15 Cars That Need a Performance Version

Sporty versions of these cars might not present compelling business cases, but they'd be undeniably fun.

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Volvo

Yesterday we asked you which new cars desperately need a performance variant. As always, there were a ton of responses. Here are the answers we saw repeated the most.

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"Lexus"
Lexus IS

Remember the Lexus ISF? So do we. It was an IS with a lovely naturally aspirated V8 under the hood. Instead of bringing back the ISF for its latest generation of four-door performance cars, Lexus decided to give that V8 to the mid-size GSF instead. We can't help but wonder why the IS didn't get the V8 treatment.

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Chrysler
Chrysler 300

It seems the 300 is the only car in the FCA range that hasn't gotten a Hellcat-engined variant, and that's a shame. That supercharged V8 would be perfectly matched to the muscle-luxury experience the 300 provides.

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Porsche
Volvo V90

The V90 is more luxury car than anything else, but we're sure it would be better if Polestar were to get ahold of it. All-wheel drive and maybe a 500-horsepower powertrain would certainly do it justice.

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Honda
Honda Accord

You could argue the Accord already has a performance version—you can get the Civic Type R's engine in it after all. Hell, Car and Driver this year. But there are still a whole lot more upgrades that can be done. Adding stickier tires, bigger brakes, and a stiffer suspension would make for a serious Accord sports car.

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Toyota
Toyota Corolla Hatch

The new Toyota Corolla hatchback is actually pretty cool. It looks good, and can be hand with a proper manual transmission. We can only imagine how much better it would get with a few performance-minded upgrades.

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Chevrolet
Chevrolet Sonic

Chevy refreshed the Sonic last year, giving it a new face and some additional features. What Chevy didn't give the Sonic is a real performance variant. With the Fiesta ST banished from the US, it's hard to see why a sporty Sonic can't take its place.

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Audi
Audi Allroad

The raised wagon craze is currently sweeping the nation, but there's a distinct lack of real performance in the segment. If any manufacturer can change that, it's Audi. All the Allroad needs is the 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 from the S5.

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Subaru
Subaru BRZ / Toyota 86

Okay, the BRZ and 86 are already "performance" cars. But we can't help but wonder what either of those cars would be like with a turbocharged engine. There have been several special editions (like the one shown above), but none have come with any more power.

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<p>The <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a7550/2015-honda-fit-first-drive/">Honda Fit</a> is one of the most sensible cars on the market and with a six-speed manual, it's pretty fun to drive. Still, we can't help but wonder what a Fit Si, or even better still, a Type R would be like. It could be a very worthy challenger to the Fiesta ST.<br></p>
Honda
Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is one of the most sensible cars on the market and with a six-speed manual, it's pretty fun to drive. Still, we can't help but wonder what a Fit Si, or even better still, a Type R would be like. It could be a very worthy challenger to the Fiesta ST.

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<p>The Cruze, while a solid car, has never raised the pulse of car enthusiasts. Well, that was the case until Chevy showed off a handsome <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/news/a27819/2017-chevrolet-cruze-hatch-first-look/">new hatchback version</a> at the Detroit Auto Show. Suddenly, a bowtie-wearing Focus ST fighter doesn't seem too farfetched. </p><p>A <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/future-cars/news/a27906/chevrolet-cruze-hatchback-hot-hatch/">Chevrolet executive said</a> a high-performance version of the Cruze Hatchback is a possibility. It's a possibility we hope comes true because there can never be too many hot hatchbacks on the market.</p>
Chevrolet
Chevrolet Cruze Hatchback

The Cruze, while a solid car, has never raised the pulse of car enthusiasts. Well, that was the case until Chevy showed off a handsome new hatchback version at the last Detroit Auto Show. Suddenly, a bowtie-wearing Focus ST fighter doesn't seem too farfetched.

A Chevrolet executive said a high-performance version of the Cruze Hatchback is a possibility. It's a possibility we hope comes true because there can never be too many hot hatchbacks on the market.

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<p>Remember the GMC Syclone? <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/g6552/10-quickest-trucks/">We sure do</a>. With its turbocharged V6, it was the quickest pickup of its day and one of the quickest cars.</p><p>Conveniently, GMC now has a solid midsize pickup in the Canyon and GM has the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 in the <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-culture/a27172/cadillac-ats-v-pcoty/">Cadillac ATS-V</a>. Stick its 464-horsepower motor in the Canyon and you could have a seriously fun pickup.</p>
GMC
GMC Canyon

Remember the GMC Syclone? We sure do. With its turbocharged V6, it was the quickest pickup of its day and one of the quickest cars.

Conveniently, GMC now has a solid midsize pickup in the Canyon and GM has the twin-turbo 3.6-liter V6 in the Cadillac ATS-V. Stick its 464-horsepower motor in the Canyon and you could have a seriously fun pickup.

Or you could just buy a Colorado ZR2 instead.

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<p>The last <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/car-comparison-tests/reviews/a18410/ford-focus-st-vs-volkswagen-gti-vs-mazdaspeed3/">Mazdaspeed3</a> was a gift from the torque steer gods. Mazda's current 3 is easily <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a4934/performance-tests-first-drives-2014-mazda-3/">the most fun car in its class</a>, but a new Mazdaspeed version <a href="http://blog.caranddriver.com/threes-insanity-next-mazdaspeed-3-to-debut-this-fall-as-a-concept/">is only rumored</a>. </p><p>We hope the rumors are true, especially when you consider Mazda has a new turbocharged Skyactiv four-cylinder  <a href="http://www.caranddriver.com/news/2016-mazda-cx-9-official-photos-and-info-news">coming to the CX-9</a> . A Mazda3 with that 250-horsepower mill would be a fantastic GTI rival. </p>
Mazda
Mazda3

The last Mazdaspeed3 was a gift from the torque steer gods. Mazda's current 3 is easily the most fun car in its class, but a new Mazdaspeed version .

We hope the rumors are true, especially when you consider Mazda has a new turbocharged Skyactiv four-cylinder . A Mazda3 with that 250-horsepower mill would be a fantastic GTI rival.

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<p>Subaru's <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-shows/chicago-auto-show/news/a6961/2015-subaru-legacy-reveal/">current Legacy</a> is a perfectly competent family sedan, but it's lost the performance credentials of past models, like the  <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/car-comparison-tests/reviews/a17667/2012-buick-regal-gs-vs-2011-subaru-legacy-25gt/">Legacy 2.5 GT</a> . </p><p>Ford now has the only sporty model in this segment with the Fusion Sport, but it's ripe for a competitor. Subaru could easily raid its parts bin to spice up the Legacy.</p>
Subaru
Subaru Legacy

Subaru's current Legacy is a perfectly competent family sedan, but it's lost the performance credentials of past models, like the Legacy 2.5 GT .

Ford now has the only sporty model in this segment with the Fusion Sport, but it's ripe for a competitor. Subaru could easily raid its parts bin to spice up the Legacy.

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<p>I might lose some car enthusiast brownie points for suggesting a sporty <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/news/a27389/we-actually-like-the-new-toyota-prius/">Prius</a>, but there's some sense behind its inclusion. The hybrid hypercar trio proves that hybrid performance cars make sense, but those cars are unobtanium for the general public. </p><p>Akio Toyoda, who's been <a href="http://quizcards.info/car-shows/features/a27888/how-akio-got-his-groove-back/">flexing his car enthusiast muscles</a> as of late, could beat everyone at bringing a people's hybrid performance car to market. It could do what the <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a18279/test-car-wrapup-2011-honda-cr-z-ex-1/">Honda CR-Z</a> tried. Plus, the new Prius is <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/news/a27389/we-actually-like-the-new-toyota-prius/">suprisingly fun to drive</a>.</p>
Toyota
Toyota Prius

I might lose some car enthusiast brownie points for suggesting a sporty Prius, but there's some sense behind its inclusion. The hybrid hypercar trio proves that hybrid performance cars make sense, but those cars are unobtanium for the general public.

Akio Toyoda, who's been flexing his car enthusiast muscles as of late, could beat everyone at bringing a people's hybrid performance car to market. It could do what the Honda CR-Z tried. Plus, the new Prius is suprisingly fun to drive.

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<p>Weighing under a ton, <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/road-tests/reviews/a27273/the-mitsubishi-mirage-is-best-when-it-keeps-things-simple/">Mitsubishi's Mirage</a> is one of the lightest cars for sale in the U.S., but with only 78-horsepower on tap, it's not terribly sprightly. Just a few more horsepower could turn this cheap econobox into a total goofball of a car. </p><p>With the <a href="http://quizcards.info/new-cars/future-cars/news/a8798/mitsubishi-evo-replacement-will-be-a-hybrid-crossover/">Lancer Evo gone</a>, Mitsubishi needs some sort of performance car. Why not the Mirage?</p>
Mitsubishi
Mitsubishi Mirage GT

Weighing under a ton, Mitsubishi's Mirage is one of the lightest cars for sale in the U.S., but with only 78-horsepower on tap, it's not terribly sprightly. Just a few more horsepower could turn this cheap econobox into a total goofball of a car.

With the Lancer Evo gone, Mitsubishi needs some sort of performance car. Why not the Mirage?

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