If you’ve never been to a WannaGoFast event, be it in Florida, Georgia or any of the various other locales in the Southeast, you owe it to yourself to pay it a visit. Some of the fastest street cars in the country have a tendency of showing up — on street rubber — to take home the prize of the fastest half-mile trap speed accomplishable.
Most of the vehicles that turns up to these events range from the highly-built C6 and C7 Corvettes, to the six-figurer supercars from across the pond; Lamborghinis, Ferraris, Porsche 918s and so on. It’s as much as a competition of flash as it is sheer acceleration. We last visited a few years ago in a 600 rwhp, i-1 ProCharged 5th-gen Camaro SS.
In the half-mile sprint we managed a 138.5 mph trap speed, with no other modifications to the running gear. Of course we weren’t the quickest car there, but somewhere at the lower-to-middle section of the field, with 1000+ horsepower Corvettes, GT-Rs, and European exotics being the majority .
So when we heard about this little Ecotec Saturn ION Red Line laying down the law and running over 20mph over what our Camaro had run back in the day, we were immediately impressed. Packing 500 whp, courtesy of a turbocharged LSJ powerplant, this little pocket rocket was holding its own against some of the heavy hitters at the event! Despite coming in second in many of its pursuits, it was a close second and a convincing challenger.
While the list of modifications to the ION is little to none in the video, there are some apparent changes to the vehicle in addition to the turbo swap — including a shaved rear spoiler, carpet and rear seat removal and some upgraded rolling stock for improved grip. It might not be everyone’s favorite flavor, but for a car that you can now pick up for a few grand, dump another few grand into it for respectable power, you can’t hate on it.
Rick Seitz is the owner and founder of GMEFI Magazine, and has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.