5 ICONIC Sleeper Cars You Should Be Afraid To Race Against

5 ICONIC Sleeper Cars You Should Be Afraid To Race Against

As you all have probably noticed, part 1 and
part 2 of sleeper cars did extremely well ever since i uploaded those two videos my
subscriber base has pretty much doubled. Its unreal. And honestly i owe it to you guys.
So I want to say Thank you. So in my last video I said if I get 500 likes I’ll create
a part 3 but this time featuring some of the most iconic sleepers of all time. And of course
you guys crushed it and got 500 likes in one day. So here it is. First sleeper is the Ford Taurus SHO. Easily
one of the the milestone cars of the 1980s. This was arguably one the best sleepers to
come to America. Back in the day the original plan was for it to be a limited production
project that is until it caught on to car enthusiast. Even the commercials for the SHO
at the time marketed how limited it would be. Ford instead decided to increase the number
of SHOs and was able to sell around 15K of them in the first year. Classic bait and switch.
Unlike the regular Ford taurus the SHO received a reworked suspension, dual exhausts, heavily
bolstered sport seats and 15 inch wheels. And of course the biggest difference was the
engine. It carries a Shogun 3L V6 engine that produces 220HP and 200lb-ft of torque. And
get this, the engine was designed and built by Yamaha. It was unavailable in any other
Ford vehicle. The SHO is able to run from 0-60MPH in 6.5. and yes I know what you’re
thinking, that doesn’t sound like much in today’s world. But keep this in mind, this
was back in 1989 where the top level mustang GT only made 225HP from 5.0L V8 engine and
the top level Corvette only made 240HP. The Ford SHO not only provided similar performance
numbers but it did so in a basic boxy 4 door sedan. In fact at the time it was the fastest
4 door sedan you could buy for less than 50K. The Ford SHO sold for 20K. What is there not
to like. It features a humble appearance, while secretly carrying a unique engine that
not only performs but looks good and has all the practicality you need from a sedan. Well
taken care examples are becoming harder to find but if you do manage to find one just
know you’ll own a future collectible. 2nd sleeper on the list is the GMC Syclone.
There is also the sibling GMC typhoon which is arguably more sleeperish but I believe
the Syclone will be more remembered. Inspired by the Buick Grand national, GMC created the
fastest production truck ever. And that also counts today’s trucks. And yes it’s faster
than the Dodge Ram SRT10, and the Ford F-150 Raptor. And the best part that you can’t even
tell by looking at it. But what lies under the hood, will convince you otherwise. It
comes equipped with a 4.3L pushrod V6 engine with a Mitsubishi turbocharger that produces
280HP and 360lb-ft of torque. Add in that it’s AWD with a torque split of 35% to the
front and 65% to the rear, with a limited slip differential in the rear axle. Some sources
say it can run a 0-60 in 4.9 seconds and some say 4.6 seconds. And it can complete a ¼
mile run in the low 13 seconds. Only thing I dislike it that it came with a 4speed automatic
transmission which btw was the same one used in the 4l60 Corvette. It was clear what GMC’s
goal was with the Syclone, and that was speed. While yes it has a bed in the back it really
couldn’t carry much. It can only haul up to 500lbs and tow up to 2K pounds. But let’s
be honest this is a truck that no one will ever haul cargo with. Empty is the way it’ll
usually be driven. Well maybe a bag full of feathers and that’s about it. Sadly the production
for the Syclone only lasted one year and with just under 3K units made. Even though it might
of been a sales flop at the time, the limited production truck has since grabbed the attention
of automotive enthusiasts and collectors. Jay Leno, one of the biggest cars collector
owns one himself. He bought it new over 25 years ago. 3rd one on the list is the Audi RS2 Avant.
For those of you that didn’t know this was Audi’s first RS model which stands for racing
sport. To most people it looks like an ordinary Audi 80 Avant from which is based off. Which
makes it that much more of a sleeper. This car was a collaboration between Porsche and
Audi. In fact it was built on the same production line as the Porsche 959. If you’re familiar
with Porsche cars from back in the day you’ll notice the RS2 has Porsche sprinkled around
it’s exterior. The side mirrors and wheels come from a Porsche 964 turbo, and the Porsche
inspired long strip tail lights. Porsche also designed the both the breaking and the suspension
for the RS2. But the performance is where it shines. It’s equipped with a 2.2L inline
5 turbocharged engine that produces 311HP and 302 lb-ft of torque. And thanks to it’s
AWD Quattro drive system it can put all that power to the road. It can sprint 0-60mph in
just 4.8 seconds. And can also reach a top speed of more than 160MPH. One interesting
fact is that it can do 0-30mph in just 1.5 seconds which was faster than the legendary
McLaren F1, the fastest car at the time. And let’s not forget it’s a wagon, meaning you
get all the practicality you need. This is proper family wagon backed with the performance
that can leave most performance cars lost at a stoplight. If you’re looking to get your
hand on one they are pretty rare. They were only in production for a year and Audi only
produced a little over 2.9K of them. None in the US, because let’s face it, Americans
don’t buy wagons. Just a side note I almost didn’t include this car on the list. It was
between the Audi RS2 Avant and Buick Grand national GNX. I ultimately decided to go for
the RS2 Avant because in my opinion it appears like more of a sleeper. I felt like the Grand
national was someone obvious. What do you guys think. Which one seems like more of a
sleeper. The RS2 Avant or the Buick Grand national GNX? 4th sleeper is the Lotus Carlton. Also known
as the Opel Omega and Vauxhall Carlton. At the time this was one of the fastest sedans
the world has ever seen. And yes there was once a Lotus sedan. It was the fastest sedan
in the world. GM pretty much gave lotus a Vauxhall Carlton GSI and allowed them to go
crazy with it. One thing you’ll notice about the exterior is the paint. At a glance many
people might perceive it as black but if you look closer you’ll notice a hint of green.
The Carlton only came in one color. And that color was called imperial green. Moving on
to the heart of the Lotus Carlton. It comes equipped with a 3.6L twin turbo V6 engine
that produces a whopping 377HP and 419lb-ft of torque. Combine that with a 6 speed manual
borrowed from a c4 crovette ZR1 and a limited slip differential from the V8 Holden Commodore
and It does 0-60 in just 5.1 and has an insane top speed of up to 180MPH! You know how insane
that was for a car in the 90s? For reference the BMW E34 M5 did 0-60MPH in 6.3 seconds
at the time. Not even in the same league! At the time if you wanted a car that fast
you would have to spend double what you would spend for a Lotus Carlton and only have the
practicality. Just think about it. A family sedan that can go 180MPH, even for today standard
that’s insane. Its the ultimate sleeper. Only 950 units were produced, so they are pretty
hard to find for an affordable price. 5th and final sleeper is the Volvo V70R. You
guys thought I forgot about this car. Well I didn’t. As many might know Volvo has always
been known for their focus on safety, but there has been some times where they decided
to go a little outside of the box by producing sleepers. and the V70R is one of them. This
is truly a special car, but sadly didn’t really receive the attention it deserved. Let’s face
it, here in the US wagons aren’t popular, and when they were for a period of time Americans
really didn’t find them cool. It’s such a shame. In my opinion wagons make the best
sleepers. No one ever expects them to perform. Especially one that looks like the V70R. Other
than the R badges scattered around the exterior, the lowered stance, the minimalist rear spoiler
and the 5 spoke Pegasus aluminum wheels, this looks like a ordinary grocery getter. But
that’s what we want everyone to think! The Volvo V70R carries a 2.5L 5 cylinder engine
that produces 300HP and 296lb-ft. Top it off with a speed manual and an AWD system the
V70r can do 0-60MPH in just 5.6 seconds. Like I said earlier it might not sound like much
but back in the 90s this was quite impressive. Just like most cars on this list production
numbers are extremely low, only around 3.4K were built. You can tell because let’s be
honest how many of these do you see on the road? For those looking to get one, there
is good news. The Volvo V70r didn’t really do a good job maintaining it’s value. You
can find them in the used market for for around 15K. Not only do you get a practicality machine
but you get a pretty sweet sleeper too. If you enjoyed the video make sure and hit
the like button and if you haven’t already make sure to subscribe that way you don’t
miss out on any of my uploads. Comment below Which car was your favorite and if you think
I missed one let me know what that is. I absolutely love the discussions that take place in the
comment section, and yes I read every comment. That said thanks for watching, till next time

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. As promised here is part 3! Thank you all for all the support. Just last week I had 10K subscribers and now I'm almost at 20K! I find it crazy because I gained as many subscribers in one week as I did in 8 months! This truly is a very exciting moment in my life. Thank you all 🙂

    PART 1: https://youtu.be/osn_G5FURVo
    PART 2: https://youtu.be/yBxt1Onc7V0

    Make sure to follow me on social media for updates, links below
    Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vehiclevirals/
    Twitter: https://twitter.com/VehicleVirals?s=08

  2. Excellent video. One small item of interest. The engine in the SHO was indeed designed and the parts were made by Yamaha but final assembly was done in north america by OMC, the folks who make Mercury outboards. Cheers

  3. I recommend '87 LADA VFTS from the bottom of my heart.
    That's a real sleeper.. and that funeral volvo car.

  4. not a good title. You can race against them in any modern car and outrun them. Also you forgot the Alpina B10? 1991 model, as fast as Lambos/Ferraris of that era.

  5. Well, first I'll say that my favorite one here was the GMC Cyclone. I would mind having one myself for a hot rod. I was 19 or 20 years old back when it was brand new. Wow, it really out sprinted the much new Dodge SRT Ram & Ford Raptor?! That's excellent. Weighing over 2,000 lbs less than both those really helped. Well to think of it I don't remember seeing any recorded 0-60 times lower than 5.0 seconds for either of those other 2 trucks. I also remember the Taurus SHO from the late 80s-early 90s. And I always thought that Taurus was overrated. And it seemed to me like a more "down-to-earth" 0-60 mph time for one of those Tauruses, factory stock, would've been 1 full second added on to that 6.5 seconds. But I'm not gonna say I don't believe it, because I'm sure you've seen it recorded on at least one of its tests. I can relate to that. I saw one road test by "Car Life" Magazine done back in 1963 did a test on a '63 Impala SS with it's new milder version of Chevy's 409, rated at 340 horsepower and a 2-speed Powerglide automatic (sturdy transmission but didn't have very many speeds) as opposed to a far more ideal 4-speed stick. 0-60 in just 6.6 and 15.2 recorded for the 1/4 mile. And that car had a 3.36 limited slip. Once I saw that, it was clear to me that those 409 Chevys were for real, contrary to somewhat popular belief about those, and that ANY one of those 409 powered '62-'64 Chevys could deliver neck-snapping performance no matter which one of the 409s was under its hood.

  6. Just keep doing videos. THEY'RE FREAKIN AWESOME. You deserve more subs. Keep doing progress Best wishes for you. Also I'm addicted to this channel too LOL

  7. Audi rs 2 but you could have also gone with rs6 it also a sleeper but expensive hahaha and yeah lotus carlton i heard somewhere that there was a bank robbery in 1990's i guess and robbers were driving carlton but police weren't able to caught them hahaha

  8. Great video! I love sleepers and love the videos man! Keep going because you are doing a great job👍

  9. Hum. Trying to figure out why you thought that the GNX wasn't a sleeper. So Passionate about the GN that I had to thumbs down. How many cars on the list has it's own documentary. Fastest production car 1987. It's a Buick regal. 0-60 low 5s…in the 80s. Oh. There was only 1 car that could beat it on the 1/4 mile "IN THE WORLD (Lamborghini countach)

  10. The Carlton itself was built & sold as a Commodore, Holden only designed one Commodore themselves, that particular shape would have been the VN-VS body line, these were also available as a utility!
    the Zeta platform from 2007-2017
    Here known as the VE-VF Commodore

  11. The RS in Audi means Rally Sport, not Racing Sport. Given the success of its Rally variant, they made one for the street. Thus, naming it Rally Sport

  12. The motorway police here in England used the Volvo t5 estate, and I think they also had a few lotus Carlton’s but then they would , after all Lotus is a British company ,, cheers Shane uk 🇬🇧

  13. I'd say that the 850 R would be a better sleeper than a v70 R because there are more old Volvo wagons on the road then "newer" Volvo wagons.

  14. Dude. Your videos strike me as thoroughly….meh.
    It’s not that the information is not worth presenting… and in fact it is somewhat interesting.
    It’s just that your presentation is as about as exciting as an elevator ride.
    A slow, boring elevator ride.
    Your voice is sooooo monotone. No inflection, no emphasis, no change in cadence.
    I think I might even prefer computer man to you.
    And I can’t believe I’m saying that.
    I’ll say this though. Your picks are good.
    I agree with them. Just work on your vocal presentation. I kept wanting to stop the video I just couldn’t listen anymore.
    Keep working.

  15. What about MY sleeper 2002 S10 SPORT with a LTZ Corvette V8 …Quiet as a MOUSE with a RAT Engine…FEAR THIS MUSTANGS!!
    I've ripped a few 'Stangs a new ASSHOLE🤯 on the Streets Of Tucson,Az…

  16. Hey bro wassup? Thanks for the awesome info about forgotten sleepers. There's a few others out there which you probably considered but…understandably…discarded. Mazda RX8? 3.4 L Firebird? Chevy 454 pickup? Yes friend… the ocean of automotive is deep and wide. God bless you and all who understand and appreciate automotive history. Cheers!

  17. I love a good Wagon as a sleeper. The only thing that could be more of a sleeper is a minivan. But putting a great drivetrain in a minivan means a whole lot of fabrication. We had a Plymouth Voyager Mini Van. Cheap, super light weight and slow as hell. Imagine what would happen if you put Big Block Mopar, or a Hemi in one!

  18. Buick GNX was a little too sinister to be a 'sleeper' but the sister Regal Turbo T-types with the chrome bumpers were probably as close to "sleeper" as you could get in 86-87.

  19. How about do one on sleeper vans. I love my 06 Kia Sedona. Its one only 3 vehicles I have been in at a speed above 110 mph. 1989 Grand AM GT, 1999 Grand PRIX GT and Kia Sedona

  20. So, I'm confused. Last I knew the Shelby Dakota beat a blown Ford truck(which wasn't a factory engine) & the 454 Chevy PU, yet the Cyclone is mentioned? Don't get me wrong, the Grand Nationals were badass, I worked at a drag strip for years. That being said, my 86' Shelby Charger beat a 350 4bbl Chevy Truck, and the GLHS Shelby's were even faster.

  21. The brand is Opel (pronounced – Ople). They made the GT and Manta. So, a few gems here and there. O-pel is a horse of a different color.

  22. Please, slow down. Perhaps a time vs distance chart for each sleeper with price(new vs used) would be helpful in determining the best one for you. The chart could also include horsepower per cubic inch or cubic centimeter (or liter). Also, maximum horsepower vs maximum torque. In other words, CHARTS. makes it easier to determine which rocket car an individual would be best for him or her. I inadvertently said "rocket"…..meant to say sleeper, even though they are rockets on 4 wheels. Verdad?

  23. Great video trilogy!!!
    My pick, a 7 passenger 2016 Ford Flex Limited AWD. It has the same paddle-shifted, twin turbo 3.5L EcoBoost engine as the SHO.
    0-60 – 5.5 seconds
    1/4 mile – 14.1 @ 100 mph
    Pretty quick for a brick!
    Have seen a tuned Flex do very low 12's!
    (Google it!😉👍)

  24. We used to have a Carlton estate, I still remember the number plate. JJV 88V. we used to sleep at the back. Sea side trips. It wos a 2.0..

  25. Oh I forgot to say there was a silver one done in the Carlton. I have heard of many people asking for there own colours in the Carlton.

  26. What about the:
    Subaru Outback xt &
    Subaru Forester xt?
    The Outback is deceptively fast, and the Forester is boxy, kinda ugly, unassuming and impressively fast for what it is, faster than the Outback by about a half of a second.

  27. Actually that Lotus Carlton looks kind of sweet, bordering on badass. I don't think I've ever seen one before.

  28. I'm way late and not sure if anyone else has mentioned the Eunos Cozmo (from Mazda) it was the only production car to feature a three rotor twin turbo rotary engine (stock) which produced over 300bhp back in 1996……

  29. Saab 95 viggen. Unfortunately fwd so torque steers like a bitch, but fast as hell and pulls like a freight train for a 4 cyl engine!

  30. Nice vid, but i am a bit disappointed by the fact that you show us the Lotus Omega, as the fastest sedan of all time at the time by comparison the e34 m5 0-60 time etc, yet the fastest sedan of the time was the ultimate sleeper e34 b10 biturbo with 191mph top speed which puts the Lotus in the shade frankly… could have at least mention that, or better yet show the E34 B10 as the ultimate 90's sleeper sedan, cause that thing left nearly every super car in the dust for many years, yet it was based on a regular 535i.

  31. purchased a 2005 audi allroad with the 2.7l twin turbo. currently i am running stage 2 w/ a tad over 400 hp . i am in the process of switching out turbo's from the RS4 w/ some extra parts as well and going stage 3 hopefully close to 550-600 hp. currently it is a wagon sleeper that has awd and an air suspension that can raise 6-8 inches and w/ a slight hack and can be slammed if needed. 😉

  32. A car or cars to be considered as iconic sleepers, are the Opel Kadett GSi Superboss and 200tS. Both were only available in South Africa. They produced in the 90’s, during a time where Opel and BMW had a big power competition with each other in the racing scene, as well as the drag scene. The GSi Superboss was produced in the early 1990’s, and held the world record for the most torque per litre (114 Nm per litre) for a naturally aspirated car until 2009.
    From 1994, Opel produced the insanely fast Kadett 200tS. I would say the 200tS is much more of a sleeper than the GSi Superboss, because when you saw a Superboss, you just knew, don’t even try …

  33. If yever make another slpr vid the mid 90's buick regal gs was a good'n .my second fav car i ever had the most polarizing car i had . I was pist when my mom bought a new car and gave me her buick .i was only mad for a couple hrs untill i raced a friend that had a 79 sting ray ….. and i beat him …. barely . as soon as I got home I said Mama I love you. It was the perfect rival for the s h o . 3.8l SUPERCHARGED v6 220 hp

  34. Even today a 5 second zero to 60 is pretty quick for any family / sedan type car. That's as quick as a Dodge Charger Daytona.

  35. Any of your videos feature the Ford Granada Scorpio Cosworth?? I can tell you for a fact that is a sleeper car! Man I miss it so much

  36. Although the Audi is a fast car I don't think showing it in a drag race against a Lada Riva and getting wasted is doing it any favours(4.34)…

  37. One sleeper you forgot was the Opel 1.8i Baby Boss family sedan which could do 218 km per hour with a smile, and had the suspension to handle tight corners at high speed would leave most cars in it's wake.

  38. I own a '95 SHO ATX with the Yamahammer. It's fun to drive, pretty fast and tossable, sounds good (Flowmasters help), and attracts a surprising amount of attention.

  39. Look into the 2006-2007 Malibu ss. I have a 2006 Malibu ss 4 door 3.9 liter v6 265hp and it is a true sleeper. According to GM corporate they made only 1,200 sedans and 1,200 Malibu ss Maxx hatchback. The v6 didn't catch on due to the Monte Carlo and Impala ss came with a V8 315hp.

  40. Found your channel today and love these! I have the opposite with my car…. I have a 2011 IS 250 that's my cruiser. People want to race like I have a fast car. LOL

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