The Term “Sleeper” Is Thrown Around Too Much

Gramps - Mighty Car Mods 11 Second Subaru Liberty

Gramps – Mighty Car Mods 11 Second Subaru Liberty

Sleeper Car Lists

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate a good Sleeper car list; it’s great to see auto enthusiasts shake up the Top 20s with various makes and models. However, I’ve noticed a large amount of these sleeper car lists  include the likes of the BMW M5, the Audi RS6 or RS3, the Cadillac CTS-V and even those infamous Dodge Hellcats – you only have to hear the name “Hellcat” and I bet the last words to leave your lips would be “understated”, “subtle” or “bland”.

Sleeper Car? Just Remember This: S.U.B.

Those three adjectives Subtle/Understated/Bland/describe what makes for the perfect Sleeper – it’s that simple. You take the underdog and inject it with steroids – a bit of a cliche, I know, but fitting because what you put into the car shouldn’t be a visual enhancement. What you inject into a Sleeper car’s metaphorical veins is the stuff of exciting and ingenious creation. It allows for that personal touch, each caress carefully thought out for both deception and extra power.

Carroll Shelby & The 146-bhp Dodge Omni GLHS

Carroll Shelby & The 146-bhp Dodge Omni GLHS

The late tuning legend, Carroll Shelby had the right idea with the Dodge Omni, a very basic little car he thought suited a turbocharged 2.2-L engine. The Omni GLHS was a pocket-rocket for its time, and despite the tell-tale decals, it remained a standard looking grocery-getter.

Nissan March Super Turbo

Nissan March Super Turbo

Another perfect example of a sheep in wolf’s clothing is the quirky little Nissan above. Notice the “Super Turbo”? This was the ultimate granny car that boasted both a supercharger and a turbocharger.

What About The Modern Sleeper?

If we brush the whole misunderstood entries – AMG, M badge, RS badge – aside, what exactly are we left with?

This is where I thrown in my two cents, and instead of posting a list, I’ll reveal a couple of my new favourites and let you post your ultimate sleeper cars in the comments box.

Ford Flex EcoBoost

Ford Flex EcoBoost

The crossover vehicle above is fairly rare in the UK, not something you’d expect to find here at Gargling Gas, however, this Ford Flex EcoBoost is as sly as they come. Its very eco-aware and green and very visible EcoBoost badge masks the fact this boxy car boasts around 350-hp and 355-lb-ft of torque, propelling it to 60-mph in under 6 seconds.

EcoBoost Badge

EcoBoost Badge

The Ford Flex’s rear end may reveal a leaf and the word “Eco”, but combine its 3.5-L V6 and the word “Boost” and you are capable of giving a scare to a lot of mid-range performance cars.

Volvo V60 Polestar

Volvo V60 Polestar

Volvo aren’t synonymous with massive HP or performance, more safety and solidarity. Although you have to be a bit of a car guy to understand what this gorgeous teal colour suggests, the Volvo Polestar looks like any modern family estate. It doesn’t look cheap or slow, but it doesn’t really suggest serious power either. Thanks to modern brands giving their entire fleet of models a mean and aggressive slant to them, apart from the colour, this slips under the radar.

This is where Volvo’s Polestar racing division come into play. This estate’s straight-six engine features a bigger twin-scroll turbo and intercooler, meaning 350-hp and 369-lb-ft of torque. That’s a family car that’ll do 0-62-mph in 4.9 seconds. 

If you’ve read this far you obviously love Sleeper cars. Don’t forget to check out our sister Sleeper Car site on G+ and let me know your top sleepers in the comments box below.

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