You can dress a car up with fancy rims and a custom coat of paint but at the end of the day, truly transforming a vehicle demands going more than skin deep. For those who want to get aggressive with their overhaul, there’s nothing quite like swapping out the engine.
Want a little inspiration for what this type of move can do? Here are some cool example of engine swaps that had pretty amazing results.
Somebody Stuck Twin Motorcycle Engines in an Elise Hillclimb Car and it was Awesome
To some drivers, flat racetracks are for suckers. Hillclimb racing, where vehicles race to get the fastest time ascending an uphill course, is the challenge for them. Of course, the pull of gravity means it’s a variant of the sport that is pretty demanding on the cars in use.
One driver had a bright idea: take his Lotus Elise V8, stick a couple of lightweight and high-powered Hayabusa motorcycle engines into it, and see what happens. The result is a super slick, super quick ride that demonstrates exactly why an engine swap can be such a great idea.
Here’s a video showing off the vehicle in question:
A Creative Automotive Mechanic Turned a Ford Ka Into a Beast
A sporty car is probably already going to go pretty fast, so there’s an argument to be made that swapping its engine isn’t going to net results that are especially impressive. Take a car that is very not sporty and turn it into something that can turn heads, though, and you can make a decent claim of having done something pretty incredible.
That’s what happened with one intrepid owner of a Ford Ka, a subcompact better suited to city driving than to tearing up the racetrack. Into the Ka went a turbocharged Cosworth YB engine, dramatically increasing its potential for speed. That the car was also modified to have rear-wheel drive is just further testimony to the owner’s determination to make their little car fly. The average automotive mechanic won’t often get a chance to work on a model like that, but when they do, they’re sure to remember it.
A Tiny Volkswagen Beetle Became a Powerhouse After an Engine Swap
When you become a mechanic, there’s a good chance that you’ll wind up working on a Volkswagen Beetle, since the cars are just about everywhere. They aren’t the most exciting cars in the world, though, unless you happen across one that’s had a sweet engine swap.
One great example: a Volkswagen Beetle that was tricked out with a turbocharged engine taken from a Mazda RX-7. The thing manages 250 hp, goes fast, and has a roar that is downright hilarious coming from a Beetle. The proud owner draws a lot of attention when he takes it out to car shows, and even managed to draw the attention of Jay Leno, who featured him and the Beetle on his YouTube show “Jay Leno’s Garage.”
Impressively, the owner was just an amateur looking to have some fun making a cool car. That also means that a well-trained mechanic with all the skills gained from automotive school could probably put something even more impressive together. You might want to start thinking up a fun project of your own!
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