The 5 best factory widebody cars
While poking around SEMA last week and seeing customs of every color and powertrain, we also got a healthy dose of widebody kits. Massive tires tucked under stretched fenders were everywhere, and given we were at SEMA, many were aftermarket or custom jobs. But what about getting a widebody car straight from the factory? Here are a few awesome examples of times when the factory went wide.
Shelby 427 Cobra
Cramming a 427-cubic-inch side-oiler Ford in a small British shell takes enough work, but giving it enough tire to actually put that power down is another story. A full seven inches wider than its small-block powered sibling, the 427 had haunches that declared business like a broad-shouldered bouncer outside a dark nightclub. Modern re-creations turned that up to 11 with monstrous flares, and they’re considerably cheaper than a million dollars.
Porsche 930 Turbo
Better known as the 911 Turbo to non-Porschephiles, the 930 is a 911 on steroids. Muscular rear fenders flair out from a signature “whale tail” spoiler. The engine wasn’t immune to the juice either—the earlier 3.0-liter flat-six engine made 234 horsepower, and the later 3.3-liter pumped out 253 horses. Affectionately known as the widowmaker, the turbo was very much “on” or “off.” This meant boost would come on mid corner, causing the car to quickly transition to oversteer. If you weren’t ready for it, you were gonna have a bad time.
6th-generation Corvette Z06 (2006–13)
The current C7-generation Corvette Z06 is a bargain supercar, but the previous C6 deserves the same designation. Long and low, sporting a 505-hp 7.0-liter (that’s 427 cubic inches, in ‘Murica speak) LS7 V-8, it managed to still appear somewhat understated. In order to utilize the additional power, the tires got pushed just a bit further out and gave the Z06 a gorgeous curvy shape that is aging rather well. Honorable mention: C6 Corvette ZR1. Same shape—more power!
Dodge Challenger Scat Pack Widebody
A close brother to the Hellcat and Demon, Dodge packed the Challenger Scat Pack with all the flair but a little less power. The widebody flares tack on 3.5 inches of width to the already stocky Challenger shape. And 305-series Pirelli tires on massive 20-inch wheels take up residence in the newly found fender room, which assists in morphing the retro-styled muscle machine into a competent corner carver. The stiffer front springs, SRT-tuned adaptive dampers, and larger sway bars certainly factor into the character as well.
The wild, rally-going sibling to the Audi Coupe of the early ’80s, the Sport Quattro sported mellow box flares that broke up the slab-sided figure just enough to know there was something special hiding underneath. Both the 2.1- and 2.2-liter engines were inline-five setups and carried a turbocharger. That engine power first traveled through a five-speed manual transmission and on to all four wheels via Audi’s famed Quattro system. Best known for its rally success, the Ur-Quattro was a Subaru WRX STI long before its time and has styling that screams 1980s.