The Geo Metro is an oft-forgotten economy car that seemingly only gets dredged up in discussions about fuel economy or when you see one still on the road. A man in Wisconsin is giving you another reason to remember the Metro, for he managed to turn one into an absolute monster with the power of an LS4 V8 behind the front seats.
The Geo Metro is already a lovable car. Built in a joint effort between General Motors and Suzuki, the little car was a master at penny-pinching. We’re talking about a car that can score the fuel economy of a Prius without hybrid technology. It’s still the benchmark of fuel economy for some enthusiasts.
As these cars age, they’re ending up in the hands of builders with wild ideas. I’ve seen Metros with giant turbos, Metros prepped for rallycross and Metros made to off-road. But this Metro for sale on the Wisconsin Car Enthusiast Club Classifieds on Facebook might be the king of them all.
This car is the work of Ben Schmidt, a builder that LSX Magazine says is a self-proclaimed LS-swapper.
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He grew up being his dad’s wrenching assistant and like so many gearheads, fell in love with muscle cars and trucks. And like so many of us, there’s a car out there that interests him outside of his normal picks. For Schmidt, it’s the Geo Metro, from LSX Magazine:
“My grandmother and uncle owned a few Metro hatchbacks when I grew up in the 90. I even drove one around the driveway loop a couple of times at age eight or nine, taking turns with my brothers. They were cheap, great fuel economy, a dorky-looking commuter car of their time, and I always wanted to do something ridiculous with one of these dork machines.”
Schmidt found the red 1996 Metro in 2020 for $200, then dragged it home and found $30 in the sun visor. The original idea was a build inspired by Smart Hayabusas, but he found motorcycle engines to be pricy. That’s when he found a 2006 5.3-liter LS4 V8 and a Cadillac 4T80e four-speed auto.
Schmidt first rebuilt the front end before diving in and doing some awesome work, from LSX Magazine:
The frame and body were the first things that needed to be addressed with this LS4 transverse axle swap. Schmidt built a one-piece main hoop and tied it into the rear tube and Cadillac cradle. However, with the engine and transmission in place, he had a new problem. The Cadillac DeVille suspension was slightly wider than the Metro body, leaving the 16-inch tires and wheels exposed. So, to cover up the wheels and tires, Schmidt went to work on a widebody kit.
The ad on Facebook details that Schmidt actually put hundreds of miles on it. The V8 puts out 303 HP and 323 lb-ft torque, a hilarious amount of power compared to the stock 55 to 70 HP. Given the power and the other changes, it’s no surprise that Schmidt says that it has excessive oversteer above 65 mph and you really have to focus to keep it on the road. Honestly, that just sounds like a selling point.
Perhaps the best part about this little car is its price. At $7,000, it’s probably one of the coolest engine-swapped cars that you could get for under 10 large. It’s also the poster child for the gearheads who think that everything needs an LS engine. The Metro for sale in Nekoosa, Wisconsin just make sure you take it slow getting it home.