sleeper cars of the 2000s
If you want to talk about “under the radar,” look no further than the Buick Regal GS. That was enough to get the RS 2 to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds, and to a top speed of 163 mph, although production cars were electronically limited 155 mph. Horsepower: 400 0-60 mph: 4.6 seconds Expect to Pay: $6,000-$20,000. Horsepower: 2000-60 mph: 5.6 secondsExpect to Pay: $6,400-$15,000. Not this one. There are fewer cases of automotive schizophrenia as severe as the Ford Taurus SHO. Other people still enjoy the thrill of being behind the wheel of a driver's car, but they're not as interested in driving one that draws the attention of crowds and law enforcement. The Audi S8 has been around for awhile, but the new Plus version earns a spot among the greatest sleepers ever. 95 percent of people you pass in the SS will think it's a Malibu if they even notice it at all, and while some reviewers consider that a flaw, they're wrong. A Ford Mustang will never be as anonymous as a sedan or hatchback, but this one still hides a few surprises. 280 horsepower isn't a lot for a truck to make today, but back in 1991, it was enough that 60 MPH arrived in right around five seconds. Road & Track participates in various affiliate marketing programs, which means we may get paid commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites. Any S600 is going to be quick, but the update in 2003 made the W220 even faster. During the World Wars, Allied navies equipped seemingly harmless merchant ships with guns and torpedoes to ward off prowling German U-Boats. But, believe us, it’s there. It's a matter of personal choice, and that's completely fine. They drive Aston Martins and Jaguars, and they usually don't mind. This makes for a perfect sleeper, as some of these older Ram pickups hide quite a secret under the hood. Called Q-Ships, they were all about the element of surprise. This is a list of sleeper cars from the last 25 years, but honestly, the Chevrolet SS might even deserve to be included on a list of the best sleepers of all time. Share Share Tweet Email Comment. Flared arches, massive hood scoops, cavernous cooling vents and, of course, an overzealous rear wing — all billboards announcing spec-sheet prowess to the world. One of the first of its kind, it allowed drivers to adjust the firmness of the suspension on the fly, with just a push of a button. Don’t expect a a track car with a stripped-down cabin like the Alfa Romeo 4C. To the uninitiated, the Volkswagen Golf R looks like a regular compact hatchback with big wheels. It's more fun to drive than the Hyundai Sonata or the Toyota Camry, but at the same time, it's nothing special. That’s serious hardware. It's a rear-wheel drive muscle sedan that packs a 415 horsepower V8 sourced from the Corvette, a six speed manual transmission, and a magnetic suspension. But unlike an Audi TT or a Chevrolet Camaro, which also post stellar performance numbers, the Golf R can take you and four friends out for a night on the town, or carry a full load of furniture from Ikea. Buyers don’t come to Buick showrooms seeking performance, so its cars are the perfect base for sleepers. The Grand National started out as little more than an option package for the Regal, but it gradually morphed into a true sports sedan with black paint and a turbocharged 3.8-liter V6. If you have enough of it, the Mulsanne could turn into a completely different kind of sleeper. It’s the car you get because you can’t afford one of the V8 models. After all, it's still a midsize sedan, and midsize sedans are built to be practical cars for sensible people. The car looks like any other boring American economy car, but packs a 259-horspower turbo-four under the hood. The Mulsanne Speed is lively to drive, especially for such a big sedan. The Subaru WRX is an awesome performance car, but it's also the exact opposite of a sleeper. At first glance the GTI may look like a sensible family hatchback, but this VW is one of the founding fathers of the hot-hatch segment. The top sleeper car of all time is the Shelby GLHS. Massachusetts Passes "Right to Repair" Initiative. The Taurus has been a big success for Ford over the years, as both an import-fighting midsize sedan in the ’80s and a full-size near-luxury car today. They also provide the satisfaction that no one else has any idea what kind of fury lies under the hood. The best sleeper cars are automotive equivalent of Q-Ships. The first generation SRT-8 could hit 60 MPH in under five seconds, but the second generation received 50 more horsepower, making it the fastest Jeep ever produced. To everyone else, it looks like your run of the mill Grand Cherokee, but to people who truly know, it's a 5,000 pound rocket with a sledgehammer of an engine under the hood. However, the oldest cars from that decade are now several old, and the newest have had their warranties expire. The first decade of the millennium isn’t all that many years back. Option it in silver with some basic wheels, and you've got yourself the ultimate under-the-radar Autobahn battleship. The Panther platform always had so much potential for performance, but with Ford more interested in selling Crown Vics, Grand Marquis, and Town Cars to retirees, limo companies, and law enforcement agencies, most of that performance potential was left on the table for enterprising wrenchers to extract on their own. However, in normal guise, it’s one of the most boring cars on the road. It got displacement and torque boosts to 3.2 liters and 215 lb-ft, respectively, with a 1992 facelift. Its styling is handsome but generic enough that it slides under the radar with ease. The most popular — the one enthusiasts keep begging the brand to bring back — is the Grand National, which Buick launched in 1982 to commemorate its success in NASCAR. The company built a hot rod 7 Series from 2007 to 2008, and it has tuned every generation of BMW’s flagship model since. It’s seriously quick, too, but it doesn’t look the part. Despite looking like it belonged in an elementary school parking lot, the V70 R was able to do 0 to 60 mph in 6.0 seconds flat and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph. Almost all of Mazda’s cars fly under the radar, but the smaller Japanese car maker produces some of the best bargain performance cars on the market. Driving the Ram TRX on a Track Is Ridiculous Fun, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. A turbocharged inline-five produced 300 hp and 295 lb-ft, and was connected to a performance-tuned Haldex all-wheel drive system. Below are 10 sleeper cars from the past decade that patiently, quietly yearn for when the light turns green. Horsepower: 1970-60 mph: 6.9 secondsPrice: $15,000-$20,000, Bourbons to Buy Before Their Price Skyrockets, Ferrari's Latest Custom Car Is Unspeakably Cool, Every MagSafe Accessory for the iPhone 12 (So Far), These Kettlebell All-Stars Will Get You Fired Up, The Top 5 SUVs Most Likely to Reach 200,000 Miles, This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. In 1996, The SHO got a 3.4-liter Yamaha V8, with 235 hp and 230 lb-ft. For some reason, not many people were in the market for a V8-engined Taurus, so it didn’t last very long.