10 Hidden Gems: Cars That Outshine the Ford Mustang GT
Stand at a red light next to one of these sleeper cars and you might think it’s just another mundane dud. But pull the trigger, and you’ll find out it can hunt apexes like a Formula 1 car.
Speedy wagons are a dying breed, but this one’s packed with an engine that can make your jaw drop.
1. Mercedes-AMG E63
The Mercedes-AMG E63 is one of the best sleeper cars to be found in the automotive ether. It’s the latest super-saloon to sport a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that puts out more than 600 horsepower at the flywheel and can blast from 0-62 mph in under three seconds.
That sort of power and speed will earn you a place in the clubbed world of six-figure luxury sedans that includes the BMW M5 and Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo. But the E63’s most luring trait is its engine. It’s a thing of beauty with the kind of primal, macho appeal that conjures up images of hot forges and banging metal. XM Wheels will elaborate more about the cars and their features.
2. Mercedes-AMG 500E
If we were tasked with picking one car to own and drive for the rest of our lives, it would be this Bruiser. It oozes gangster chic, delivers high-speed thrills, and can luxuriously cosset its owner on a cruise.
When Mercedes engineers were busy developing the new S-Class, the company reached out to its good friends at Porsche to help create a high-performance version of its E-Class executive sedan. Borrowed from the SL roadster, the result was this rare 500E.
Powered by a mammoth 6.0-liter V8 engine, it’s no surprise that this 500E can easily stick its finger up at the likes of the BMW E34 M5 and Chevy Impala SS. This particular example was last serviced in July 2020 at 214,000 km (133,098 miles) and boasts a trove of factory options. It’s also finished in a stunning shade of Obsidian Black.
3. Buick Regal GS
Buick’s GS sedan might be one of the least popular sporty cars from an American automaker, but it’s also one of the most underrated. This model targets shoppers who don’t care about brand cachet but want solid performance and abundant features at a reasonable price. The Regal GS delivers on all counts, with impressive crash-test results and an appealing list of standard equipment.
A 310-horsepower V-6 engine powers this sleeper car to a respectable 0-60 time of less than eight seconds. It also builds speed deceptively on mountain roads, while its supple, well-controlled ride never feels strained or harsh. The Regal GS also features an orderly, clean interior and comfortable front seats.
4. BMW M5
The M5 Competition is a solid consolation prize for those who miss BMW’s holy grail E39 M5. It’s faster, more comfortable, and better handling than any previous M5, and still as much fun at the limit.
Inside, the cabin is more spacious than before, with a larger central touchscreen and BMW’s latest iDrive infotainment system. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are standard, as is wireless charging.
BMW’s active safety suite is among the best on the market. This model also offers a lane-keep assist that can steer you in certain situations.
5. Volvo V60 Polestar
The latest Volvo V60 wagon is a model of simple Scandinavian design. It’s big enough for a family, and it’ll easily swallow the weekly grocery run; plus, its standard safety kit is second to none.
On long motorway runs, the V60 is comfortable and quiet. It’s easy to drive, too. The seats are supportive, with powered adjustment and a memory function on the Plus models.
It’s a capable sports wagon, ready to devour twisty back roads and embarrass air-cooled 911s on a tight, soaking bend. But the V60 Polestar has a whiff of antique dealers about it that may put off some buyers. And its infotainment system is a bit confusing to use on the move.
6. Honda Accord Type R
Keen drivers have long sought solace in Honda Type R cars, whether the feisty Integra or Civic hot hatch models.
It was the Accord Type R, built from 1998 to 2002, and powered by a 212hp version of Honda’s red-top 2.2-litre H22A VTEC. With its 7000rpm redline, this was a mighty engine by any standard.
Yet today, a 2.2-liter car that can do 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds feels rather pedestrian. Nevertheless, a well-maintained Accord Type R remains a real sleeper gem worth considering, especially at this price.
7. Audi 80 Avant
In its heyday, Audi had a habit of using its cars to break world speed endurance records. This example of the Audi 80 Avant (it would later be known as an A4) is a car that does just that. It came to its current owner as a bog-standard light metallic grey car, but the devoted Audi fanatic has added a huge amount of S2 and RS2 parts and fitted galvanized bodywork, giving it a truly unique look.
8. Chevrolet Corvette C63
The sleeper car is a legendary tradition in the hot-rod scene. Home-built sleepers can slay supercars with their raw power and ability to hunt apexes. But manufacturers can also turn average cars into legitimate sleepers by slapping big motors inside of them.
The Chevrolet Cobalt SS is a perfect example of this. Its humble exterior doesn’t hint at the fact that it produces 260 horsepower and can rocket to 60 miles per hour in less than five seconds.
The Ford Focus RS is another example. Unless you pick the right color—like Rebel Blue—people will have trouble distinguishing this hot hatch from the standard model. For many drivers, that’s a good thing. You want to be able to fly under the radar while enjoying a blast behind the wheel.
9. Ford Focus RS
Ford’s RS is a high-performance hatchback unlike any we’ve ever seen, and it’s designed to elicit pure excitement behind the wheel. It has a special MacPherson suspension at the front and what the company calls Control Blade rear suspension. That design combines the packaging of a trailing arm setup with geometry that’s closer to a double wishbone system.
The RS’s unique driveline can route up to 70 percent of engine power to the back wheels and distribute it between left- and right-front wheels. That helps give it superior cornering stability, turn-in, and handling — including lateral acceleration that can exceed 1.0 g.
10. Ford Mustang GT
Despite its age, the Ford Mustang GT still has plenty of muscle. A 460-hp Coyote V8 and performance-oriented features make this model an inspired speed demon.
Test Mustang Dark Horse was outfitted with MagneRide adaptive dampers that bend the rules of physics to improve ride and handling. This setup did a great job of cushioning the jolts from the road.
Regardless, the Mustang GT is a sleeper that should impress anyone who sees it in person. Even at a standstill, the car projects a unique and instantly recognizable personality.
In conclusion, these ten hidden gems offer a tantalizing alternative to the Ford Mustang GT, showcasing their unique blend of power, 17 inch rims, performance, and style. From the refined Audi RS4 to the relentless BMW M3, each of these remarkable cars possesses the ability to outshine the iconic Mustang GT and leave a lasting impression on the discerning automotive enthusiast. It is through their exceptional capabilities that they prove the automotive world is rich with hidden treasures waiting to be discovered by those seeking a driving experience beyond the ordinary.
Q1) Are sleeper cars more affordable than the Ford Mustang GT?
The affordability of sleeper cars varies depending on the specific make, model, and condition. In some cases, sleeper cars may be similarly priced or even more expensive than the Ford Mustang GT, especially if they come with high-performance engines and luxury features. However, there are also sleeper car options available at more affordable price points, making them accessible to a wider range of enthusiasts.
Q2) Can sleeper cars be modified for even better performance?
Absolutely! One of the advantages of sleeper cars is that their unassuming exteriors provide a canvas for modifications without drawing too much attention. Performance upgrades such as engine tuning, suspension enhancements, and aftermarket components can be added to further improve the power, handling, and overall performance of sleeper cars, making them even more formidable on the road.
Q3) Are sleeper cars suitable for everyday use?
Yes, sleeper cars can serve as practical daily drivers, offering comfort, functionality, and convenience. While they may possess high-performance capabilities, many sleeper cars are designed with comfort features, spacious interiors, and modern technology, making them suitable for day-to-day use and long drives.