An engine swap is one of the most effective ways to instantly increase the power of your car. There are dozens of tried and true swaps from which you can choose, but sometimes it’s more fun to tackle an unexpected change. While these swaps may require more work because of their unusual combinations, they can be highly rewarding for car enthusiasts. Here are some of the most interesting engine swaps we’ve seen recently.
Pontiac Montana With a V-8 Engine
A V-8 engine swap is usually completed in rear wheel drive sports cars, but they have many applications beyond that one. GM’s LS4 V-8 was designed for front wheel drive, making it an interesting choice for a Pontiac Montana. A 4T65-E automatic transmission, also by GM and standard with Pontiacs, goes perfectly with the V-8 and will only require a new engine mount and slightly modified passenger-side frame rail to make the car driveable.
Ferrari 308 With a V-12
Though it may require an incredible amount of custom fabrication to work, a V-12 engine from a Ferrari 400i in a Ferrari 308 is one of the most unique swaps out there. Just be sure to purchase the right materials, as a mixup will necessitate more time in the metalshop or more money spent on the right gear. Once finished, this swap can generate more than 900 horsepower.
Dodge Charger With a Twin-Turbo V8
Nobody said you had to limit your swaps to car engines. One enterprising shop put a twin-turbo V8 by Mercury Marine Racing — a racing boat company — into a Dodge Charger. The seriously powerful vehicle has been featured in the Fast and the Furious movie franchise and has an astounding 1650 horsepower. The car also features a six-speed manual transmission.
Volkswagen Bus With a Porsche 911 Turbo
Some engine swaps are interesting purely because they’re completely original ideas. Why put a Porsche 911 Turbo engine in a Volkswagen Bus? Maybe just for the fun of it. This swap uses a modified engine to give the bus enough power to hold its own against modern track supercars, and while most car enthusiasts won’t recreate this swap, it’s a great creativity booster and shows you what’s possible.
Prius With a Hellcat Crate Engine
Most enthusiasts won’t look twice at a Prius, but swapping in a modified Hellcat crate engine gives this car a whole new lease on life. With a 4.5 liter Whipple supercharger, the Prius’s rear wheels get 1000 horsepower and serious speed. The swap goes to show that with the right materials, even a dull car body can get an exciting boost from an unexpected engine.
Rolls-Royce Phantom With a 2JZ Toyota Supra
Phantoms are known for their quiet, 6.75 liter V-12 engines. Replacing that with a 700 horsepower Supra engine may defeat that quality, but it does provide a major power boost as compensation. An automatic transmission with some creative placement of gauges make this swap a reality, so be prepared for some serious tinkering if you’re considering a similar swap for your own vehicle.
Mazda Miata With a Honda K24
Car enthusiasts have long enjoyed the dependable and fun to drive Mazda Miata, but its engine sometimes leaves room for improvement. A Honda K24 engine, meanwhile, gives the Miata enough power to keep up with a Porsche 911 GT3 RS, showing what an additional 250 horsepower can really do for this longtime favorite. It doesn’t always take a labor intensive swap to make a real difference in a car’s power and handling abilities.
Considering Your Engine Swap
Rob’s Customs, a Northern Virginia custom auto body shop, can complete a variety of engine swaps for your dream ride. A Coyote or Hemi engine swap can give cars a serious power boost, while a fuel injected swap brings older cars to the modern age. LS swaps, which use GM motors, have a wide range of applications and are among the most popular swaps available thanks to their versatility. While most swaps will fall into one of these categories, there are dozens of other options available for enthusiasts willing to think outside the box.
Contact Rob’s Customs for more information about engine swaps and to discuss your ideas for your own project. Rob’s can complete straightforward swaps to replace an old engine or work with you to create a truly unique vehicle instead. The shop also has experience in restoring and upgrading classic cars, allowing you to own a piece of history that can still hold its own on the streets.