2021 included record-breaking racecars and even renders turned reality.
It's been another exciting year for the automotive industry, and although the general focus has been on new electric vehicles and semi-autonomous technologies, the aftermarket has been making waves too. SEMA once again showed us that even the latest creations from automakers across the globe can benefit from some creative thinking. We've also seen older cars being completely transformed and given new life as Singer's magnificent DLS was shown in various forms as customers began taking delivery. Various tuners have also tried to improve the look of the BMW M3 and M4, but for this article, we're focusing on the cars that really blew our hair back in new ways. In no particular order, here are some of the standout builds from this year's most prolific perfectionists.
Ryan Tuerck is a professional drifter who is no stranger to being an internet sensation. A few short years ago, he and his team built a Ferrari 458 Italia-powered Toyota 86. That car sounded epic and was awesome to watch, but one internet-breaking build wasn't enough for him. Fast forward to 2021 and Tuerck finally achieved a longtime dream: building a car powered by a V10-engine loosely related to the world of Formula 1. His weapon of choice was the Toyota GR Supra, and the sound this thing makes is magnificent. The fact that he actually drives the crap out of the car makes it just as awesome as his Ferrari-powered 86, and we hope that this isn't the last of his crazy builds.
In April, AMS Performance smashed the quarter-mile record for Lamborghini Huracans, but that wasn't enough. A month later, the record was reset to 7.33 seconds at 194 mph, proving that the 3,000-horsepower Alpha Omega build is head-and-shoulders above anything the competition can come up with. Speaking of the competition, Underground Racing recently built the world's first twin-turbo Lamborghini Aventador SVJ. It's been a crazy year for exotics, with a twin-turbocharged Ferrari F12 build being completed too. If that kind of forced induction isn't up your alley, somebody supercharged a Porsche 911 GT3 RS too. As younger people get richer and tradition goes out the window, no car remains sacred, and we're excited to see what 2022 holds for the world of exotic extremism.
Despite the fact that the film itself was a massive disappointment, Fast 9 did give gearheads some cool slivers of excitement. A mid-engine, Hellcat-powered 1968 Dodge Charger may seem like a ridiculous flight of fantasy, but tuning company SpeedKore recreated it in the real world. It's likely a bit strange to drive because of the lack of weight under that enormous hood, but the entire concept is super cool; we love the idea of a reliably overpowered modern engine powering an old-school muscle car, especially when it does so with the aid of a gated manual gearbox lifted off a Lambo. What we've seen of upcoming superhero flick The Batman's Batmobile is also encouragingly extreme and is the perfect antidote to forced overly obvious product placement from the likes of Hyundai in Marvel films and Aston Martin in Infinite.
Rendering artist Khyzyl Saleem has made a career out of turning ordinary cars into extreme concepts worthy of almost any futuristic film. Some of these designs have been seen in video games, but of late, some people have wanted to see them truly come to life. Thus, the artist has sanctioned the use of some of his designs in real life. The results have included a wild E30 BMW 3 Series with 800 hp, but even that is mild compared to the Volkswagen Golf you see below. Hiding a mid-mounted VR6 engine, it's an insane creation, but more is coming. 2022 will see Saleem's renditions of the E36 BMW 3 Series and the FD3S Mazda RX-7 also come to life.
It hasn't all been about wild body kits, insane power upgrades, and impractical exotics this year. The off-roading community has also continued to raise the bar, and new arrivals like the Ford Bronco have not been ignored. Numerous tuners have thrown their resources into finding ways of making the adventurous SUV even more capable, and that includes people like Kyle, whose rock-crawling Bronco goes back to basics by making live axles look like a great idea. We've also seen legends like the Land Rover Series II get electrified while the Jeep Gladiator has joined in on the camper craze, proving that adventurers still have loads of options no matter their personal preference.
Most of the vehicles we've covered above have not been particularly cheap to put together, but the home enthusiast has impressed us just as much as the established tuner. A 1949 Ford build featuring a BMW N54 engine cost just a couple of grand yet was good enough for SEMA. Elsewhere, we've seen a dual-clutch transmission fitted to an A80 Supra, a V12-powered Subaru, and various crazy creations entered in the Hot Wheels Legends Tour.
We've barely scratched the surface of the epic tuning builds we've seen this year, but we'd like to add just a few more notable mentions. Redux made an M3 restomod that rivals the world's best, a Gen V Dodge Viper broke 3,000-hp, a Nissan Skyline GT-R stole the show at SEMA with its carbon fiber body, and we've seen the Toyota GR Yaris tuned to a level that can embarrass Corvettes. If 2021 is any indication, the world's creatives are only getting more imaginative, and we can't wait to see what 2022 holds in store.