All of these cars could spawn awesome sporty models.
As car enthusiasts, it's hard to get excited by average economy cars like the Ford Fiesta. Then, Ford created a sporty version called the Fiesta ST, and suddenly an economy car became the darling of the enthusiast community. Unfortunately, the Fiesta ST is dying off in the US, which leaves a huge void in the sporty economy car segment. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of five affordable cars that we believe could spawn an awesome sporty version. Automakers just need to take our advice and put these cars into production.
Toyota just revealed the all-new 2019 Corolla hatchback, and we love it. The old Corolla iM wasn't a bad looking car, but this new one is a huge improvement (especially when painted in bright blue). The time is right for Toyota to finally bring out a sporty version of the Corolla to compete with the Volkswagen Golf GTI. The new Corolla looks aggressive, but 168 horsepower isn't enough for most enthusiasts. Bring that figure up to around 200-250 hp and the Corolla could be an enthusiast's dream.
We've been on record begging Mazda to bring back its line of high performance MazdaSpeed models. The company finally came through by adding a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine to the Mazda6 lineup, but it still isn't a true MazdaSpeed6. We think a Mazda3 with 250 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque from the Mazda6's and CX-9's turbo engine would be a great way to compete with cars like the GTI, and our dream high-performance Corolla.
Despite only producing 130 hp from a 1.5-liter four-cylinder, the Honda Fit is an extremely fun car to drive, especially with a manual transmission. This is precisely why an Si or Type R version with 180-200 hp would be even better. The Fit is already one of the most practical small cars on the market, and a sporty version would make it the perfect little runaround.
Subaru typically shows restraint when styling a car, which is why the Crosstrek is such an interesting model. It looks far more sporty than its siblings, but is only available with a 152-hp 2.0-liter flat-four. We think a Crosstrek with the 268 hp turbocharged flat-four from the WRX would be an awesome car for adventure seekers and enthusiasts alike.
Our final choice may come as a bit of a surprise, but bear with us. The Mitsubishi Mirage is often the butt of jokes, but it is extremely affordable at just over $13,000. This makes it the perfect candidate to turn into a cheap performance car. Mitsubishi could add performance bits to the car, and keep it under $20,000. This would result in an excellent car for young enthusiasts who are looking a for a cheap, but fun mode of transportation. Mitsubishi used to build affordable fun cars. Perhaps it still can.