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These Are The 3 Used Sleeper Cars You Can Buy In Singapore Right Now

The automotive world’s version of IYKYK brags massive Q car appeal.
Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
16 Mar 2023

We now reside in a world that seemingly encourages a lightning pace of living, judging by how those who want to be seen now have a surplus of platforms to craft their communication. Some automotive brands appear to tread a similar path by offering designs that punch far above a product’s capability might suggest. While we concur that this practice can yield short term gains in an era filled with humans of shorter attention timespans (us included!), the craving for examples that require more profound understanding still exists for serious car enthusiasts.

The cars in question today might appear relatively pedestrian at first glance. Some can even pass off as proper luxury modes of transport. Only when triggered will their alter egos reveal performance that catches most off guard. We can argue that most performance EVs can gather speed at neck-strapping pace, but that’s precisely why this relatively easily attainable attribute has been relegated to a necessity, rather than an advantage. Welcome to the world of Q cars powered by internal combustion engines, where bona fide shock factors exist…

Volkswagen Passat R36

Roll back the years and car purchasing took on a different beat in 2008. Hot hatches were battling for attention, egged on by prices that were easier to swallow. A brand new Mk5 Golf GTI could be had for S$100k. The Golf R32 was priced 50% more, which made it a less attractive proposition given how accomplished its GTI sibling was. If you insist on the R32’s VR6 engine but demand more cabin space, in steps the Passat R36 at only a S$5k premium over the R32. It flew under the radar back in 2008, and never seemed to be a subject of further study more than a decade later.

A motor that gathers north of 250bhp and 320Nm helped it on to a century sprint in less than 7 seconds. Sure, accomplished numbers in the late 2000s simply cannot compete with current day figures, but it still administered useful grunt and a glorious 6-cylinder burble to match. The Passat CC could steal more stares with a curvier silhouette, but that’s not the point of Q cars - that’s where the R36 fits the bill to a tee - it delivers when provoked, with an intent still only a handful can appreciate.

Jaguar XJ 5.0 V8

The late 2000s and early 2010s sparked a phase of contention especially where performance luxury saloons were concerned. Numbers on the boot of German cars used to match their engine capacity. Although BMW snuck a numerically accurate 6.0-litre V12 into the F01/02 760i, it showed signs of digression with the 750i/Li, fitted with a 4.4-litre twin turbo V8. Mercedes-Benz’s W221 S63 AMG was kitted with the M156-coded 6.2-litre NA motor, but that made way for a force-fed 5.5-litre in 2012.

Jaguar, however, stuck to genuine naming conventions with the XJ 5.0 V8. It is the only fast sedan out of the three to place numerical accuracy down to the thousandth degree (5,000cc lurking beneath the hood). It could have easily slapped an oversized 5.0 badge behind the front fenders just like a Ford Mustang, but this subtle aggression by JLR is a decision only Q car aficionados will relish.

BMW Alpina D4 Coupe

Confusion was rife when BMW launched the M4 in 2014, with the M3 only reserved for the 4-door variant. In 2-door coupe guise, the M4 was based on the F32 4 Series although 50% of components were fettled by the M department. They were not the only engineers that spruced up the 4’s chassis - Alpina worked their magic on the F32 as a donor car and came up with the B4 bi-turbo and D4 bi-turbo. The latter garnered more Q car worthiness in our books as the 3.0-litre inline 6 twin turbo diesel amassed a colossal 700Nm at an accessible 1,500rpm, a considerable increase over the M4’s 550Nm with peak torque arriving just under 2,000rpm.

We also cannot ignore the fact that annual depreciations of M4s are listing at twice that of the D4! And at only S$1k depreciation more than a 420i Sport it draws peak Q car fascination. It has the luxury know-how to challenge bespoke houses too - its in-house workshop produces Lavalina leather by hand. Now that BMW has acquired Alpina (since March 2022), its Q car pedigree can only make strides exponentially for those manufactured in the pre-BMW Group era.


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