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“Find out what we regard as the best tuner cars around”
Tuner cars are a special breed of vehicles that aim to improve on some aspects of the original car’s design.
Tuners rely on aftermarket performance upgrades and often strive to achieve superiority or uniqueness through customization. Tuners come in all shapes and sizes, with varying degrees of severity.
This article will explore the best tuner cars you can buy and what makes them so awesome!
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We start with the Nissan 350Z. The 350Z is a great base for a tuner car because it already boasts a great style and sporty body design.
But this beautiful sports coupe can be so much better.
By increasing engine compatibility using aftermarket parts, you can improve suspension and brakes, and by adding a custom interior to match your personality, you’ll have a car that turns heads and purrs like a kitten.
The 350Z is equipped with Nissan’s legendary VQ35HR engine. This 3.5 liter, 6 cylinder engine produces up to 287 horsepower in stock form.
Tweaks can yield up to 380 horsepower in some models. The suspension features independent multilink rear and strut-type front suspensions which are both complemented by stabilizer bars.
The tuned Acura Integra is a racing legend among performance cars with its interchangeable parts from Honda.
This car’s popularity stems from its affordability, making it easy for anyone who wants their own race car.
The 1994/1995 model was the most popular of all time due to its wedge-like body style with curvaceous paneling, which made it desirable for sprints and road courses in this decade.
Honda introduced a premium model that would adapt its 1.8-liter DOHC VTEC engine and become known as “the best front-wheel-drive car ever”.
The Type R was highly regarded on tier lists throughout this tenure but it set itself apart from others by making recognition as an award winner year after year in many categories.
Integra’s successor, the RSX is one of Honda’s most-loved models. Many fans from the legacy left by its predecessor, adopted it as well due to its familiarity and high-performance capabilities.
It is still regarded by many as one of the finest front drive cars around and benefits from an expansive aftermarket supply catalog.
Two things that have always impressed us are how much power was extracted from this engine, and how that power is transmitted to the road, two major engineering feats when looking at a NASP front drive car.
The aftermarket scene shifted from the Integra to the RSX, and it was easy for street-savvy drivers who wanted a modern take on Honda’s well known car.
Aftermarket lovers would love that this comes with features like cruise control, ABS, power windows & a moonroof which makes it an excellent candidate for modification of any kind.
BMW 3 Series (E46)
While it’s true that numerous aftermarket BMW projects are more understated than their equivalents, the German producer’s 3 Series (E46) is still one of the most popular, tuner-friendly lineups ever.
To comprehend why that might be, all you need to do is take a look at the series’ impeccable design and marvel at the engineering and design that reinforces BMW’s reputation for making the ultimate driver’s cars.
From 1997 to 2006, BMW would craft a few of the motoring world’s most prolific sedans, coupes, convertibles, and wagons, earning the 3 Series acknowledgment within aftermarket automobile circles.
Because of their appeal in the UK, in addition to the states, producers began to take note.
While the engine range of BMW 3-Series was already impressive, this European car became a household name with its aftermarket modifications.
As it included subtle body kits and aerodynamic units to improve looks, an increasing number of performance-focused parts were also added such as upgraded suspension systems or turbochargers for engines that could go from 120 HP 316i all the way up to 355 horsepower M3 CSL models!
Toyota GR Supra
The Toyota Supra is one of the best new automobiles to modify. This car brings back memories of popular 90’s tuner cars.
The new Supra offers a six-cylinder engine with up to 400 horsepower, depending on the model. It can be modified to make more power, but the stock power is already impressive.
The Toyota Supra offers a different design from other performance cars. It has a sleek and sporty look that separates it from its competitors.
The exterior has big air vents near the front bumper which helps with cooling the powerful engine. One downside to this car is that there are fewer aftermarket parts available for it than some of the older models on this list.
There are few cars out there that were designed to handle 600bhp from the factory and with so much potential for increasing the power.
The turbocharged models are the ones to go for, as they provide the best returns when tuned, and swapping a twin turbo for a large turbo allows you to reach very impressive power figures.
The Chevrolet Corvette is a sports coupé that has been in production for over 50 years.
At the time when it was introduced the Corvette was one of the best-selling cars in America, and even today sales can reach up to 10,000 units in just one year!
The beginning of 1969 saw an all new body design featuring a fastback rear window replacing the split window from 1962.
In 1993, both coupe and convertible models were mechanized by hand with a few major chassis changes at this point such as side bumpers being replaced.
The tuning potential of the Corvette is virtually limitless. People can equip the car with anything from exhaust systems, to turbos, nitrous injection, suspension upgrades, and much more!
The type of tune will depend on what the tuner is trying to achieve. Some may want to upgrade for better performance potential while others may be looking for a more aesthetic upgrade.
FORD ESCORT RS COSWORTH
Ford Escort RS Cosworth is a hot hatch that was produced by Ford Motor Company.
It was introduced in 1992, and it came with a 2.0L 16-valve inline 4 engine which produces 220 horsepower at 6500 rpm and 210 pound-feet of torque at 5000 rpm.
The car has four different models: the standard version, the “Sport”, the “Sport Recaro” (which features Recaro sports seats), and the upgraded performance model called “ST”.
It is capable of reaching 60 mph in just 5 seconds!
It can be tuned to handle and stop like a dream. The vehicle is equipped with a faster steering rack, upgraded brakes and suspension which allow it to turn into corners at higher speeds.
Depending on the tuning package your car comes with, you may also receive larger wheels and tires, lowering springs, an anti-roll bar, and a number of other modifications. This car will go from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds!
Downside to this car is getting your hands on one that won’t break the bank.
The Ford Mustang was originally introduced in 1964. This vehicle quickly became popular because of its good looks, affordable price range, and fuel economy.
The Mustang is often the entry-level pony car for many enthusiasts; it’s what they usually enter into the world of modified cars.
The first generation Mustang came with a V6 engine which produced 138 HP. However, thanks to modern day parts, the new Mustangs can be modified to produce up to 700 HP! There are even vehicles that produce 1000 horsepower!
This vehicle can become a monster of a muscle car with just a little bit of work and customization!
One useful modification for this vehicle is an exhaust system to improve the car’s fuel economy, throttle response, and make it sound even better.
You can also install larger wheels or upgrade your rims which will allow you to achieve faster speeds. As well as this , a few suspension upgrades can improve your ride quality when driving.
You can also fit your ford mustang with an upgraded cold air intake for better performance at the drag strip or road course, and then add on a new turbocharger to increase power even more!
This car will go from 0 to 60 mph in less than 4 seconds when boosted with just some of these simple upgrades.
The Honda Civic is a popular and reliable four-door sedan. Originally introduced in 1972, the first generation of this vehicle was equipped with a 1.5L engine.
This first generation of Civics had three different trim levels: the base model called the “Standard”, the “DX” which featured higher quality materials, and finally, the “Si” which had performance upgrades.
A few years after the release of the original Civic, The Honda Civic became well-known for its fuel economy.
Many people preferred this car because it was small and lightweight but also not very expensive at all, making it great as a starter car!
The Honda Civic is an excellent car to modify. There are many modifications that can be done, but one of the most popular for this vehicle is an exhaust system.
Although these are fitted with smaller engines than some on this list, nevertheless, these improvements not only sound great but also achieve better acceleration and fuel economy.
You can also purchase aftermarket rims for this vehicle if you want to achieve faster speeds.
The Honda S2000 is a 2-seater roadster that was produced by the company, Honda.
This vehicle first came out in the year 1999 and has received four major redesigns since then to improve its overall performance. The first generation of this vehicle came with 240 HP which enabled it to reach 60 mph in just 5 seconds.
This vehicle can be tuned to handle and stop like a dream. The Honda S2000 is equipped with a faster steering rack, upgraded brakes, and suspension which allow it to turn into corners at higher speeds.
Depending on the tuning package your vehicle comes with, you may also receive larger wheels and tires, lowering springs, an anti-roll bar, and a number of other modifications.
Tuning this vehicle requires a bit more than just some suspension upgrades and larger wheels, but it’s still possible to achieve the speeds you need even with only minor mods without having to do a whole engine swap.
MAZDA MX-5 MIATA
The Mazda MX 5 Miata is a modern day pared-down version of a roadster. The vehicle was originally introduced in the United States in 1989 and has been well-respected among car enthusiasts.
This car is a popular choice for many people because it’s “simple” and reliable, making it easier to work with.
However, this doesn’t mean that there aren’t other great aspects of the Mazda Miata – this vehicle often comes with just an engine, transmission, and wheels meaning with some aftermarket support it can be transformed.
This Mazda can be tuned in order to produce more power than its factory state or modified to produce less. It’s possible for this car to be tuned so that it can achieve speeds up to 135 mph while still maintaining good fuel economy, great for prospective drag racers!
The Mazda nearly made the list of best sleeper cars, especially the early models, with its subtle edges and elegant look some could miss it or overlook it as the tuner it truly is
The Mazda RX-7 is a vehicle that was originally introduced in 1978. This car has received four major redesigns to enhance its performance.
The first generation of these cars came with a twin-turbocharged rotary design 1.3L engine, which allowed the RX-7 to achieve 100 mph in just 9 seconds.
The Mazda RX-7 is often tuners’ choice for modification because of the engine’s location and both front and rear wheel drive layouts.
The high redline and free revving nature of the Wankel engine makes for a very engaging driving experience, but it does require some specialist knowledge when it comes to tuning them.
The engines in these models are usually turbocharged, so it’s possible to modify the wiring to produce even more power for your car!
The Mazda RX-7 is usually tuned when it comes to suspension upgrades, but you can also fit larger tires which will be needed, especially when increasing your horsepower.
MITSUBISHI LANCER EVOLUTION
When the Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution was put into production in 1992, it quickly became one of the most notable vehicles in the industry of sports cars and appeared in posters that adorned many bedroom walls.
Arriving from the factory site with a sporty, all-wheel-drive powertrain, and a two litre turbocharged inline four-cylinder engine, the car stole the hearts of domestic buyers who were searching for an alternative to many of Japan’s mod-worthy platforms. What they received was an understated challenger.
After agreeing to market the car at no more than 276 horsepower, rumors spread that Mitsubishi was devaluing its figures in an effort to maintain compliance.
In reality, it was putting out far higher numbers, becoming more efficient, and acting as a catalyst for Mitsubishi’s competitiveness alongside Subaru.
With each new generation, the sports cars would evolve, eventually acquiring a figure just shy of 440HP. Naturally, word spread regarding the true capabilities of the car, and it became a sought-after platform, especially in terms of aftermarket modification.
It’s safe to say that the Nissan 240SX is one of the most modified cars in history. This can be attributed to its robust parts catalog, which remains one of the largest in the industry, as well as a long-running lineage as the perfect entry-level project car for aspiring track goers.
While the car has made an unprecedented impact on the world of drift, the 240SX was also one of the most popular cars within Nissan’s lineup during the 1990s, serving as the flagship sports car alongside the company’s established 180SX, and 200SX.
In the early years, the vehicle was lauded as a bombproof model that could accept various low-cost tunes to garner improved power, thanks to its dependable KA24E 2.4-litre inline-four engine.
However, the car’s second iteration, which would adopt the updated (and more versatile) KA24DE, is where the 240SX would truly shine.
Due to the popularity of this Nissan car within the drift circuit, manufacturers continued to produce elaborate packages that would improve the platform’s performance, handling, and aerodynamics, inevitably leading to an inflation of value.
Now, the once-affordable price range of the model has higher prices, expensive aftermarket kits, and a dwindling population.
NISSAN SKYLINE GT-R
The Nissan Skyline GT-R is already a very sought-after vehicle and thanks to the solidity of the engine and availability of parts it is literally begging to be modified.
After the car’s introduction in 1969, it quickly became an established competitor within Japan’s touring circuit, putting its powertrain, suspension, and aerodynamic structure under the microscope for the country’s dominant aftermarket companies.
The car’s engine is a 4.1-litre inline six-cylinder engine that puts out 310 horsepower. In order to get more power out of this car and reach its tuning potential, you can install things like nitrous or turbochargers.
Adding suspension upgrades like coil overs also helps with the cars handling and performance.
Other tuning options for this car include changing the weight of your car. For instance, you can use lightweight components to reduce the weight and improve the performance of your Nissan Skyline GT-R!
That’s just to name a few options that you can do, the GTR has an insane level of optimizations that can be applied.
The Volkswagen Beetle, also known as the Volkswagen Bug, is one of the most popular vehicles in history.
First introduced to the world in 1938, this car would go on to become one of the bestselling vehicles ever created.
In terms of performance parts, the Beetle’s engine bay is an ideal platform for people, thanks to its size and relative simplicity when compared to other aspects of the car.
It shares much with the VW/Porsche of its day, and as a result, it is possible to do some pretty insane engine swaps and add phenomenal power increases without doing much custom work.
The air-cooled boxer engines used in Beetles are prime examples of this; most variations range from 1.2 liters to 2.1 liters, with horsepower ratings that usually lie between 30 and 50.
The Beetle’s front-engine, rear-wheel drive design means that extensive modifications can be done to both the car’s engine and suspension components, as well as its exterior styling.
Ok you are thinking the beetle, is never going to have 1000 HP but it is such a fun car to modify, so we had to add it to the list, and as our resident Dubbers show, there is still much love and potential around for this awesome car.
With this best tuner cars you can buy list, there is a huge selection for all budgets, plus there are cars that might not be powerhouses but can still be fun to modify.
So what car will you get? Let us know in the comments below and help shape the future content we write, and the cars we cover.
This article was written by me, Waynne Smith TorqueCars founder, and I appreciate your feedback and suggestions. This entry was filed under Articles, Buying & Selling. You can leave a response below or join our forum to discuss this article and car modification in detail with our members.
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