Welcome to the world of cars
Before pollution rules, installing a larger engine was the most typical way to increase a car’s power. It is difficult to get anything huge that requires a lot of cooling into a tiny area if that automobile is little. With a short wheelbase and less weight to move, a large engine in a little car will undoubtedly provide thrilling results. or harmful. or either. In either case, though, it’s a respected custom that is being followed today. These are our favorite historical and contemporary examples.
Shelby Cobra 427
Carroll Shelby didn’t create packing a massive engine into a little vehicle, but he did become famous for it. Beginning in 1953, a British manufacturer created the AC Ace, a low-volume sports vehicle with a 90-inch wheelbase and a straight-six engine producing about 120 horsepower. Shelby wrote to AC Cars in 1961 and requested that they construct him a customized model that could accommodate a V8. Ford provided Shelby with two Windsor 3.6-liter V8 engines at first, and Shelby then experimented with attaching a 6.4-liter Ford FE engine, but it was his third try with the 1965 Cobra MKIII that proved successful. A 7.0-liter Ford FE engine with 425 horsepower and 480 lb-feet of torque was installed in the sports car by Shelby as standard. Shelby intended for his sports vehicle to bite, and the unsuspecting were precisely what it did.
Hennessey Venom F5
Hennessey’s Venom GT, which was based on the lightweight Lotus Exige/Elise and utilized a GM-supplied LS7 V8 engine with two turbochargers installed, pioneered the American tradition of overpowering British sports cars. With its most powerful tune, the original version produced about 1,200 horsepower. The most recent F5 version is considerably crazier. Hennessey designed a 6.6-liter engine with 1,817 horsepower and 1,193 lb-ft of torque that is still based on the LS V8 architecture. Hennessy is only producing 24 units and boasts a peak speed of 311 mph.
Ariel Atom 500 V8
The Ariel Atom V8 continues the trend of tiny British sports cars with an American V8 engine installed inside of them. The Ariel Atom is an open-wheel sports vehicle with road legality that is only intended to be driven to the track, used for laps, and then driven back home. The most recent model, the Atom 4, has a turbocharged 2.0-liter Honda Civic Type R engine and can accelerate to 100 mph in 6.8 seconds. An previous limited edition vehicle called the Atom 500 V8 included a 3.0-liter V8 engine made in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, by Hartley Enterprises. The Atom 500 V8’s engine produces 268 lb-feet of torque at 7,750 rpm and 475 horsepower at 10,500 rpm with its road tune. It will produce 500 horsepower at 10,600 rpm and 284 lb-feet of torque at 7,750 rpm when tuned for racing. That’s in a vehicle that weighs just 1,213 pounds, or about half as much as a Civic Type R.
Aston Martin V12 Vantage S
Contrary to popular belief, British people are not averse to fitting a large engine into a compact vehicle. The most recent Aston Martin V12 Vantage is equipped with a 5.9-liter V12 engine that generates 565 horsepower and 457 lb-feet of torque, and it has an identical wheelbase length as the Chevy Bolt EV (102.4 inches). It could go from 0 to 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and go on to reach 205 mph thanks to its seven-speed automatic manual transmission. When it was discontinued in 2018, the V12 Vantage S was about as traditional as you could get. The Vantage V12 will make its final appearance as a 2023 model; the current Vantage is powered by an AMG-supplied V8.
AMC Gremlin 401-XR
One of the oddest automobiles of the time was developed as the muscle car industry began to decline in the early 1970s. Muscle cars had evolved into bloated, overweight vehicles, so Randall AMC, a dealership that had almost written the book on customizing AMC automobiles, provided its own take on the odd little AMC Gremlin. Randall AMC believed the 5.0-liter V8 that AMC had previously manufactured for installation was underpowered. As a result, the dealership installed a 6.6-liter version of the engine and made it available to the public along with a variety of other performance choices. A well-equipped Gremlin 401-XR was driven to the drag strip by Car Craft magazine in 1972, and the magazine immediately recorded a quarter-mile run in 12.3 seconds. Just 0.4 seconds separate that from the Pontiac Firebird’s performance in the same year. It’s also important to keep in mind that the Gremlin’s wheelbase was only 96 inches, and that neither traction control nor electronic stability control existed in 1972. The fact that there were just 21 401-XR units produced is not surprising.