurious interior trims and top-of-the-line driver aid gadgets. The car, however, has an AMG performance version as well. It has a 5.5-liter twin-turbo V8 engine mated with a seven-speed automatic transmission system capable of 577 horsepower and 664 lb-ft of torque. The car has a top speed of 186 miles per hour, though that has been electronically limited, meaning the car could go even faster. It can accelerate from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 3.9 seconds.
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