Some of the performance cars we have seen past and present will eventually become legends, if not collectibles strolling across the aution blocks. However, some of these could have debuted a generation or two prior to their release. I mean, the vehicles on this list had the formula to make a high performance edition, such as a larger, more powerful engine, or underpinnings from another, more performance oriented vehicle. I guess, it would be easier to explain each individual car than trying to give a general synopsis, so here’s my list. Please feel free to comment with any question and other cars that might fit this formula.
The 2nd generation Dodge Ram already came with the V10 engine. The Viper’s 8.3L V10 was based off of the Ram’s 83.L V10. So, it is safe to say, that had Dodge performed a little bit of performance tuning to the 2nd gen Ram, the SRT Ram would have been built well before it’s debut in 2004.
Jeep SRT-8 Grand Cherokee-
The first generation grand Cherokee came with several engine choices. You had the virtually bulletproof 4.0L Inline-6, the 5.2 318 and the monstrous 5.9L 360. Even though high performance SUVs weren’t super popular in the 90s, a supercharged 5.9L or stroked 5.9, which would have meant 409 or 426, along with other mods, would have birthed the SRT Grand Cherokee.
The Porsche Panamera is one of my personal favorite horses. The fact that I can haul the family and achieve blistering speeds makes the Panamera Amazing. However Porsche could have built the Panamera a lot sooner than they did. The Porsche 989 concept was produced between 1988 and 1992 which means they could have built built the Panamera well before 2009.
The Lexus IS was a four door compact, front engine, RWD sports car that Lexus built in the late 90s. It was powered by thr legendary 3S-GE and the even more legendary, more like mythical, 2JZ-GE. MillenWorks even fit the GS430’s 4.3L V8 and a supercharger in the engine bay. The IS-F could have seen the light of day earlier, had Lexus offered the 3S-GTE, 2JZ-GTE or the supercharged 3UZ-FE in the IS.
The fourth generation Mercedes-Benz SL, which was built between 1989 and 2002, saw a metric ton of engine choices. As a matter of fact, the 7.3L AMG V12 is the same engine that is used in the Pagani Zonda. So with a little aerodynamic work and typical Mercedes flare, the Black Series SL which was built from 2008-2011 and was inspired by DTM Racing, could have been applied to the fourth generation as the highest performing SL for the time.
GM was already in the business of “captive imports” and “badge-engineering” when the fourth generation GTO hit the streets. The fourth generation GTO was based off of the V-Body platform, basically making it a Holden/Vauxhaull Monaro. The Holden Monaro started production in 2001 which means the GTO could have debuted as a 2001 model.
Just like the GTO/Monaro mash-up, the Chevy SS and Pontiac G8 was another “captive import” and “badge-engineered” Holden. While GM had downsized their sedans after the Impala between 1997 and 2005, the G8 and SS could have came earlier as the Caprice or Impala.