Remember the movie Joe Dirt that came out back in 2001, David Spade playing a redneck stuck in the 80s with a serious mullet. Back in the 80s, the mullet was a popular haircut that coined the term “business in the front, party in the back” due to it being short and groomed in the front, while being long in the back. This saying has since been applied to all sorts of things that look professional on the surface, but are actually wild and fun when more carefully inspected.
These cars are kind of like a mullet, where they look like something maybe you’re not-so-cool parents or maybe even grandparents should be driving while packing a secret punch under the hood. In the car world we call these “sleepers.” A sleeper is just that, something you would sleep on or not expect to be fast at all by looking at it. In this world we know how deceiving looks can be, and these next cars pack a much bigger punch than they look. Take a look at the next 20 cars that look all business but are definitely all party.
20 Chevy Impala
What happens when you stick a Corvette engine in a sedan? The Chevy Impala is born.
The Impala SS’s 5.3 L-liter V8 packs a serious punch making high figures in the horsepower and torque department.
With that being said, this car is the definitoon of a bland looking sleeper. With an engine that powerful, it really is funny to think that Chevy couldn't spruce up the looks just a little bit to get people more interested in the Impala.
19 Pontiac GTO
The Pontiac GTO was a once popular muscle car back in the 60s and 70s. Pontiac released a modern version of it in 2004, that resembles more of a plain jane coupe rather than a muscle car. Don’t let the GTO’s looks fool you, according to Top Speed under the hood it eventually received a 6.0-liter V8 engine that made 400 hp at 5,200 rpm and 400 lb/ft of torque at 4,000 rpms. The GTO was capable of zero-to-60 in 4.7 seconds and running a quarter mile in 13 seconds flat.
18 Mercedes S600
Everyone knows that Mercedes-Benz can create some seriously powerful engines. Their cars bearing the AMG badge have torn up road and track around the world for years, and they're engines can often be found dropped into supercars from various brands.
That being said, the Mercedes-Benz vehicles most are familiar with are the luxury boat-sedans that everybody's rich uncle seems to drive around in.
Enter the s600, which looks like a big and sluggish sedan, but is actually a speed monster, packing a 5.5L V12 that can push out 493hp.
17 Ford Taurus SHO
The SHO first made its appearance back in the 1989 making a then impressive 220 hp and torque numbers to match. The SHO made its return to the market in 2010 with an all new design, while maintaining its sleeper sedan look it was known for in the 80’s. The SHO’s snotty twin-turbo 3.5-liter V6 is capable of making 365 hp at 5,500 rpm and 350 lb/ft of torque at just 1,500 rpms. According to Motor Trend the SHO can get to sixty in just 5.2 seconds and can run a quarter mile in 13.7 seconds.
16 VW Phaeton
The Volkswagen Phateton was a massive luxury car Volkswagen introduced to the world back in 2004, in hopes of competing with BMW and Mercedes. The Volkswagen Phaeton’s 6.0-liter has 48-valves and 12 cylinders, which Car and Driver describes as two angled V6s to make a W.
The W-12 is capable of making 420 hp at 6,000 rpm and 406 lb/ft of torque at 3,250 rpm.
Zero-to-60 in 5.5 seconds, quarter mile in 13 seconds flat, which is even more impressive considering it weights almost 5500 lbs. One major downfall on the Phaeton, Volkswagen had a governor set to 130.
15 Volvo S60
The top of the line Volvo S60 is also known as the Polestar edition, which are limited in production. According to Car and Driver less than 400 of these were made for the states in their first year available. The all-wheel drive S60 comes with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder that is both turbo and supercharged, churning out 362 hp at 6000 rpm and 347 lb/ft of torque at 3100 rpm. The Polestar can get a quarter mile done in just 13 seconds, getting to sixty in just 4.4.
14 Chevy Malibu Maxx
The Chevy Malibu Maxx was a weird looking mix between a hatchback with a bit of wagon.
The SS version came packed with a 3.9-liter V6 that was capable of making both 240 on the hp and torque.
According to Auto Trader that was 100 more horsepower than the standard model that came with just a 4 banger that made a unimpressive 140 hp. If you have never heard of this SS Chevy it’s because it was only produced for one year, and that was in 2006.
13 Chevy Monte Carlo
The Monte Carlo once ruled the 70s and 80s with its SS edition. When the Monte Carlo made its return back in 1995 it looked less than impressive as it looked like a 2 door Lumina, and its styling didn’t improve much throughout the years until it was retired in 2007. The SS did have something special under the hood though, a 5.3-liter V8 that made 303 hp at 5300 rpm and 323 hp at 4400 rpms. According to Top Speed, the Monte Carlo’s quarter mile time was 14.3 seconds, with a zero-to-sixty in six seconds flat.
12 Chevy SS
Chevy has been making Super Sport editions since the 60’s when they first offered it with the Impala, but this car isn’t a special edition, it's just the SS. The SS is a sedan that packs a serious punch, its 6.2-liter V8 makes both 415 in the horsepower and torque department. With that being said, the SS can do zero-to-60 in 4.5 seconds, and quarter mile in 13 seconds flat. According to Car and Driver, the SS was discontinued after 2017, also ending its run as NASCAR’s stock car as well, the Camaro now filling the current spot.
11 Mercury Marauder
The Mercury Marauder looked like a Grand Marquis that was super popular in the senior citizen market, but if one of your grandparents drove a Marauder they would be the coolest seniors around.
Under the hood was a supercharged 5.0-liter V8 engine.
According to Motor Trend, the Marauder can do zero-to-60 in 5.1 seconds, and quarter mile in 13.42 seconds. In addition to a beefed-up engine, the VT came with upgraded sport wheel, rubber and brakes.
10 Chevy Colbalt SS
The Chevy Cobalt looks like a modern version of the once upon a time Cavalier. While the base model Cobalt isn’t all that exciting, the SS is different story. The SS comes standard with a supercharged 2.0-liter, 205 hp 5,600 rpm and 200 lb/ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. They may not but the most impressive numbers but due to its small size, According to Car and Driver it can still manage to squeak out a zero-to-60 in 5.9 seconds and quarter mile in 14.4 seconds.
9 Cadillac CTS-V Wagon
Cadillac wowed the world back in the early 2000’s with the CTS-V. Cadillac prior to this was known mostly for their large luxury cars popular among the senior citizen crowd. The CTS-V wagon premiered back in 2011 being produced for just a few short years. In its last and best year in 2014 the CTS-V came stocked with a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 that pushed out 556 hp and 551 lb/ft of torque. According to Motor Trend, that made the wagon capable of getting to sixty in under four seconds and running a quarter mile in just 12.3 seconds.
8 Ford Fusion Sport
The Ford Fusion made its debut in 2005 being marketed as an all-American family sedan. For the people looking more green they have hybrid option, or for something more fun there’s the sport.
The sport version has a twin turbo charged 2.7-liter V6 EcoBoost that’s able to crank out 325 hp and 380 lb/ft of torque.
According to Motor Trend, the Fusion sport can do zero-to-sixty in 5.3 seconds, a full second faster than the EcoBoost Mustang. Definitely not what people expect when they see this sedan.
7 Chrysler 300 SRT
The Chrysler 300 was first produced in 2005 first making its debut with a 6.1-liter Hemi, eventually working its way up to a 6.4-liter before it was discontinued. The 300’s 6.4 was capable of making both 470 in the horsepower and torque department. According to Road and Track, the 6.4-liter can get to the sixty in 4.5 seconds and a quarter mile just under 13 seconds. The 300 got a bit more styling in 2012, keeping its sedan look but now with carbon fiber trim and the option to add a bright red interior.
6 Dodge Caliber SRT4
The Dodge Caliper SRT4 is a 5-door hatchback that seemed to be ahead of its time considering how popular the now Honda Civic Type R and the Ford Focus RS currently now are. The original SRT4 is actually the first of the SRT line that was made for just a few years back in the early 2000’s with the SRT4 Neon. According to Auto Trader, Dodge added a bit more horsepower and torque this time around. The SRT4’s turbocharged 2.4-liter 285 hp at 6,000 rpm and 265 rpm at 6,000 rpm.
5 Porsche Panamera
The Panamera was the first four-door car ever produced by Porsche back in 2010. The oddly shaped hatch isn’t quite a wagon, but kind of in a style class of its own.
The fastest version of the Panamera is actually a hybrid.
According to Car and Driver, the twin-turbo charged 4.0-liter V8 engine paired with a battery pack to make a combined 680 hp and 516 lb/ft of torque. The Panamera can get to sixty in under three seconds and run a quarter mile in just 11.1 seconds.
4 Saab Aero
Saab was Swedish based manufacturer that was known more for their luxury than speed, but why not have your cake and eat it too? The Saab 9-5 performance model called the Aero allowed you to do just that. According to Car and Driver, the turbocharged 2.8-liter made 300 hp at 5500 rpm and 295 lb/ft of torque at just 2000 rpm. Sadly, Saab filed for bankruptcy in 2011, but is now produced as an electric car by its new manufactures, National Electric Vehicle Sweden (NEVS).
3 Audi RS2
Is it a Audi or is it a Porsche? Its actually both, back in 1994 the two collaborated to make the still awesome RS2 Avant. Not only has it designed by Porsche, it actually had parts straight off their 964 Turbo, but in true Porsche fashion the engine was located in the trunk. The 2.2-liter actually had 5-cylinders that made 311 hp at 6500 rpm and 302 lb/ft of torque at 3000 rpm. According to Road and Track, the RS2 was quite ahead of its time in the mid 90’s coming with both a six-speed manual transmission and massive Brembo brakes.
2 Buick Verano Turbo
Buick had recently had been trying to break out of their stereotypical elderly only clientele, even going to extremes of having celebrities like Tiger Woods endorse them, claiming he drives a Buick. In 2013 Buick released a turbo version of their Verano that had a turbocharged 2.0-liter made 250 hop at 5300 rom and 260 lb/ft of torque at a low 2000 rpm. It comes standard with a 6-speed automatic transmission, but you can upgrade to a 6-speed manual for no additional fee.
1 BMW M760li
BMW has always been known for its luxury and cutting edge technology. The same formula was used for their top of the line 7 series of BMW is the M760i. The 760 has a massive twin turbo charged 6.6-liter V12 engine. The V12 is capable of making 601 hp at 5500 rpm and 590 lb/ft of torque. According to Motor Trend the massive 760 weights over 5,1000 lbs, yet can still manage to do zero-to-60 in just 3.6 seconds.
Sources: MotorTrend.com, CarandDriver.com, RoadandTrack.com, AutoTrader.com,