While we love little, lightweight cars, sometimes we'd like to see them get just a bit more power and excitement. Which got us thinking: What cars would benefit from a motorcycle-engine transplant? Put big, high-revving power in a tiny package, with a screaming exhaust note that you'd never expect from a car, and you're well on your way to a thrillingHere are some of the best candidates.
The Honda Beat is a mid-engine Kei car from the '90s with a lovable face and a convertible top. The three-cylinder motor revs to the moon, but it only makes around 63 horsepower. Get a bike engine in there, and your power problem is solved. on eBay you can own right now.
If you're not into the turbocharged 500 Abarth, a superbike engine swap should be plenty to wake up the Fiat 500 hatch, whether we're talking about or .
The regular Smart Car for a motorcycle swap, but the sportier Smart Roadster is another great pick. It looks wonderful, but didn't get much love in the drivetrain department from the factory. Perhaps a Hayabusa engine could change that.
The BRZ-86-FR-S trio aren't exactly tiny cars, but considering they only ever came from the factory with an uninspiring 205-horsepower boxer-four, it makes sense to have it on this list. Could you imagine a BRZ with the 14,200-RPM engine from a BMW S1000RR? Sign us up.
Drop out the i3's battery pack and electric motor, and you've got yourself a super-light carbon-composite shell with plenty of room to stuff in any bike engine you desire. can be yours for under $16,000.
Swapping small, high-strung engines into old Mini Coopers isn't exactly a new idea. But considering how many people have already done it, we'd say that makes doing the swap yourself that much easier thanks to online DIY guides. for sale on eBay right now.
Based on the Scion IQ, the Cygnet never really lived up to the Aston Martin name (save for the singular V-8 model). We're not sure stuffing a V-8 into a normal, run-of-the-mill Cygnet would be practical, but a high-strung bike engine should fit in place of that stock Toyota engine just fine.
Usually these replica kit cars use an air-cooled flat-four from a Volkswagen Beetle or a Subaru boxer engine. Sure, a high-revving super bike motor probably isn't the most purist-minded power plant in the world, but it would undoubtedly be fun.
Sure, you can get the new VW Up! in GTI form, but the engine isn't anything crazy like a sport bike would have. Add some bigger brakes and a stiffer suspension, and you'll have a certified super hatch on your hands.
If you're caught up on your Renault Twingo knowledge, you'll know the newest version has its engine in the rear, powering the rear wheels. A high-revving bike engine could transform it into the tiny 911-esque hatchback of your dreams.
The AZ-1 is perhaps the coolest Kei car in existence, utilizing a mid-engine layout and sweet gullwing doors. But like every other Kei-class vehicle, it has to make due with around 60-ish horsepower from a tiny engine. Add a superbike motor, and you'd have yourself a miniature track-attacking machine.
People remember the X1/9 mostly for its quirky looks and mid-engine layout—but not so much for its drivetrain. Replacing the motor with something that can rev to over 10,000 RPM might solve that. is pretty clean, and you can own it today.
There are few new cars out there light and agile enough for a motorcycle engine swap, but the S660 is one of them. It's a mid-engine Honda Kei-car with a targa soft top, but it's not very fast. But a high-revving bike engine could surely fix that.
Volkswagen went all-out with its hyper-efficient, super low-production XL1 two-seater. Weighing just 1753 pounds, it's lighter than any Miata from the factory, and comes standard with some seriously cool doors. The twin-cylinder diesel hybrid is enormously fuel-thrifty, and makes just 68 horsepower. We think a Hayabusa engine swap would round things out nicely. VW went for a Ducati motor in one of its concepts, which is nearly as good.
The Cappuccino is a Kei-class JDM sports car that uses a tiny three-cylinder engine to power the rear wheels. It weighs almost nothing, which means a sportbike engine would do wonders for performance. A Cappuccino with double the horsepower? Sign us up. up for bidding on eBay now.
The entry-level Caterham already uses a 660-cc turbocharged Suzuki engine and makes about 80 hp stock. People have put before, but the Kawasaki H2R's absolutely bonkers supercharged power plant would definitely cut down significantly. Just be sure to post pictures of what the new warp-speed does to your face when you hit the accelerator.
The Del Sol was certainly ambitious, including a brave stab at a functional snap-out targa top. The car came with 106 hp stock, but it would definitely be more action-packed and Fast & Furious-worthy if it had a Suzuki Hayabusa engine, increasing that power by nearly twofold. can be yours for just $7500.
The Peel P50 is the smallest car ever built, made famous by one of the of all time. It had a engine—so clearly, the rational and fun thing to do would be to give it the 197 hp from a high-revving Hayabusa. The P50's chassis probably wasn't designed with a 1000cc four-cylinder in mind, and the added weight would make it hard to wheel the car around by hand. But is that really a downside when you've increased the power output by 44 times?
The Atom 3 is the base Ariel Atom and runs stock with a Honda 2.0-liter engine that's good for 245 hp. But dropping a Ninja H2R engine into the car would be a quick way to 300 hp. If you didn't want the Atom 3S, but still wanted more power than the Atom 3, the (so far imaginary) Atom H2R seems like the perfect answer. for sale right now.
While Top Gear's Robin-flipping accounts aren't 100-percent true, they were right about it being slow: A Reliant Robin 850 from 1975 . But if you added the supercharged Kawasaki H2R engine, you'd be too busy doing wheelies to roll the thing over. We could call it the Reliant Robin SC.
The stock 74 horsepower in the Mirage is less than inspiring. But thanks to an interior of plastics and a small body, the Mirage also weighs next to nothing. That makes it the ideal candidate for a highly tuned superbike engine. That would wake the Mirage right up, and startle everyone around you when they heard the unexpected scream of a motorcycle engine coming from your tiny tailpipe. can be yours for just under $16,000.
Remember that Ducati 1199 Superleggera-engine XL1 we mentioned earlier? That thing was badass. What if VW went further, and put the Ducati engine in the Volkswagen Polo? Stock, the Polo GTI makes 198 horsepower, which isn't all that much different from the Ducati's 195 horsepower. However, the Ducati's is a screaming and rev-happy superbike engine, rather than an economy-focused turbocharged four-cylinder. That's definitely something that would get your heart rate going.
The original Opel GT weighed and never offered more than 110 hp. With bite-sized Corvette styling, it definitely needs some power to back up the looks. An H2R engine would give it nearly three times that power. Hell, we could even put the H2R engine in the new GT concept, too. looks to be in good condition, and can be yours.
The 4C is a nicely balanced mid-engined sports car. It is, in many ways, a dream come true: It's beautiful, it's bare-bones, and it's got exotic-car flair. With 237 hp turning the rear wheels, it's punchy for sure. If you enjoy some healthy oversteer,
The Geo Metro is . It was criticized for its lack of power, terrible acceleration, and bad noise insulation. The bad noise insulation I can deal with, especially if the noise is a good one. The pissed-off-hornets'-nest cry of a Hayabusa engine would be most welcome in the cabin of a Metro. You'd also wipe the smile off the face of every single friend who ever made fun of your economy hatchback if you performed that engine swap. for sale on eBay, and looks to be the perfect place to start off your build.