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Question of the Week

TG readers have shared their most insane engine swap ideas

From V12-powered Fiat Unos to Honda Del Sols with Porsche racing engines, these are our favourite picks from a packed comment section

Published: 12 Apr 2024

Earlier this week, we asked our readers what their idea of the perfect engine swap would be and why. The response has been nothing short of incredible; from avant-garde V12s in diminutive roadsters to shouts of sticking full-fat V8s in aero-focused EVs, this week had it all. 

Dxm99 suggested an Autozam AZ-1 with the 1.0-litre inline-six from a Honda CBX bike because it would “finally have a sound that goes with the design”. That was followed immediately by Niles’ suggestion of a Fiat Uno Turbo… with a Bugatti EB110’s V12. Goodness, can you imagine?

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Randy Fluffins had a similar idea, but with something that actually could work. “I always fancied getting an Austin Healey 3000 and shoving a BMW S54 into it. Put it on ITBs and do a bit of work freeing it up. Create a six-cylinder muscle Healey, sort of like a Ruffian/Cobra machine.”

Tyindel suggested throwing Koenigsegg’s TFG three-cylinder into “something silly like a Copen”. That, once again, doesn’t seem beyond the realms of possibility where fitting is concerned. A little Daihatsu scooting around with 600bhp sounds... yeah.

Taking a slightly more mainstream turn, here’s Ben Slade’s preference: “Lexus LFA engine in an LC500. As much as the LFA is a lottery win car for me, I don’t think the design ever lived up to the engine. I feel the LC is a much more cohesive, up-to-date design.” 

El Fungote agreed with the LC500 base, but instead suggested a four-rotor Wankel engine to (probably) blow it up in a heroic cloud of noise and, well, smoke. Brandi Alexis then took things right back to dreamville by suggesting an Alfa Romeo 4C with Ferrari’s F136 V8. That’d be… sketchy. 

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There’s nothing at all sketchy about Richard Harrison’s wonderful previous builds, though: “I’ve had two Chevrolet V8-powered Porsche 928s. One was stock and had 600bhp, while the other was an S4 where every single component was modified. Both won awards at pretty much every car show, including People’s Choice at Car Craft Summer Nationals.”

Bradleigh-James Coffill’s ultimate amalgamation would be to put a supercharged 3.0-litre Jaguar V6 at the helm of their Hyundai i30N, while Antoine Dufresne-Fortin would place the Lexus LFA’s V10 in… a Toyota Land Cruiser. 

We like this surge of weirdness, so spare a thought for Declan Herendeen’s idea: “Porsche 911 RSR-18 engine in a Honda Del Sol. The smile on your face would hurt as badly as your ears.”

Or this perfectly logical idea from Andrew David: “Take the Voodoo V8 from the GT350R and put it where it should’ve been all along: the Ford GT. Not very creative, but certainly justice.”

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Or this completely illogical but wonderfully mad idea from Dan: “I would commit a minor sacrilegious act and put the 7.0-litre V12 from a Zonda S into a 1957 Mercedes-Benz 300SL. Both are achingly beautiful, have brilliant interiors and are automotive heroes. Plus the engine is Merc's anyway.”

We’re going to draw the curtains with what was, for us, the perfect answer for this round, written up by Andrew Robinson: “Outside the box? Let’s leapfrog Bugatti by going straight for a 1930’s Mendelson-Duesenberg W24 marine engine. It adds up to 10.5 litres and its triple straight-eight formation gives you a decent Top Trumps advantage over the Chiron.

“Where to put it? You’ll need something beefy, and there’s not a lot beefier than the six-seat Mercedes 600 Grosser Pullman. Of course, there’s no chance of fitting the V24 under the bonnet. Instead, let’s simply wind up the window between chauffeur and passenger, throw out the back seats and mid-mount the engine. We’ll have 30 exhaust pipes exiting through the roof.”

The next question lands on Monday and will follow a very similar path to this week, so stay tuned, and keep commenting...

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