Not surprisingly, today’s BangShift Question Of The Day came into being thanks to a particularly oddball thought that I had while driving past the Mitsubishi Outlander in my neighbor’s driveway: “Hmmm, I wonder if you could cram the drivetrain from a Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution in one of those things?”
I’ll admit that even with a turbocharged four cylinder and six-speed manual an Outlander still wouldn’t make my short-list of “must have vehicles”, but it’d be a heck of a lot more interesting to drive stoplight to stoplight. To prove that I’m not completely insane, here’s a video proving that someone else is building one.
This got me thinking: While having downsized somewhat from the insanity of the late ’90s and early ’00s where soccer moms were piloting Ford Excursions and Chevrolet Suburbans that were seemingly a few pizza-slice-consuming kiddos away from 10,000 pounds all loaded up, there’s still a ton of SUVs being produced today, some based on car platforms while others are still basically a truck with two bench seats in the back. Regardless of the platform, the SUV seems to be the go-to option for parents and people that need the space, think “station wagons” are lame (Expect a good rant on why this is wrong sometime in the near future), and have too much self-respect to be seen in a minivan. So, with all of these SUVs on the road, the odds are a good number of them are owned by gearheads (Or by someone whose spouse is a gearhead), which means that there’s plenty of SUVs being looked at daily by someone who may have the same sick thoughts as I do in regards to hot rodding one.
Sure, there’s a handful of modern hot rod SUVs out there, but with the exception of the Trailblazer SS and the Grand Cherokee SRT-8 there haven’t been too many domestic factory options in the last few years, including nothing from Ford that I’m aware of (The new Explorer Sport’s twin-turbo V6 seems to have some promise, however). Even worse, a new or used SRT-8 Grand Cherokee will set you back a good chunk of change, and the same goes for a used Trailblazer SS.
Since this is BangShift, I’m not really interested in the idea of buying something new and just driving it, I want to hear about the crazy plans that you BangShifters may have for that old SUV that’s sitting in your driveway, the one that’s probably full of old stale McDonalds french fries and kids’ toys.
Given that money is no object, how would you hot rod an SUV? Would you swap out the 4.0L or 4.6L in that decade old Explorer for the supercharged 4.6L or 5.4L and six speed manual from an 03+ Mustang Cobra and go Camaro hunting? Turn that Oldsmobile Bravada into a modern day Typhoon with some variety of turbo six? Would you go even older and crazier? Go hog wild: it’s on us!