Video

What Oddball Car Would You Own?

Nissan March Super Turbo

Nissan March Super Turbo

If you’ve followed us for a while, you’ll have seen this little car before, an oddball of its generation for both technical and aesthetic reasons. It’s a little shopping cart capable of embarrassing all of the boy-racer hot-hatches of its time.

In a previous post, I detailed specifications on the Nissan March Super Turbo should you want to geek out of them like me. I praised the little March Super Turbo for its use of both a supercharger and turbocharger, but as this post isn’t about power, I’ll continue to give my other reasons as to why I would more than happily clear a space for this in my garage.

Nissan March Super Turbo

Nissan March Super Turbo

I love this quirky car because, despite its tiny supercharged and turbocharged 930cc engine and the fact its relatively quick, it isn’t shouting about it. Essentially, it’s the ultimate wolf in sheep’s clothing, a vehicle usually purchased by the blue-rinse brigade to pick up their shopping – at this point you should also know Gargling Gas’ sister page is devoted to Sleeper Cars . Aside from the rally-style fogs and small hood vent, the March’s boxy – and let’s face it, un-sexy – body help it pull on its deceiving wooly pull-over.

The guys from Mighty Car Mods featured it on one of their YouTube episodes, a great little snippet if you’re digging my choice of oddball car.

The Nissan March Super Turbo is my ‘oddball’ car, but what’s yours and why?

Advertisements

Family To 62-mph In 4.7 Seconds

Audi RS6

Audi RS6

We love estate cars at Gargling Gas because wagons are cool. They allow the working man to load up ladders and work benches, the family man to cram in children, flat pack furniture and bags of hedge trimmings, the psychopath the jam in chainsaws, axes and sacks of lime, all in the comfort of a car. These practical vehicles become even cooler when they possess 911 Turbo performance figures.

The inspiration for this post came from the car pictured above, the Audi RS6 Avant. It’s a great looking car, but it’s not exactly the sort of car you’d expect to have to move out of the way on the motorway. It’s also not the sort of car you’d expect to see pass you at the speed of light. Having moved over for one yesterday, I watched in awe as this silver estate streaked by, listened as its twin-turbo V10 throbbed and blatted and catapulted it into the horizon, just before I caught a glimpse of the badge: RS6.

Not being the world’s biggest Audi fan, I did a little homework on the RS badge. I knew it was Audi’s equivalent of the M and AMG divisions, and I’ve always known about the RS2 from being a sleeper nut.

In fact, after doing my homework on the current RS cars and their incredible figures, it only highlighted what an amazing feat of technology the RS2 was/is considering it was built over 20 years ago.

Audi RS6 C7 Avant

Audi RS6 C7 Avant

Despite knocking the previous model’s V10 on the head, Audi’s current RS6 C7 Avant pictured above (damn that Nardo grey looks good) produces a ridiculous 560-bhp and 516-lb-ft from a twin-turbo 4.0-L V8. That means you are able to whisk the kids out of the house and to 62-mph in 3.9 seconds – experts claim this is an over estimate by Audi, too. Considering these impressive figures, the 20-year-old RS2 hits 62-mph in 4.7 seconds, all from a considerably smaller single-turbo 2.2-L straight 5 engine.

Audi RS2 Avant

Audi RS2 Avant

Okay, so the RS2 is obviously lighter, but it offers better mileage and still provides the mod-cons such as Recaro racing seats, air-con and a decent sound system. The handling was well ahead of its time, too, the combination of AWD and its Porsche-designed braking and suspension systems making it more at home on the Nürburgring than the supermarket carpark.

In 1995 Autocar clocked the RS2 from 0 to 30 mph at just 1.5 seconds, a time quicker than the McLaren F1 road car, and amazingly Jacques Villeneuve’s Williams F1 car.

Because Audi’s styling was fairly subtle, the RS2 is the king of Sleepers, a car Gargling Gas has to adore. They are fairly hard to come by now as they are real classics, but offered the choice of an RS6 or an RS2, I’d have to take the latter.

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.