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10 Coolest Cars You Never Knew Existed

Most awesome cars get plenty of press here in the U.S., as we are one of the largest consumers of automobiles in the world. Some cars, however, fly under our radar, leaving us drooling when we finally run into them. The vast majority of these cars are only available in Europe, but there are some roaming our streets that many enthusiasts don’t even know exist.

To help you avoid being caught with your jaw on the floor the next time you see one of these cars, we created a list of our 10 favorite cars that you likely never knew existed.

Let us know in the comments if you feel we missed a car that you feel needs added to this list.

Mercedes-Benz Unimog U 4023 and U 5023

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

Mercedes-Benz Unimog

The Unimog isn’t your typical Mercedes-Benz, as it is about as far from a cushy luxury rig as you can get. This mean machine is all might, thanks to its BlueTec 6 engine, which is a four-cylinder diesel unit that puts down a respectable 231 horsepower and an outstanding 664 pound-feet of torque. What’s more, this monstrosity can actually hit 56 mph.

The Unimog models really show their worth in cargo hauling and off-road trekking, thanks to its beefy undercarriage. The U4023 can hauls a massive 10.1 tons and the U5023 can tug around 14.3 tons. Both models show their off-road prowess with a frame and tubular cross member that have 600 mm (23.6 inches) of flexibility, an axle with 30 degrees of articulation, and a 1.2-meter (47.24-inch) fording depth.

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

Lamborghini Sesto Elemento

The Sesto Elemento began life as a lightweight concept to show off what Lambo could do when it decides to strip out all of the luxury bits and toss in tons of carbon fiber. The result was a badass rig that weighed just 999 kg (2,202 pounds) and looked like a rocket ship.

Thanks to its 5.2-liter V-10 engine that produced 570 horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque, the Sesto Elemento was damn near as fast as a rocket ship too. It hit 62 mph in just 2.5 seconds.

Unfortunately, Lambo only released 20 units of this awesome supercar for sale, and none were street legal.

W Motors Lykan HyperSport

W Motors Lykan HyperSport

W Motors Lykan HyperSport

Pretty much anything built in Lebanon is destined to be relatively unknown here in the U.S., particularly a supercar. Fortunately, the W Motors Lykan HyperSport gained a little fame in the movie Furious 7, but it still remains a relative mystery to many.

Not only is this rig wildly styled, but it also packs one hell of a punch behind the seats. Here lies a 3.8-liter flat-six twin-turbocharged engine that pumps out 770 horsepower and 708 pound-feet of torque. Delivering the goods to the rear wheels is a six-speed sequential transmission or a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox. This adds up to a 2.8-second sprint to 62 mph and a top speed of 240 mph.

Yeah, it’s pretty awesome.

VUHL 05

Vuhl 05

Vuhl 05

Two things never to do when you go to Mexico: drink the water and claim that they cannot build cool cars. The latter is a more recent addition to this list, as the Mexico-built Vuhl 05 just rolled out in 2013.

The Vuhl comes with a 2.0-liter EcoBoost four-cylinder that cranks out 285 horsepower and 309 pound-feet of torque. This powerful four-pot allows the unique track-day car to hit 62 mph in just 3.7 seconds and top out at 152 mph.

Equus Bass 770

Equus Bass 770

Equus Bass 770

Drawing inspiration from the retro styling of recent years, Equus Automotive took the basic look of a classic 1960s Mustang and injected tons of modern tech. The result is a beautiful, yet very rare and fairly unknown rig named the Equus Bass 770.

Under the hood of this modern muscle car lies a GM-sourced 6.2-liter V-8 that delivers a mighty 640 horsepower and 605 pound-feet of twist. The powerful GM engine mates to a six-speed dual-clutch transmission that delivers the ponies to the rear rubber. This results in a 0-to-60 sprint of 3.4 seconds and a top speed of 200 mph.

Magnum MK5

magnum_mk5_main_03_cropLike the Vuhl 05, the Magnum MK5 track rig comes from another unlikely country. This time around, the lightweight, open-top two-seater hails from our neighbor to the north, Canada.

The MK5 is prepped specifically for the track, thanks to its pushrod suspension, lightweight alloy wheels, two-way adjustable dampers, carbon-fiber seats, and six-point harnesses. Hauling all of this equipment and its 1,200-pound curb weight around is a four-cylinder motorcycle engine that puts out 250 horsepower and spins up to 11,000 rpm.

Power heads to the rear wheels via a six-speed sequential gearbox and a limited-slip diff. All of this adds up to a 0-to-62 mph sprint of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 149 mph. It’s also quite the handler, as it can hold up to 2Gs on the skid pad.

DBA Speedback GT

DBA Speedback GT

DBA Speedback GT

Dave Brown Automotive isn’t what I’d call a “household name,” but it does produce masterpieces. Its latest is the DBA Speedback GT, which is a retro-styled GT that sits atop a Jaguar XJR chassis.

The Speedback GT is a site to behold, as its bodylines are beautifully crafted and its curves look as it the wind designed them. It takes the thought of retro-modern design to a completely new level.

On top of its stunning looks, the Speedback GT also boasts great performance credentials. Under its long, curvy hood lies a Jaguar-sourced 5.0-liter supercharged V-8 engine that produces 510 horsepower and 461 pound-feet of torque. The engine tosses the power through a six-sped auto transmission and out to the rear wheels. The results speak for themselves with a 0-to-60 mph sprint of just 4.6 seconds and a top speed of 155 mph (electronically limited).

Donkervoot D8 GTO

66327don-gto-details-02A car that deserves a hell of a lot more press but never gets it is the Donkervoot D8 GTO. This rig takes the lightweight and retro design of Caterham overdoses it on steroids to get one of the meanest-looking semi-open-wheel track cars ever built.

In addition to looing mean, the Donkervoot D8 GTO also packs some serious muscle thanks to its Audi 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine. Depending on the trim level you choose, the D8 GTO produces either 340 horsepower and 332 pound-feet of torque or 380 horsepower and 350 pound-feet of twist. Power routes through a five-speed manual gearbox on its way to the rear wheels.

The less powerful drivetrain results in a 3.3-second 0-to-62 mph sprint and a 158 mph top speed. The 380-horsepower drivetrain is significantly quicker with a 2.8-second sprint and 168 mph top speed.

Peugeot RCZ R

Peugeot RCZ R

Peugeot RCZ R

Europe has tons of awesome cars that are not for U.S. consumption, and one of the coolest that flies under the radar is the Peugeot RCZ R. This sleek coupe clearly draws some inspiration from the Audi TT, but its design adds a lot of the French brand’s personality.

Under the hood of the RCZ R is a 1.6-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that delivers a stunning270 horsepower and sprints the sleek coupe to 62 mph in just 5.9 seconds.

Vauxhall Insignia VXR

Vauxhall-Insignia-287777The entire Vauxhall brand is a bit of a mystery to most Americans, so it’s no surprise that a key member of its VXR performance arm goes unnoticed. I am talking about the Insignia VXR. One of the most awesome things about this car is that it is rather unimposing, as it’s only available in a sedan or wagon format with no real indication that it is a performance vehicle.

Powering this model is a 2.8-liter turbocharged ECOTEC V-6 that delivers 320 horsepower and 321 pound-feet of torque. Either a six-speed manual or a six-speed auto points the power to all four wheels. This results in a 0-to-60 mph sprint of just 5.6 seconds, which is pretty quick for its segment.

Categories: Gear Grinding

Calvin Escobar
About Calvin Escobar

The Car scene is so diverse Where I come from, most enthusiasts recognize the amazing engineering (particularly the engines). The bulk of the ridicule originates from the manner in which many of the vehicles are modded/maintained. Thus, the jokes and or hate tends to be aimed more at the owner rather than the machine. All of which makes seeing properly sorted old Toyota's and Hondas at car meets, auto shows, and track days all the more refreshing.