NASCAR-Powered Lexus Highlights Five Amazingly Weird Engine Swaps


There are two very different types of enthusiasts who work on their own car: Purists who want everything as it was when the car left the factory, and those who like to think outside the box. The owners of the following cars definitely fall under the latter category.

Some manufacturers sell crate engine kits that allow you to drop a more-powerful unit under your hood with no necessary modification. But some people — and one manufacturer — wanted a larger-displacement OEM engine, and decided to get a bit creative. Others sought an engine the manufacturer never would’ve dreamed of putting in the car.

In both situations, the result is a combination of two cars that is extremely unusual, yet undeniably awesome. Here are five of our favorite amazingly weird engine swaps:

V-8 from an E92 BMW M3 in a BMW 135i

The BMW 1M was a special car, in that BMW took a bunch of parts from an E90 M3 and stuffed them in the smaller 1 Series. In that same vein, Marco Svizzero took the V-8 and gearbox from an E92 M3 and put them in his 135i. The finished product is a build that, oddly enough, appeals to both purists and tuners.

V-8 from a Ferrari 458 in a Toyota 86

Remember how we said some of these owners had to get a bit creative? Well, for Ryan Tuerck, that’s an understatement. Swapping a front-mounted four-cylinder boxer engine for a typically mid-mounted V-8 presents a whole laundry list of problems, the most obvious of which is packaging. Thankfully, Tuerck made it fit perfectly — who needs a hood, right? — because a Toyota with “Prancing Horse-power” is certainly a sight to behold.

V-8 from a NASCAR race car in a Lexus LFA

Considering the LFA came with a ridiculously responsive V-10, you wouldn’t expect somebody to give it some American muscle, but we’re glad they did. When drifting champion Yoichi Imamura is sliding around, it doesn’t let out the high-pitched scream we’re used to from an LFA, but the deep rumble of a stock car is just as exciting.

V-10 from an E60 BMW M5 in an E46 BMW M3

This isn’t exactly like the previous BMW on this list, and probably will make some “bimmer” purists cringe. Somehow, Phil Morrison found room for an extra four cylinders in his engine bay and upgraded from a straight-six to a V-10. We can’t help but respect the ingenuity.

Bentley W-12 in a Volkswagen Golf

VW is that “one manufacturer” we mentioned earlier. As a concept, VW took a W-12 from Bentley and put it in a Golf. That insane line of thinking isn’t something you’d expect from a sensible automaker like VW, but that’s fine by us. Seeing as it’s physically impossible to fit a W-12 in the front of a Golf, this isn’t very practical. It has the engine mounted behind the driver and sends power to the rear wheels. There might never be a hotter hatch.

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