10 Foreign Cars Most People Don’t Know Are Powered By American Muscle

Dan Smith

For many gearheads, it's something only American muscle can do, often resulting in fewer car options. In fact, it's amazing how many foreign cars use American engines. Some of the best foreign cars wouldn't succeed without a V8 or V10 engine under the hood.While Ferrari honed its V12 engine, other manufacturers turned to the lazier, cheaper, more powerful FordOr a GM unit. This was not a shortcut, but a way for smaller manufacturers to compete on a level playing field. Even today, the "crate" engine is still commonly used by low-volume manufacturers and works wonders. A well-known noise maker and soon-to-be-revival sports car maker, his TVR is a prime example. We're still waiting for the new Griffith, but Ford is known to provide the beating heart of the car. Considering it has more power, it's definitely something Gearhead is looking forward to. How many of the following foreign cars knew there was American muscle under the hood? RELATED: Here's What Makes the Bristol Fighter So Special

10/10 Bristol Fighter S

Via SLJ Hackett
Kick off with the Bristol Fighter, a Brit Bruiser with a secret background. From 2004 to 2011, the number of cars produced was so small that even the factories don't know how many there are.

Bristol Fighter S - Rear
Via SLJ Hackett

Despite its quirky British nature, the Fighter and later S-spec cars were a success thanks to the US auto industry. Beneath the hood of this strange and unusual British coupe is a V10 engine lifted from a Viper. On later cars, Bristol bolted on a turbocharger that boosted power output to a maximum of 1,012 horsepower.

9/10 Ultima Evo

Ultima EVO Coupe - Front
Via Ultima Sports
Going a different route, the Ultima Evo series comes in kit form that requires assembly. On the U.S. shores, Gearheads can play with the complexity of steel chassis and composite bodies.

Ultima Evolution - Rear
Via Ultimacus

When it comes to oily and interesting bits, the Ultima has a choice of engines ranging from 480 horsepower to 1,020 horsepower. All his GM LS units, including the 6.2-liter LS3 and 7.0-liter LS7 engines, despite the insane power numbers.

8/10 Ariel Atom 500 V8

Ariel Atom V8 500 - Front Quarter
Via FC2
Every gearhead has heard of the amazing Ariel Atom. Especially if you switch to a turbocharged Honda engine in the latest Atom 4.

Ariel Atom V8
Via: flickr

With 500 horsepower on tap, the Atom was bordering on Timeshift speeds reaching 60 mph in 2.2 seconds. But how does the Atom 500 fit into America's muscle claim?The factory may be two fused engines, but it's Milwaukee-based John Hartley who made it work was.

7/10 Koenigsegg CC8S

Koenigsegg CC8S - Front
Via Norbet Aepli/Wikipedia
Koenigsegg, Sweden's most famous car exporter, has become a legend thanks to its extremely fast cars equipped with innovative engineering solutions. Among these are smaller, more efficient engines and single-speed transmissions.

Koenigsegg CC8S on track
Via: Koenigsegg

It wasn't always like this. In Koenigsegg's formative years, the CC8S made good use of his supercharged 4.6-liter Ford Modular V8. Koenigsegg was still gaining a foothold at the time, but the CC8S was a decent 200+ mph supercar.

6/10 De Tomaso P72

De Tomaso P72
Via: Wikimedia Commons
If you're reading this by the end of 2022, chances are De Tomaso is starting production of the P72. First unveiled in 2019, his P72 pays homage to the Italian carmaker's past successes in racing.

De Tomaso P72 - side view
Via Wikimedia Commons

From nose to tail, the P72 is a detailed, carbon fiber sculpted Italian Thoroughbred. But there's no fussy Italian engine under the hood. Instead, Ford's supercharged Coyote V8 should send his 700 horsepower to the rear wheels for a top speed of 221 mph. RELATED: Here's What Makes the De Tomaso P72 Special

5/10 Mazzanti Evantra

Mazzanti Evantra - Reception
Via Alan Class Motors
Another Italian supercar maker is demanding cash for Gearhead. Mazzanti Automobile was born in his 2002 and Evantra was born in his 2013. Since the birth of the automobile, there have been several modern models with up to 1,106 horsepower.

Mazzanti Evantra - Side
Via Alan Class Motors

Boasting big performance numbers is a sign of a hybrid powertrain, right? Wrong! Like other niche sports car makers, the Evantra draws on American muscle. There are actually several of his LS7 and LT2 mills that fill the central engine bay.

4/10 AC 378 GT Zagato

AC 378 GT Zagato - Front
Via Historical
Several comebacks and failures have damaged AC Cars' reputation. For 2012, however, things look to change with his AC 378 GT in Zagato style. Oddly enough, the final assembly of such a prestigious Italian name took place in South Africa.

AC 378 GT Zagato - Rear
Via Historical

Overall, only 15 AC 378s found a buyer, each powered by a GM LS3 V8 engine. The AC 378 GT is something of a chimera, with an Italian name, US muscle and assembled elsewhere. At least the car's performance numbers were honest with a top speed of 185 mph.

3/10 HSV Maru GTS-R

HSV Maru GTS-R - Front
Via Richmonds
Traveling down, Ute dominates the domestic performance market. Now we know what you are thinking. It's just a truck, right? yes. That is until you peek under the hood and spy on a supercharged Gen IV LSA mill.

Holden Maru GTS-R - Rear
Via Richmonds

With 545 ft-lbs of torque and 583 hp, the Maloo GTS-R is fast enough for farmers and gearheads.

2/10 Iso Griffo

iso Grifo - Front
Via: player.hu
And Italian masters appear one after another. The Isohi Griffo, launched in 1965, is fitted with a Bertone his body that was transformed during the production period.

isoglypho - rear
Via: player.hu

However, regular changes weren't limited to car styling. Open the hood and you'll find several engine combinations. Prior to the introduction of the Ford 351 option in 1972, options included Chevrolet's small block V8. RELATED: Here's Why You Should Buy a 1970s Iso Grifo Can-Am

1/10 Rover P5

Rover P5 - Front
Via Castle Classic Cars
Rover's P5B sedan. In fact, this could also include the P6 and dozens of his TVRs and Land Rovers. Different car models and niches, but all with a common theme.

Rover P5
Via Castle Classic Cars

By chance, during a trip to the United States, the rover came across a boat engine designed and reinvented by Buick. This accidental discovery resulted in his one of Britain's most commonly used V8 engines. Buick/Rover V8s manufactured under license were in production until 2004. Sources: Holden, Ariel, RoverP5, De Tomaso