The minivan is the butt of many car-guy jokes. After all, it's mostly considered to be a grown man's way of signing off of his automotive enthusiasm for the foreseeable future – at least until the kids are old enough to drive themselves around. The minivan means a life of automotive boredom and tells the world that someone has given in to a wife and a bunch of kids. The lucky ones will manage to quit their car addiction, otherwise, they'll suffer serious withdrawals for years to come as the motor oil and gasoline in their veins slowly evaporates.
At least that's how things used to be – that is, until people started modifying their minivans. There are drag racing minivans, hill climbers, track weapons, and stanced showcars. Here are 25 sick minivans we'd actually drive!
25 Toyota Sienna Ultimate Utility Vehicle
This minivan is perfect for the zombie apocalypse! Utilizing a Sienna body that sits on a Tacoma truck chassis, this mean machine comes complete with a TRD supercharger, 22-inch off-road wheels, a Wilwood big brake upgrade, and a slew of mud driving add-ons. It also has N-FAB custom bodywork, a custom LED wrapped roof rack, and sports a night vision camera system with HD recording.
24 Toyota Sienna R-Tuned Concept
This van is an absolute track demon while remaining street legal. Toyota teamed up with custom car builders DG-Spec, giving the Sienna SE a Kaminari carbon fiber hood, sticky Nitto tires, RPF1 Enkei wheels, and a slathering of TRD goods as well as a limited-slip diff. With its stock 3.5-liter V6 engine and a six-speed automatic transmission, it has bested vehicles like the 6.2-liter Chevy Camaro SS at Willow Springs.
23 Renault Espace F1
The Espace F1 certainly wasn't like other minivans. In 1995, Renault decided to celebrate the Espace's 10 year anniversary as well as their involvement with Formula 1. And what better way of doing it than building a minivan featuring a carbon fiber F1 chassis, carbon fiber reinforced body, and a massive 800 horsepower mid-mounted 3.5 liter V10 engine? 0 to 60? 2.8 seconds!
22 Slammed Sienna
Here we have a functional family car that refuses to sacrifice style. Sitting super low to the ground in its parked position, the bronze rims and flashy accessories let's the owner ride in style, even if he has to haul a bunch of kids around. The TRD badge on the back might be a hint of some performance mods, which should help boost the performance to match its looks.
21 Indonesian Odyssey
Thanks to its one-off body kit designed by the owner and the deep candy red paint, this Odyssey really stands out from the crowd. Wheels and tires consist of 20" Modulare Forged M15s wrapped in Accelera 245/35s on all four corners. Behind the wheels is a KSport big brake kit, and the ride height was taken care of through the use of hydraulics, with a kit built by Hydrohaulics.
20 Nissan Quest On Vossen Wheels
This Quest took nearly two years to build. It has a JDM ELGRAND E52 conversion front end and a custom one-off grille by ProFab. The rear end features a custom Lexus LS 460 mash-up with a custom dual exhaust. Behind the 20x10.5 Vossen VFS-1 wheels you can see the huge D2 racing brakes. The suspension is Airtekk custom bags/struts. Also note the custom front splitter, side skirts, and Elgrand door sills.
19 The Stance Express
If this was the car FedEx would use to deliver car parts, we'd be broke from ordering stuff online just to take a closer look at it. The only problem would be the low ride height, which could potentially delay our packages – or maybe not, since it's most likely bagged.
18 Bisimoto Odyssey
The Bisimoto 2014 Honda Odyssey has a turbocharged, fully built factory-based J35 V-6 powerplant that produces a remarkable 1,029 horsepower. It embraces the “Power Van” vision: a street-friendly, powerful, reliable, and family-oriented chassis. Even on 91 pump gasoline, the van makes 600 horsepower at 16 psi. At full boost (41psi), the engine produces 1,029 horsepower running on ethanol fuel. At lower speeds and gears, horsepower and boost pressures are electronically limited and gradually increase.
17 Takero’s JDM-spec Honda Odyssey
Unlike American versions, many generations of the Japanese Odyssey did not have sliding rear doors, sported a four-cylinder engine, and didn’t always come with a third row. This particular one has a custom HKS turbo system that produces 440 horsepower, Prodrive forged 20-inch wheels, a Takero’s big brake kit, a titanium exhaust system, and low-slung coilover race suspension. Oh, and virtually every body panel replaced with carbon fiber.
16 Bright Estima
Equipped with ACC Air Bomber suspension, made by AirRunner Air Systems, the car sits low on its yellow 19" WedsSport SA-55M’s wrapped in 215/35 & 235/35 Nitto NT555 tires. Aero is all custom including the widened fenders. The entire interior was redone, but all the magic is in the rear where speakers and amps take up all the space.
15 Stanced Odyssey
The stance on this Odessey is achieved by using SPC Camber Bolts and UAS Aero Power Sport Bags Over Megan Racing Coilovers, allowing the 20x10.5 Incurve LP-5 wheels to hide in the wheel arches. As far as the exterior styling goes, there is an OEM Honda Optional Front Lip and Fog Lights, an Allfit-Automotive Universal Lip as well as a bunch of little touches that clean up the car nicely.
14 EJudged Connect
eJudged provides a wireless iPhone application that can be used to streamline car-judging events. The problem they faced was that many event locations didn’t provide reliable wireless connectivity, so they decided to team up with Ford. This heavily modified Transit Connect is capable of projecting a wireless network across event locations, giving judges the connectivity they need to use the eJudged application.
13 Hot Wheels Transit
Ford has created its own Hot Wheels vehicle using a 2014 Transit Connect. There's something about the Mattel toy cars that attract automakers wanting to turn them into the real thing.
The idea was to create a race inspired support vehicle for the average guy to spend a weekend at the track. Ford reskinned the Transit Connect and fitted new wheels. Inside, it sports three television sets.
12 Dodge Race Caravan
Built by American Products Company to showcase the company's products, this Caravan has gone through a complete transformation. It's slammed thanks to an airbag suspension dampened by Bilstein shocks. Tucked underneath is a set of 19-inch Ro_Ja wheels wrapped in Yokohama racing rubber. The louvers on the hood lend a classic hot-rod look and also feeds air into a Vortec supercharger fitted to the 3.8-liter V6.
11 TDI Touran
This 2004 TDI Touran has received an updated 2012 ‘Highline’ front-end, offering a more aggressive and streamlined face, as well as Votex side and rear components to finish off the clean, low aesthetic of the VW. It has a custom bag-over-coil system, making the van look awesome when lowered onto the classic 18x9 Schmidt TH-Line wheels. The 2.0 diesel has gotten an upgraded Garrett GT1852V turbocharger, enough to produce 220hp.
10 Premium Previa
Ojay Bayang’s bagged Toyota Previa brings a taste of Japan’s crazy VIP vanning scene to LA. It features an Avanzare aero kit and double-staggered polished and gold-faced Work Meister S1 wheels. The Garson curtains throughout the interior are a nice touch too. It's almost needless to say that this car has brought home some trophies.
9 Classy Caddy
This VW Caddy was built by a student on a budget to be his daily driver, which just goes to show that if there's a will, there's a way. It's bagged and uses mk5 Golf front struts, custom rear axle link, retaining the original mounting points making it reliable and affordable. It's also a nice way to get the affordable Ispiri Csr4 wheels nicely tucked in the arches.
8 Stanced Honda Elysion
This Honda Elysion was built by Peerless. It's running Super Star LeonHardiritt Rasen wheels - 19×10 -16 up front and a rather ridiculous 19×12 -78 in the rear. The offset is not the only ridiculousness that's going on here.
In order to achieve the stance, Peerless had to create a completely custom set of coilovers, shorten the knuckles, and exchange many of the suspension components such as upper arms and toe rods.
7 Black Odyssey
Unlike most of the other stanced vans, this Odyssey sits on a set of custom made coilovers which must be set to a pretty damn stiff setting. No air or hydraulics here! The wheels are a massive set of Riverside Traficstar sized in 19x10 & 19x12. Offset wise, you are looking at -18 up front in 215/35/19 and in the rear a massive -100 with 275/30/19 tires.
6 Pikes Peak Minivan
Originally developed by Honda Manufacturing of Alabama in Lincoln, this intercooled 3.5-liter V6 Odyssey is a full-blown caged race car, complete with a gutted interior, a six-speed manual gearbox and limited-slip differential swap out of an older Acura TL, race-spec suspension and brakes, forged 19-inch BBS wheels, and the list goes on.
Built for the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the 500 horsepower minivan flew up the infamous Colorado mountain pass.
5 Transporter Transplant
This VeeDub Transporter has an Audi RS4 V8 engine, but it doesn't end there – it's now a 4.2 liter with two GT35 turbos, producing a massive 745 horsepower. In order to transfer all that power to the ground, it uses the full RS4 Quattro drivetrain with custom driveshafts and axles. An RS6 brake setup was necessary to get the thing to stop. Oh, and it does the 12s on the quarter-mile.
4 Cheap Thrill Grand Caravan
While the outside might look like an ordinary Caravan, open the side-door and you’ll see a full-fledged mid-engine conversion featuring a 440 cubic inch big block rebuilt to a 512 stroker big block. With its rebuilt transmission, the Dodge is doing 11-second quarter-mile passes. The aggressive stance and deep rumble of this van are enough to make just about anybody drop what they’re doing and check out the soccer mom mobile!
3 Street Legal Jet-Powered Dodge
This everyday commuter is like something straight out of a comic book. At the cost of $17,000, the owner installed a 1,000 hp helicopter engine in the back of a Dodge Caravan with a turboshaft to distribute power directly to the rear wheels. The flame from the afterburner exhaust doesn’t create additional thrust, but it does look awesome! It has its original engine driving the front wheels, making it street legal.
2 Toyota Tarago Dragster
This 1993 Toyota Tarago family hauler is the ultimate mash-up between an outlaw heads-up car, and a van that takes kids to school. It has 1,500 horses in its Grunt Power-built 454 cubic inch iron block LSX mill, and there's a Chromoly cage for safety, just in case something should go wrong while flying down the strip.
1 Fiat Multipla
While we would never want to be caught dead in a Multipla, it did, however, win Top Gear Car Of The Year in 2000, so it was actually quite good. It was just so damn hideous. The owner of this one has sorted that out though, showing how much a proper set of rims and lowered suspension will actually do for a car.
Sources: Stance Nation, Speedhunters, Car Throttle, Dragzine, Speed Society