Normal-Looking Cars: These cars are equipped with engines typically found in exotic vehicles, ranging from sedans with Pagani Huyara engines to Toyotas sharing powertrains with Lotus sports cars.

Many people aspire to own a supercar, but the trade-off for practicality is often overlooked. While there are exceptional daily driver exotic cars such as the Audi R8, Aston Martin DBS, Pagani Huyara, and Ferrari LaFerrari, they cannot match the comfort and spaciousness of sports sedans. Among the abundance of inconspicuous cars, it’s unsurprising that some seemingly ordinary vehicles utilize identical engines to far more costly sports cars and supercars – for instance, the Pontiac Grand Prix GTP from the 1990s, an underappreciated American sports sedan with a factory supercharged engine.

Apart from the coveted Pontiacs that collectors long for, there are a number of regular cars with exceptional engines. Additionally, numerous concept cars aim to incorporate high-performance powertrains into everyday-looking vehicles, such as the Volkswagen Twin Up Concept which features a hybrid-assisted diesel engine from the impressive Volkswagen XL1. The list also includes mass-produced sports sedans, pickup trucks, and SUVs that share engines with exotic cars like Pagani, Lamborghini, and Ferrari.

10: 2006-2010 Audi S8 (D3) Cars

Engine Also Used In: Lamborghini Gallardo, Audi R8 V10

 

2006-2010 Audi S8 (D3)

2006-2010 Audi S8 (D3) Cars

The Volkswagen Group encompasses several well-known automotive brands such as Porsche, Audi, Volkswagen, Bentley, and Lamborghini. This enables the group to optimize production costs by sharing components across brands, as seen in the case of the Audi RS Q8 and Lamborghini both utilizing the same 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 engine. This strategic approach provides them with a competitive edge in the automotive industry. Nevertheless, during the 2000s, the Volkswagen Group achieved something remarkable.

2008 Audi S8 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V10
Displacement 5.2-liter
Horsepower 444 hp
Torque 398 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 4,277 lbs
0-60 mph 4.8 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

They installed the coveted 5.2-liter naturally aspirated V10 engine from the Lamborghini Gallardo into their flagship luxury sedan, the A8. This special edition, known as the D3-generation S8, boasted an impressive 444 hp and 398 lb-ft of torque, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds. With its Lamborghini-powered engine, the Audi S8 is widely regarded as one of the greatest sleeper cars ever produced.

9: 1994-1999 Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W140) Cars

Engine Also Used In: Pagani Zonda, Pagani Huayra R

1994-1999 Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W140)

1994-1999 Mercedes-Benz S 600 (W140)

European sports sedans are some of the greatest cars to ever exist. Not only are they used bargains and feature state-of-the-art technology, buu can modify these classic sedans into fast sleepers for cheap. But the W140-generation Mercedes-Benz S 600 might be the best ’90s European sedan considering it features an M120 Mercedes-AMG V12, also known as the V12 from the Pagani Zonda.

1996 Mercedes-Benz S 600 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V12
Displacement 6.0-liter
Horsepower 389 hp
Torque 420 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 4,806 lbs
0-60 mph 6.2 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Even though the W140-generation Mercedes-Benz S 600 shares the same engine as the Pagani, their sounds are different. However, if you listen to a straight-piped W140 S 600, it sounds almost identical to the Zonda. The S 600 is equipped with a 6.0-liter naturally aspirated V12 engine that produces 389 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque, enabling it to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just under 6 seconds. This is remarkable for a large sedan weighing 4,800 lbs from the ’90s. Despite road-legal versions of the Huayra using a twin-turbo M158 Mercedes-AMG V12 engine, the Pagani Huayra R still features a naturally aspirated M120 engine.

8: 2004-2006 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Cars

Engine Also Used In: Dodge Viper RT/10

2004-2006 Dodge Ram Srt-10

2004-2006 Dodge Ram Srt-10

During the 2000s, American car manufacturers began exploring unconventional concepts. One such example is the Dodge Ram SRT-10, a hefty 5,300-lb pickup truck equipped with a V10 engine similar to that of the Dodge Viper V10. This truck’s naturally aspirated 8.3-liter V10 produces an impressive 500 horsepower and 525 lb-ft of torque.

2004 Dodge Ram SRT-10 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V10
Displacement 8.3-liter
Horsepower 500 hp
Torque 525 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 5,310 lbs
0-60 mph 4.9 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

This giant of a vehicle can go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.9 seconds. Essentially, this V10 pickup truck outperforms much smaller sports cars such as the Lotus Exige and Lotus Evora.

7: 1987-1994 BMW 750i (E32) Cars

Engine Also Used In: McLaren F1, BMW 850CSi

1987-1994 Bmw 750I (E32)

1987-1994 Bmw 750I (E32)

Similar to the 1990s Mercedes S-Class and the 1980s BMW 7 Series (E32), the BMW 750i of the same era was equipped with a powerful V12 engine. This specific model, often overlooked in the realm of German luxury cars, housed a naturally aspirated 5.0-liter V12 known as the M70B50, delivering 296 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque. This engine would later be utilized in one of the most renowned hypercars globally.

1987 BMW 750i Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V12
Displacement 5.0-liter
Horsepower 296 hp
Torque 332 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 3,968 lbs
0-60 mph 7.0 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

Six years after BMW started producing the M70B50, they introduced its successor, the 6.1-liter S70 2 V12 engine, which is also used in the McLaren F1. While the McLaren F1’s V12 engine is bigger and more potent than the 750i’s V12, both engines share surprising similarities at their essence. Interestingly, classic cars powered by the McLaren F1’s engine are available at a much lower price than one might expect.

6: 2005-2011 Volvo XC90 V8 (First Generation) Cars

Engine Also Used In: Noble M600, Volvo S80 V8

2005-2011 Volvo Xc90 V8 (First Generation)

2005-2011 Volvo Xc90 V8 (First Generation)

Upon initial inspection, the original Volvo XC90 may appear to be just another typical Swedish SUV on the streets. However, this perception is far from accurate. Concealed beneath the XC90’s exterior is the naturally aspirated 4.4-liter V8 engine known as the B8444S. While V8-powered SUVs are not uncommon, this particular Volvo XC90 boasts the identical V8 engine found in the stripped-down Noble M600.

2006 Volvo XC90 V8 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V8
Displacement 4.4-liter
Horsepower 311 hp
Torque 324 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 4,533 lbs
0-60 mph 7.3 seconds
Top Speed 131 mph

Volvo and Yamaha collaborated to create the 4.4-liter V8 engine for the Volvo, while Volvo worked with Motorkraft to develop the 4.4-liter V8 engine for the Noble M600. The Noble M600’s V8 was equipped with two turbochargers, whereas the XC90’s V8 remained naturally aspirated. Despite these differences, both the first-gen Volvo XC90 and Noble M600 are powered by the same V8 engine.

5: 2002-2016 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 Cars

Engine Also Used In: Bentley Continental GT, Bentley Flying Spur

2002-2016 Volkswagen Phaeton W12

2002-2016 Volkswagen Phaeton W12

In the early 2000s, the Volkswagen Group chose to produce a car under the VW brand that was essentially a Bentley but with a different badge. This vehicle, known as the Pheaton, utilized many of the same interior features and chassis as the Bentley Flying Spur, and even offered the same naturally aspirated W12 engine found in Bentleys at that time. Despite its original price of $96,500, it has since depreciated significantly and can now be purchased for a fraction of that cost.

2002 Volkswagen Phaeton W12 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated W12
Displacement 6.0-liter
Horsepower 444 hp
Torque 413 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 5,108 lbs
0-60 mph 6.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

The Volkswagen Phaeton W12 has an average price of $14,997 as per Classic.com, making it a top choice for those seeking an affordable luxury car option compared to the 2024 Mercedes-Benz C-Class. However, its low cost does not necessarily make it a recommended choice due to the potentially high maintenance expenses associated with the Phaeton.

4: 1999-2004 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning (Second Generation) Cars

Engine Also Used In: Ford GT (First Generation), Ford Mustang GT500 (S-197)

1999-2004 Ford F-150 Svt Lightning (Second Generation)

1999-2004 Ford F-150 Svt Lightning (Second Generation)

As Dodge integrated their Viper V10 engine into their massive pickup truck, Ford followed suit in 1999 by equipping their F-150 with a supercharged 5.4-liter Modular V8 featuring 2 valves per cylinder, creating the F-150 SVT Lightning. This model shared its engine with the iconic Ford GT supercar introduced in 2004, albeit with some minor modifications.

2003 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Supercharged V8
Displacement 5.4-liter
Horsepower 380 hp
Torque 450 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 4,670 lbs
0-60 mph 5.2 seconds
Top Speed 147 mph

The Ford GT’s V8 engine, which was supercharged and had a 5.4-liter modular design with 4 valves per cylinder, differed from the Lightning’s 2-valved layout. However, both the F-150 SVT Lightning pickup truck and Ford GT supercar were powered by the same V8 engine at their essence.

3: 1972-1997 Daimler Double Six Cars

Engine Also Used In: Jaguar XJR15

1972-1997 Daimler Double Six

1972-1997 Daimler Double Six

The Daimler Double Six, derived from the timeless Jaguar XJ6, is a luxury sedan that has been unjustly overlooked. In addition to its stunning aesthetics and subtle demeanor, the Double Six boasts a notable characteristic: every model produced between 1972 and 1997 is equipped with a powerful V12 engine.

1988 Daimler Double Six Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V12
Displacement 5.3-liter
Horsepower 291 hp
Torque 319 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 4,255 lbs
0-60 mph 8.3 seconds
Top Speed 145 mph

The V12 engine in the Daimler Double Six luxury sedan was not just any V12; it was the same one used in the Jaguar XJR15 supercar. While the Daimler Double Six had a 5.3-liter V12, the XJR15 featured a larger 6.0-liter V12 that had been bored out.

2: 2007-2009 Toyota Aurion TRD Cars

Engine Also Used In: Lotus Evora S, Lotus Exige S, Lotus Emira

2007-2009 Toyota Aurion Trd

2007-2009 Toyota Aurion Trd

Toyota is known for producing top-quality engines, particularly its six-cylinder models. However, one engine that often goes unnoticed is the supercharged V6 2GR-FE. While this engine is commonly found in performance-oriented vehicles like the Lotus Exige, Lotus Evora, and Lotus Emira, it was also installed in the Toyota Aurion, a sports sedan from the 2000s that was primarily sold in Asia and Australia. This may explain why the Aurion is not widely recognized.

2007 Toyota Aurion TRD Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Supercharged V6
Displacement 3.5-liter
Horsepower 323 hp
Torque 295 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 3,583 lbs
0-60 mph 6.1 seconds
Top Speed 155 mph

While the naturally aspirated 2GR-FE V6 engine was used in numerous Toyota vehicles, the supercharged 3.5-liter 2GR-FE V6 was exclusively featured in Lotus sports cars and the Toyota Aurion TRD. Despite being a front-wheel-drive vehicle, the Toyota Aurion TRD achieves a 0 to 60 mph acceleration in slightly over 6 seconds due to its powerful supercharged V6, which produces 323 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque.

1: 1987-1992 Lancia Thema 8.32 Cars

Engine Also Used In: Ferrari 308, Ferrari Mondial

1987-1992 Lancia Thema 8.32

1987-1992 Lancia Thema 8.32

Many enthusiasts of automobiles are aware that the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrofoglio, a contemporary European sports sedan, houses an engine with roots in Ferrari. Despite this connection, the twin-turbo 2.9-liter V6 in the Giulia has not been utilized in any exotic cars. In contrast, the Lancia Thema 8.32, named for its V8 engine and 32 valves, shares its powerplant with several Ferrari models.

1989 Lancia Thema 8.32 Engine and Performance Specs

Engine Specs Values
Configuration Naturally Aspirated V8
Displacement 2.9-liter
Horsepower 202 hp
Torque 194 lb-ft
Fuel Gasoline
Curb Weight 3,108 lbs
0-60 mph 6.8 seconds
Top Speed 145 mph

Equipped with the same 2.9-liter Tipo F105L V8 found in the Ferrari 308 GTB Quattrovalvole and Ferrari Mondial 8 Quattrovalvole, the Lancia Thema 8.32 has the potential to become a highly valuable 1980s sedan. Despite being largely overlooked by the public, the Lancia Thema 8.32 can currently be purchased for an average price of $9,683, making it an excellent choice for those seeking a sleeper car. With its V8 engine producing up to 212 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque, the Thema 8.32 is capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in just under 7 seconds.

List of references: Fastest Laps, Ultimate Specs, Edmunds, Automobile Catalog