All of these cars are naturally aspirated, and we think that is just fine.
Mainstream cars and supercars are both moving towards turbocharging. Turbochargers offer many improvements over normally aspirated engines, but there are a few disadvantages. Normally aspirated engines rev more freely and sound better than boosted motors. We know that more and more cars will start to be turbocharged, but these are the top five NA cars that we think are perfect just the way they are. Of course adding turbos would make these cars faster, but that would also compromise the innate appeal and automotive purity they all posses.
Our first choice is all of Lamborghini's flagship V12 cars. Ever since the introduction of the Miura in 1966, Lamborghini has always had a naturally aspirated V12 car in the lineup. The Countach, Diablo, and Murcielago all packed a naturally aspirated V12, and the Aventador continues this tradition. Unfortunately, the Aventador has run into some performance issues. With the heavy V12 and a slower single-clutch transmission, the Aventador has actually been slower than the V10 Huracan around the track. We know that Lamborghini needs to make a change, but turbochargers would hurt the character of a car with such a great heritage.
The next car on our list is the Porsche 911. We know that the base Carrera and Carrera S models have already switched to turbochargers, but we hope that the GT3 and GT3 RS models continue to stay NA. The GT3's flat-six engine revs all the way to 9,000 rpm, something that probably couldn't be achieved with a switch to turbos. We have now reached a weird place where normal Carrera models can probably be tuned to make more power than the more expensive GT3 and GT3 RS models. Even though the turbocharged engine in the regular 911 is full of torque, it cannot match the wonderful engine note of the GT3.
Just listen to the glorious noise coming from this GT3 RS. Turbocharged cars just don't sound this awesome.
Our next choice is a bit more budget-conscious. Even though Ford now offers the Mustang with a 2.3-liter EcoBoost engine, we never want to see a turbocharged unit replace the top-of-the-line V8. The Mustang 5.0 GT and the Shelby GT350 both come with shouty V8 engines, and we wouldn't have it any other way. The Mustang remains one of the cheapest ways to get a V8 and we think that's an automotive tradition worth preserving. The latest GT and F-150 Raptor will show off the best of what Ford can do with a turbocharged V6, but we think that the V8 will always have a place atop the Mustang lineup.
With our next pick we continue the trend of American V8s. The Chevrolet SS is one of the most underrated cars of the decade. Fun fact: The SS is the only naturally aspirated V8 sedan that you can buy with a manual transmission. In the US, the only other V8 manual sedan is the turbocharged BMW M5. If the SS ever went to a turbocharged V6, or worse, FWD, we would just lose it. The SS might not last much longer, but GM may throw in the supercharged V8 from the Camaro ZL1 before the car is killed off, which in all honesty would be amazing. As long as GM doesn't replace this car with something that is V6-powered, we will be happy.
Our final choice is the Mazda MX-5 Miata. Before you come out with your pitchforks and torches on the comment section, let us explain. We previously wrote an article about cars that needed a turbo. On this list, we stated that the Miata desperately needed more than 155 horsepower and could achieve that goal via turbocharging. However, since the introduction of the Miata-based Fiat 124 we no longer see the need for a turbocharged Miata. The Fiat 124 offers sexy Italian looks for a modest price increase over the MX-5. Mazda has already stated it has no intention of building a turbocharged Miata, so the 124 will have to do.