Previously, we did a post on why we love highly modified Fiat 500 Abarths. Which got us thinking about our all-time favorite turbocharged cars that didn’t come that way from the factory. From small displacement imports to full-stop American supercars, bolting on a snail or two can turn a car from Jeckyll to a 24/7 Mr. Hyde. What platforms do we recommend most for aftermarket turbocharging? Let’s go…
1. Lamborghini Gallardo
The Gallardo is an interesting choice for adding forced induction. Mid-engined setups don’t always react well to (realitively) sudden power, but with AWD, the Gallardo can control even massive power numbers. Which, if you twin-turbo your V10 Lambo, is exactly what you’ll wind up with. It’s not unusual to come across heavily boosted Gallardo’s that approach the 1,000 hp range. With a full build, they’ve been known to get scary close to 2,000 hp. For extra credit, go for the ultra-light Superleggera…
2. Ford GT
Not to be outdone by Italian metal, adding turbos to the already-supercharged Ford GT can have properly insane results. Heffner got theirs to 1,113 hp, which is bonkers. But not quick as fire-and-brimstone as Johnny Bohmer’s BADD GT (yes, that’s the actual name). This monster delivers 1,800 hp, which is, ya know, biblical. Slightly more shocking is the top speed: 283.232 mph. That’s a Guinness World Record for the fastest standing 1/4 mile. Because of…reasons, that’s not quite enough for Bohmer, who is gunning for 300 mph. Just check this out…
3. Corvette C6 Z06
The C6 Z06 is hardly a slow animal. Punishing the rear tires with 505 bhp moves the Z06 from 0-60 in 3.6 seconds. That’s fast by any standard. Bolt on a couple turbos, however, and things go from pretty quick to sheer pandemonium. Double factory horsepower? Forget that. Running at a modest 18 psi, Redline Motorsports had no problem extracting 1,400 hp from their ‘Vette. When dialed up to 21 psi, that means a 1/4 mile well into the low 8-second mark. Here’s proof…
The FR-S/BRZ/GT86…whatever you want to call it, is an amazing platform. With a Porsche-low center of gravity and outstanding suspension tuning, it’s by miles the best driver’s car under $50k you can buy new. One not-so-small problem: no power. With only 200 hp at the rear wheels, it’s achingly obvious that this chassis can handle, and deserves, substantially more power. Adding a turbo helps to address the problem. Building the engine to completion solves it. Crawford Performance gave their BRZ 450 hp, which results in a better power-to-weight ratio than a 911 Turbo. Subaru/Toyota: PLEASE give us a factory boosted 86.
5. BMW E46 M3
Here’s a fun recipe: let’s take a beautifully balanced, purist BMW, and give it more power than a Bugatti Veyron. It sounds like sacrilege right up until you experience one. It’s amazing to this day that a 333 hp inline-six is capable of producing these kind of power numbers. Plus, provided you do some intense suspension modifications, the chassis allows you to make use of that power (in the right conditions). The below video is why we’re cautious to challenge front-mount E46 M3’s at the drag strip.