Once the toys of the rich and famous, it would seem that every YouTube or Instagram sensation with enough followers can afford a supercar. Cars that most gearheads would once have only seen in the pages of magazines or on posters are now turning up on every street corner, as these internet celebrities choose between a Ford GT or a Ferrari 488 Pista.
Ownership of a once sought-after supercar has, in some circles, become rather crass. Rolling up to the hottest club in town inside a Lamborghini Aventador SVJ will probably get a few gasps from the amassed crowds, but true gearheads will just sigh with despair.
Where it’s really at is with modified machinery. In particular, German cars will eat a shop-bought supercar for breakfast. Built, not bought, is the new king of cool and here are ten German sports cars that can be modified to annihilate most supercars.
10 Porsche 911 Turbo (996)
When it rolled off the production line, the Porsche 996 Turbo was a fast car. It would rocket to 60mph in 4.9 seconds and run on to a top speed of 189mph. Today, those figures are fairly common place for performance cars. But then, the 996 Turbo can be enhanced.
With a few select aftermarket performance parts, power can be upped from a standard 415hp to 800hp. This transforms an already fast, capable machine into a veritable monster. A car that is hungry for demolishing supercars whenever it meets them.
The king of hot hatches, the Audi RS3 has more pace than most performance cars. Churning out 335hp by way of its 2.5-liter turbocharged engine. It’ll also hit 60mph in as little as 4.6 seconds and stick to the road thanks to its Quattro drive system.
The RS3 will happily run every day with a reliable 500hp. That will deliver a vehicle capable of hunting down some of Italy’s finest and showing them up. It will also haul luggage around, do the weekly shopping run and take the kids to school.
8th Mercedes-Benz A45 AMG S
It may have taken Mercedes-Benz a while to get to the hot hatch party, but when they arrived, they arrived with a winner. With one of the world’s most potent 4-pot engines delivering 415hp, it’ll rocket to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds.
A quick remapping of the A45 AMG will add close to 50hp. That in itself will bring about a massive increase in acceleration. Further fettling will see the little AMG get ever closer to a 0-60mph dash time of 3 seconds. That’s hypercar fast, let alone supercar fast.
7 BMW M2
Hailed as the greatest M-Division product ever, the BMW M2 in top specification CS specification will blitz to 60 in 4 seconds flat. Its 3.0-liter straight-six turbocharged engine dishes out 370hp. Delivering a smooth, linear surge of seemingly endless power.
Transforming the already fierce M2 into an absolute predator, tuning companies like Manhart can bestow it with 545hp. Add to this some carbon-fiber trimmings, and the M2 is elevated to all new heights. Mash the pedal and just hold on for dear life.
6 Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG S
A big, brash executive bruiser, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG has no issue when it comes to power. Having 577hp on request from a turbocharged 5.5-liter V8 means that 60mph snaps up in just 4.1 seconds. That’s grin-inducing acceleration.
It’s a frightening thought, but the AMG 63 S is capable of delivering 1000hp. That’s a four-figure power output in an executive sedan. This means that a few friends can come for a ride when you go out baiting supercars. Which is even more satisfying.
5 Volkswagen Golf R
A Volkswagen Golf R may not be as fast as either an A45 AMG or RS3, but it’s not leagues behind. Still able to end in a sub-5-second 0-60mph run, it’s a poised machine when pushed. There are also literally hundreds of tuning options available to enhance it further.
With almost unlimited potential, a Golf R can become a real contender. Its highly tuneable EA888 engine offers a solid, flexible tuning base. Coupled with the AWD drive system, a modified Golf R will outperform cars that are priced at five times more.
4 Volkswagen Beetle RSI
It was an oddball machine on release. Cramming a 3.2-liter V6 and an AWD drivetrain into the reimagined Beetle seemed crazy, but it worked. Wickedly fast, and awesomely vocal, the RSI was like Herbie on steroids. A beetle that’s more brute than overly cute.
With the majority of its oily bits having been lifted from the first generation Golf R32, the RSI is ripe for some tuning. The main choice is to strap on a supercharger. This then makes the beetle a high-pitched screaming banshee. And a fast one at that.
3 2020 Audi RS6
There are quite a few supercars that a standard Audi RS6 can face down already. Having been blessed with a 591hp 4.0-liter turbocharged engine, it’ll crack 60mph in 3.4 seconds. Bear in mind that’s fully loaded with people and luggage, and a pet dog.
Turning the madness dial up even further will result in a wagon with over 900hp. All that power will see the 0-60 time drop to below 3 seconds. Which when you consider that it’s a practical, reliable executive wagon makes buying a supercar a waste of money.
2 Porsche Panamera Turbo S
Not knowing whether it’s a hatchback, sedan, wagon or shooting brake, the Panamera is a styling mess. It makes up for this error though by being seriously fast, and ridiculously comfortable. Having 621hp on tap from the factory is not to be sniffed at.
Whether the need for a Panamera to ever deliver close to 1000hp remains in dispute, it can be done. Tuning the 4.0-liter turbocharged engine is not a hardship, and the results are mind-blowing. It also makes most supercars look like child toys.
1 BMW 335i
The BMW 335i has become something of a living legend. In standard format, it is not that much slower than its M3 counterpart. Many gearheads prefer it as a daily driver in the real world. As the basis for a project car, it opens up a doorway to immense speed.
The twin-turbo N54 engine is highly tuneable. Capable of dishing out up to 550hp without major work, it can be boosted even further. Having created its own motoring sub-culture, there is so much literature dedicated to the N54 that getting stuck in is easy.