UPDATE: Owner Ben Schmidt contacted Motor1.com with a correction about his V8-powered Metro. "There's an acrylic divider sealing off the engine bay from the "cockpit,'" he said. "It's hard to see in pics." The driver can't actually reach back and touch the engine. "I'm not that crazy," he said.
The Geo Metro was never supposed to be a performance car. It was entry-level, basic transportation. However, the owner of this car ignores the vehicle's original purpose and drops a 5.3-liter LS4 V8 into the little hatchback's rear cargo area. The weird machine is now for sale in Wisconsin for $7,000.
The overhauled powertrain sits in the back, and there's no firewall between the engine and driver. You could easily reach back from the seat and feel it rumble. The mill runs through a General Motors 4T80E four-speed automatic transmission.
Gallery: 1996 Geo Metro With Mid-Engined LS4 V8
The builder has to modify the rear of the body to make this engine swap work. There are fender flares on both sides that open into the body for directing air to the V8. Also, the air intake sticks out of the body and faces backward from just above the driver's side back wheel.
Under the hood, a fuel cell takes the spot previously for the engine. The builder also adds chassis supports to reinforce the front end.
There aren't many changes to the cabin. A seven-inch tablet replaces the original instrument cluster. There are also extra gauges on the center console. The seats are straight out of a stock Metro.
The video above offers a full tour of the car and lets you hear the engine running. The mill makes this little hatchback sound mean.
According to the seller's listing, the V8-powered machine completed about 500 miles of testing before the winter, which included a 150-mile trip on a day with temperatures over 85 degrees Fahrenheit. The car didn't have any issues handling that.
The seller notes that the V8 Metro has excessive oversteer above 65 miles per hour. "It starts to take concentration to keep it in its lane," according to the listing.
The brief video above is a run to 60 miles per hour in the V8 Metro. The engine makes it sound like a little muscle car when accelerating.