5 December 2014

Four-Wheeled Fun: Our five favorite forgotten AWD cars

With winter hitting a fair chunk of the country right now, it seems only right to highlight some of the lesser-known AWD vehicles from our automotive past. Completely by accident, this list starts with fairly attractive vehicles, and it is all downhill from there.

  1. Toyota Celica GT-Four All-Trac Turbo: One of my favorite lesser-known AWD vehicles, the Toyota Celica GT-Four All-Trac Turbo was not only attractive but packed a punch compared to the standard Celica seen in many high school parking lots. The intercooled turbo four-cylinder engine was capable of producing over 200 hp and 200 lb-ft. Plenty of power for helping you through some snow drifts on your way to work, or getting air over some crests in a rally stage.

    [Related Article: Winter Wonders: Classics that can handle the snow]

  2. Mitsubishi Galant VR-4: Sitting on top of the Galant line, this Evolution predecessor was limited in the USDM to only 3,000 units reaching our shore from 1991-1992. Any owner of the Galant VR-4 will proudly show you the production number plate on the dash. While the stock 237 hp from the factory is nothing to be ashamed of, the tuner favorite 4G63T engine is capable of making this an alarming sleeper car.

  3. Honda Civic Wagovan AWD: I don’t know which I love more — the prospect of an AWD Civic (I’m a fan) or the fact that they named this the Wagovan. While you won’t be passing any other car on this list while driving one, you will get a fair number of people commenting, “I’ve never seen one of these.”

    [Related Article: It's time for winter storage preparation]

  4. AMC Eagle Kammback: Any list of odd AWD vehicles is going to include the Eagle wagon we all know and love, but if you want to get even weirder, here is the Kammback. Utilizing the aerodynamics derived from Wunibald Kamm, the Eagle Kammback was available for two whole years. AMC dropped the Kammback in 1983 due to slow sales after only 6,123 made it to the streets.

  5. Toyota Previa S/C AWD: Okay, this is not a car, it’s a van. But it’s an undeniably cool van. Toyota decided to produce a jelly bean, then super charge it and push the power to all four wheels. The Roots-type supercharger provided 6psi through the air-to-air intercooler pushing the 2.4-liter four cylinder to an “impressive” 160 hp.

    [Related Article: Let it snow: Classic designs that you don't have to put away until summer]

  6. Pontiac 6000 STE AWD: I know, Pontiac and AWD go hand in h… wait, what? For a whole two years (I’m sensing a pattern here) Pontiac offered the 6000 STE that could turn all four wheels. The fairly standard 3.1-liter V-6 had 135 hp. Not a crazy amount, but still enough to get you down the road in 1988. With hopes to compete with BMW and Audi, the Special Touring Edition fell short in multiple categories.

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