Form or function? It’s an ever-ending debate in the car world. But let’s face it, most people buy cars due to looks and not specifically what’s under the hood. Different people enjoy cars for different reasons, for some, it’s all about appealing looks and design, for others, it's all about competition, speed, horsepower, and the thrill of pushing their vehicles to the limit.
A different set of people enjoy the thrill of a powerful car, but without all the attention it brings. These cars seem pretty plain, but that doesn’t mean they’ll accept a beating on the track. Here are ten best sleepers cars, Ranked!
10 Mercury Marauder
Who would have thought a cop car, marketed to retirees could be a sleeper? That’s a question Ford should answer. The first Marauder was produced by Mercury back in the 1960s; it’s a high-performance version of the Galaxie. Forty years after, designed from its sister car, the Crown Victoria (Cop Car), the 3rd Generation of the Marauder was born, becoming an all-time sleeper car.
Marauder’s designers gutted it with a 300 hp V8 engine from the Ford Mustang Mach 1, paired with a few goodies from its cop car interceptor. The outcome, as you’d expect, is a lustrous package that’s ready to battle anytime the lights turn green.
9 Taurus SHO
Improved for speed, the Ford Taurus SHO is the perfect sleeper car. It's practical and comfortable and derives most of its agility from its predecessor, the original SHO—that’s a legend. It’s a decent car, with nothing special t offer. However, what makes this car unique and even more of a sleeper is that it was written off by the press immediately after its production.
It’s a large sedan designed for comfortable interstate highway cruising. Things, however, change when challenged to a race. The inner Taurus SHO demon can hit 60 mph in about 5 seconds. Designed in a collaborative effort between Cosworth and Yamaha, the SHO is by many, the ultimate sleeper.
8 Saab 9-2x Aero
The Saab 9-2x Aero has a retro 90s design, none of that stream-lined space ship design you’d get with current designed sports cars. But performance-wise, its at the helm of its game. The Saab 9-2x Aero is a perfect show stopper for speedsters looking to race on a budget.
Based on the WRX sports Wagon, the Saab 9-2X Aero is much more appealing to the eyes. It produces an impressive 227 hp and 217 lb. Ft of torque at 6000 Rpm. While it’s not popular, it’s a perfect sleeper car with enough power for an exhilarating ride. Its fun to drive, and its retro looks remind you of time manufacturers took time to design cars.
7 Chevrolet Cobalt
The Chevrolet Cobalt is an improvement of the Cavalier, which with all due respect, was not a good car. The Cobalt SS is a significant improvement and sold well for owners looking for a compact all-American Sedan. Amid mediocrity, Chevrolet was able to come up with the Cobalt SS, which took most car enthusiasts by surprise.
The new Chevrolet Cobalt SS was a fast drivers’ car. It did extremely well on the track. Chevrolet released the first version that produced 205 hp. However, the real SS came out in 2008 producing 260 hp. Don’t mind its huge wing; it's not for aesthetics, the Cobalt SS is extremely fast!
6 Mazda Speed 6
Nothing’s interesting about midsize sedans, the most action they get it fighting for parking spots at the local convenience store. However, if you don’t want to bore yourself to sleep behind the wheel of these kinds of sedans – You get a Mazda Speed 6. It's not your typical Camry, but at the same time, it’s nothing special on the race track.
But in 2006, Mazda had enough of its sedans ferrying accounting books and groceries on the back seat. It threw all sensibility out the window and decided to do a little dirty work. The aftermath of its evil genius bore fruits to produce an all-wheel sedan with a turbocharged engine producing 270 hp. It came with a six-speed manual transmission and could do 60 in less than 5.5 seconds.
5 Subaru Legacy Spec. B
Subaru has produced a fleet of interesting cars over the years, with the legendary rally champ WRX and STi models. Its iconic rumble is harmonic enough to make you turn down your stereo. The Subaru Legacy line is none of that, it’s a humble family sedan, with subtle luxury trim and comfortable feel. It’s the type of car to hit the highway and enjoy nostalgic 70s music. It has none of the fuss associated with the WRX, its simply boring.
To make things a little exciting, Subaru produced a performance version of this luxury sedan and slapped an STI badge on it. With an all-wheel drive train, the Legacy produces 250 hp, which was a lot in 2006. It packs a 2L turbocharged engine paired with a 6-speed manual transmission. It corners like the WRX thanks to its modified suspension. The Subaru Legacy Spec. B is the ultimate Japanese sleeper.
4 Volvo V70 R
Station wagons aren’t popular, not in a while, and when they used to be popular, they weren’t cool. They were best for interstate vacations and fishing trips. Let’s be honest; station wagons have never really been cool. So, what about a Volvo station wagon? Well, the Volvo badge means it's safe, nothing you’d want to drive aggressively.
However, the Volvo V70 R is different, born in the Västra Götaland County, this Swedish monster with an in-line five produces 296 hp and 295 lb. Ft torque. It also runs on an all-wheel-drive system and can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds. The Volvo V70 R is like an Rx-7 FD, with enough space for a wife and two kids.
3 Chevrolet SS
The Chevy SS is a legitimate contender in this list and is perhaps one of the best sleepers from America. For starters, not many people know it even exists, and it wouldn’t be surprising if it were confused with a Malibu-until the traffic lights hit green!
The Chevrolet SS is a rear-wheel-drive muscle car sedan producing a remarkable 415 hp. At the heart of this docile looking Malibu is a V8 sourced from a corvette paired with a six-speed manual transmission. Despite its subtle and boring styling, the SS is a diamond in the ruff. Thanks to its poor designs, owners can get away with speeding tickets.
2 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT8
It's hard to beat the Grand Cherokee SRT8 when it comes to brute power. As an SUV, you’d expect it to be slow and awkward. To the unsuspecting eye, it looks like your typical Grand Cherokee, but for enthusiasts, the SRT8 is a 5,000-pound space rocket from hell with a mega engine under its hood. Then the first generation of these vehicles could do 60mph in less than five seconds.
The second generation had 50 more horsepower added and will go down in history as the fasted Jeep manufactured. Unfortunately, the Jeep SRT versions haven’t been trail rated. The SRT8 runs on a 6.4 L V8 motor producing 470 hp and 465 lb. Ft of torque.
1 Audi S8 Plus
Audi is a phenomenal brand from Germany. The S8 has been around for quite some time, and its new version gives it a spot on our list, among the best sleepers in the world. To create the beast that is the S8, Audi modified its flagship luxury A8, adding a ton of poise and power.
The Audi S8 Plus produces a whooping 605 hp from a 4.0L V8 twin-turbo engine. There are definite subtle enhancements both on the exterior and the interior including, bumps, wheels, and special interior trim. The S8, though similar to its A8 sibling is designed for owners looking for an ostentatious sedan.