It's obvious that whenever a new BMW 5-Series comes along, sooner or later, the talented brains within the M-Division will cook up the M5. It's the same with the new Golf that's just been unveiled; the engineers with their hats on back-to-front will eventually bring along the favoured GTI. And so, it goes on.
Predicting performance versions of cars hasn't always been this easy though; sometimes, there's been the weird, wonderful or just plain mad versions of cars that really didn't need to go fast, but did anyway. Because why the heck not?
That's what today's article is focusing on today; here are 7 of the craziest - enjoy.
Chrysler PT Cruiser GT
Image credit: favcars.com
The PT Cruiser represents all that (in my opinion) went wrong with car design in the early 00s. People were vaguely into it at the time and how it harked back to American cars of the 1940s Godfather period. I was never convinced and so were most people later down the line.
But really, the last thing it needed was a hot version. But nevertheless, the GT had a 2.4 litre turbocharged engine churning out 230bhp and was quick enough to embarrass... erm, a Golf GTI.
It was a really niche car which some enthusiasts have respectfully held onto due to the sheer strangeness of it.
Dodge RAM SRT-10
It wasn't that uncommon to find huge, torquey engines in pickup trucks - even to this day. But I'll bravely say that hardly anyone expected a pickup truck to have a Viper engine shoved in it...
The 8.3 litre V10 actually had a helping hand from Lamborghini when it was first being developed in the early 90s. By the time it was in the Ram, it produced a truly ballistic 500bhp and to this day, remains as one of the craziest trucks to ever leave an automotive factory.
Chevrolet Corvair Yenko
Given how unstable the Corvair was when put next to a conventional American car, you'd have imagined it would've quite silly to make a fast version of it.
But that didn't stop engineer, Don Yenko from having a bash at it in 1965. He wanted to create a road racer based off a Chevrolet to compete against Shelby's Mustangs; he favoured the Corvair over the Corvette simply because the rear-engined car was lighter. To qualify for the racing series he wanted to enter, 100 street cars were built.
In Stage-3 form, the flat-six engine kicked out 220bhp - which was pretty substantial for a car weighing just over 1160kg.
Mercedes R63 AMG
A large, luxury 7-seater MPV. Surely it would've made more than enough sense to only offer sedate diesels, right? Well, not according to the mad lads at AMG.
The R63 housed the famously-shouty 503bhp 6.2 litre V8 which was married to a 4WD system, to limit the typical AMG-antics when you put your foot down.
I don't know what sort of family man would've bought such a thing when it was new, but it certainly remains as one of the maddest performance cars ever made.
VW Beetle RSI
When the modern incarnation of the Beetle came in to take the baton of the distinctive people's car, the last thing people were expecting was for the singing VR6 engine to be shoe-horned inside it. Well, that's exactly what happened.
The RSI was limited to just 250 units and was powered by the 3.2 litre version of the VR6 engine which had already proven itself great with the Corrado from the 90s. It developed 220bhp and went from 0-60 in 6.7 seconds and went onto a 140mph top speed - shifting for its time.
However much of a crazy niche it was, they remain pretty collectable today. Albeit only to those who REALLY want one.
VW Touareg W12
As you've probably just read, VW were really ambitious in the early 00s. They'd just given Bentley a rebirth alongside Bugatti, Lamborghini and so on. So, they tended to use a lot of these partnerships to their own advantage.
One of which was the Touareg; it sat on the same platform as the Porsche Cayenne, which was fine. But they also decided to place the same 6.0 litre W12 engine as the Bentley Continental GT in it. Although it should be noted that it wasn't turbocharged.
Still, 444bhp in a car of this size was truly bonkers for its time. It hit 60 in under 6 seconds and was supposed to be limited to around 500 units, but nobody really knows how many ended up being produced. It does however represent just how mad the VW group were 10-or-so years ago.
Mitsubishi Pajero Evo
Perhaps one of the more forgotten homologation specials, the Evolution variant of the Pajero off-roader was what regular customers could get, should they want a taster of what it's like to be a Dakar Rally driver.
Built from 1997-99, it housed a 3.5 litre V6 with an advertised 276bhp (probably a bit more), new suspension, new differentials, skid plates and a widebody kit. Just 2,500 of these mad things were ever built, to comply with the regulations.
The Pajeros on the Dakar managed to win overall, taking the top 3 spots in 1998. Quite an underrated beast, I'd say.
Thanks for reading
Image credit: Wikimedia Commons.
So, there we are. Those are my seven picks for the most unusual/wackiest performance versions of cars (that I can at least think of..). If I've missed anything out, then please get in the comments!
Otherwise, I hope you enjoyed reading and have a lovely day.