There are plenty of great new cars out there that deserve a performance variant, but for one reason or another, haven't gotten one. These are the cars need it most.
The LC500 is a fantastic grand tourer with stunning looks and a wonderful V-8 under the hood. We've heard rumors of a twin-turbo F version for the past couple of years, but so far, nothing's come of it.
The Stinger's 365 horsepower seems like a lot... until you realize the car weighs around 3800 pounds. We'd call the limited-edition drift mode-equipped GTS variant performance-oriented at best. What the Stinger really needs is the chassis and engine hardware to go up against the BMW M3.
Considering you can get the Z4 with a 382-horsepower engine, there's a case to be made it doesn't need a performance version. But we'd love to see the Z4 get the M treatment, perhaps with the 503-hp twin-turbo six from the new X3 and X4 M.
The Crosstrek is one of the cooler crossovers you can buy (as far as crossovers go, anyway). But you know what would make it truly great? The turbocharged boxer-four engine from the WRX. Then it would be ready to rip through tough terrain.
You can get the new G70 with a manual, which is great. But you can't get it with the bigger twin-turbo V-6 engine. Even then, you wouldn't have a true "performance" model. Genesis should take a page from BMW M's handbook and built a true M3 competitor.
Remember the Lexus IS F? So do we. It was an IS with a lovely naturally aspirated V-8 under the hood. Instead of bringing back the IS F for its latest generation of four-door performance cars, Lexus decided to give that V-8 to the mid-size GSF instead. We can't help but wonder why the IS didn't get the V-8 treatment.
It seems the 300 is the only car from FCA that hasn't gotten a Hellcat-engined variant, and that's a shame. That supercharged V-8 would be perfectly matched to the muscle-luxury experience the 300 provides.
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.
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.
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.
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 V-6 from the S5.
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 vernable Fiesta ST.
Remember the GMC Syclone? We sure do. With its turbocharged V-6, 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 V-6 in the Cadillac ATS-V. Stick its 464-horsepower motor in the Canyon and you could have a seriously fun pickup. If you're willing to go aftermarket, a company called Specialty Vehicle Engineering will make you the new Syclone of your dreams.
Or you could just buy a Colorado ZR2 instead.
We 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.
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?