In the ’90s, we witnessed both the completion of the 20th century and the end of analog driving experiences, especially for road cars. The days of boxy straight designs were over, and aerodynamic curves had returned.
Supercars of the 1990s were identifiable by their stunning performance, remarkable styling, and cutting edge technology of the time. The great thing about the supercars of this era was that they were extremely simple machines with functional and sleek bodies, low curb weight, and outrageously powerful engines. Similar to all vehicles, some supercars were better than others. Slide through to learn more about the fast and furious supercars from the ’90s.
The Chimaera was a two-seater convertible sports vehicle that was produced from 1992 to 2003. The name of this car was derived from “Chimera,” the monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature of Greek Mythology. The interior of the vehicle included an aluminum gear knob and a high transmission tunnel. Also, the trims varied broadly. However, you got central locking, alloy wheels, height-adjustable steering, and power mirrors and windows as standard features.
Additionally, this classic car came in four engine sizes through the years, with power ranging from 240 brake horsepower (bhp) for the initial cars equipped with 4-liter engines, and then it reached up to 340 bhp for 5-liter models. Overall, the TVR Chimaera had a reputation for being both usable and practical.
Panoz Esperante GTR-1
The Panoz Esperante GTR was a race car built by Panoz Auto Development. There were only two road-legal Esperante GTR-1s constructed to meet the racing homologation requirements. This car competed in the 24 Hours of Le Mans in Europe, FIA GT Championship, along with the United States Road Racing Championship, IMSA GT, and the American Le Mans Series held in North America.
The Panoz GTR-1 had an odd structure, which was mainly because of the placement of a large V8 6-liter engine that took up quite a bit of space. Its engine produced around 500 pound-feet of torque and 600 horsepower. Plus, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds and reached a top speed of 155 mph, which is quite impressive for a ’90s sports car.
The Ferrari Testarossa is a sports car that was manufactured from 1984 to 1996. Mostly known for its ultra-wide rear track and side strakes, the Testarossa made several appearances in pop culture, especially in the Sega arcade game “OutRun” and the third season of Miami Vice. Also, the posters of this car adorned the walls of many boys in the ’80s and early ’90s.
The Testarossa was powered by a V12 engine that produced up to 385 horsepower and 361 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 180 mph. On the whole, the Ferrari Testarossa might not have been the most powerful Ferrari of the ’90s, but its refined ride, exciting design, and high-end interior made it highly desirable.
The Ford GT90 was revealed at the Detroit Auto Show in 1995. It had a futuristic look with carbon fiber body panels that featured different angles and triangle shapes. The GT90 also boasted a V12 6.0-liter engine, which produced 660 pound-feet of torque and 720 horsepower. In the mid-1990s, those numbers were completely unheard of, leaving behind other supercars offered by Lamborghini, Ferrari, Bugatti, Porsche, McLaren, and Jaguar.
Besides, this car was capable of accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.1 seconds and reached a top speed of 253 mph. The concept Ford GT90 was well-received by the public, but unfortunately, it never made to dealer showrooms.
Mosler Consulier GTP
Inspired by race cars of the day, the Mosler Consulier GTP was built between 1985 and 1993. It was the first road car ever that boasted a carbon-kevlar body and composite monocoque chassis. Its twin-turbocharged 2.2-liter engine produced up to 190 horsepower and propelled it from zero to 60 mph in five seconds.
Also, it reached a top speed of 155 mph, which was decent enough at that time. In 1988, fewer than a hundred Consulier GTPs were sold — probably because of its basic interior, styling, and the ridiculously high price of $60,000.
Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans
In the 1990s, the Vantage Le Mans was known as the most powerful car in the world. It was launched in 1999 and was based on the 1989 Aston Martin Virage. It featured an engine with twin superchargers that produced up to 600 lb-ft of torque and 600 bhp. Not only that, but the Vantage La Mans could accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 186 mph, the highest output produced by any car at that time.
The visible modifications of the car incorporated magnesium alloy wheels, restyled bonnet with twin air intakes, large side vents, and a distinctive blanked off radiator grille. All in all, this car was a treat for people who desired performance-oriented vehicles.
The Jaguar XJ220 remains the most favorite supercar to this date. Its production model arrived in 1992, featuring a V6 turbocharged engine and rear-wheel drive. In 1993, it became known as the world’s fastest car that reached up to a maximum speed of 217 mph with its rev limiter bumped up and exhaust catalyst removed.
Its cabin is decked out in leather and features plenty of auxiliary and primary instruments. Additionally, the engine of Jaguar XJ220 is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox and produces a whopping 474 pound-feet of torque and 542 horsepower. Also, it comes standard with two catalytic converters. On the whole, the Jaguar XJ220 delivers tremendous speed and is ferocious on the road.
The Storm was built in the early ’90s by the renowned British racing firm Lister. Its bumpers were made out of carbon-kevlar, and the body structure was made from aluminum, making it extremely light. This supercar was powered by a V12 7.0-liter engine sourced from Jaguar XJR-9. Not only that, but the Storm was capable of reaching a top speed of 211 mph.
This race car also raced in the FIA GT Championship and other popular sports car races like the 24 hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans, and the Sebring 12-hour. It was mostly unsuccessful on-track and failed to finish many races because of a few mechanical issues.
The Griffith was unveiled in 1990 and was one of the best performance cars of the era. It had extremely responsive steering and was ferociously fast on the road, offering a pleasant drive for those who possessed excellent driving skills. This sports car was powered by a V8 engine that produced up to 350 lb-ft and 340 brake horsepower (bhp). Plus, it reached a remarkable top speed of 167 mph.
Besides, it provided a raw driving experience, was intentionally noisy, and featured a stiff suspension set up. All in all, Griffith was perfect for drivers looking for a dramatic, appealing, performance-oriented sports vehicle.
The Ferrari F50 was the highest performing road car in the ’90s. It boasted a V12 engine that generated up to 347 pound-feet of torque and 514 horsepower. Also, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and reached a top speed of around 201 mph, which is decent enough for a sports car.
The F50 featured a better driving position and a wider cabin than the F40. Additionally, it incorporated some insulation, viable heating and air conditioner, and spacious seats. If you are looking for fun and excitement, there is no car like F50.
Aston Martin Virage
The Aston Martin Virage lasted from 1989 to 1995. This car was clearly a bizarre amalgamation of the old and new, bringing both cost-cutting measures and top-dollar components together. The Virage was also pretty large for a sports car, but fortunately, its all-aluminum body helped to cut into the curb weight.
The interior of the car featured leather upholstery, 2+2 seating layout, wood paneling, and premium carpeting. You could also find a V8 engine placed under the hood, which produced up to 325 horsepower and reached an impressive top speed of 158 mph. All in all, the Virage was a unique production by Aston.
The TVR Cerbera was revealed in 1993 at the London Motor Show. It was named after Cerberus, the three-headed dog in Greek mythology. Back in the ’90s, this car was mainly known for its sleek good looks, crushing power, and an affordable price tag. Backed by a robust V8 4.2-liter engine, the Cerbera made it to the covers of almost every motor magazine with its exceptional performance figures. It produced up to 360 horsepower and reached a top speed of 185 mph, making it highly desirable.
The interior of the TVR Cerbera featured front center console with storage, analog instrumentation, leather-trimmed steering wheel, air conditioning, electric windows, electric door releases, and more. Overall, the TVR Cerbera was a blast in the ’90s.
When the Dodge Viper was released in the 1990s, it made peoples’ jaws drop. The massive aluminum alloy wheels made Viper an interesting choice for a sports car. Furthermore, it was powered by a V10 8.0-liter engine, which Lamborghini helped to develop.
The ’90s Viper models also had a few drawbacks, including no air conditioning, no power windows, no anti-lock brakes, or traction control. Also, it hardly had any safety features and was not easy to handle in high-speeds. Later in 1996, the Viper SR II version incorporated all these features and tried to make a mark in the motorsports world.
The Venturi Atlantique was a supercar with a fiberglass body that was manufactured from 1991 to 2000. Despite being made from fiberglass, this French vehicle had a stylish design and overall looked quite good. Unfortunately, its engine was not as fabulous as the looks — it had a V6 twin-turbo engine that only produced up to 260 horsepower.
In addition, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5.2 seconds and reached a top speed of 167 mph. The sales of this car were also not that good — less than 700 were sold, and eventually, in 2000, Venturi had to stop the production of Atlantique.
Ferrari 348 TB/TS
The Ferrari 348 was launched in 1989 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. Back in the day, this car looked decent enough. Today, however, it seems outdated as Ferrari decided to replace the classic elements of the vehicle with a more contemporary and sporty design.
Apart from the looks, it featured a V8 engine that generated up to 296 horsepower and 238 pound-feet of torque. Not only that, but the Ferrari 348 propelled from zero to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds. Overall, this car was an iconic version of the marque and looked sleek and distinctive as compared to other models.
Bugatti EB 110
We have all heard the name of the famous Bugatti Veyron and its successor Bugatti Chiron. But, back in the ’90s, there was another Bugatti, which is mostly unknown to everyone, especially to those who are not gearheads.
The Bugatti EB 110 was introduced in 1991. It featured a powerful quad-turbo V12 3.5-liter engine that produced up to 560 horsepower and 451 pound-feet of torque. In 1995, after only building 100 examples of the car over five years, Bugatti hit hard times and eventually closed down. Fortunately, Bugatti is now back to developing some of the most fascinating and fastest cars the world has ever seen.
Lotus Esprit V8
The Lotus Esprit V8 was one of the most iconic supercars of the 1990s. It had a mid-engine and looked absolutely amazing with its sharp design. Its engine produced an impressive 350 horsepower and could reach anywhere from zero to 60 mph in less than 4.5 seconds.
However, this car had a few weaknesses; for instance, strenuous efforts were required to drive the car — only a driver with excellent skills could manage this vehicle. Also, it was expensive to maintain and own the vehicle. Even though this car had a few shortcomings, it made it to greatness and is remembered as a very exotic car.
The Vector W8 was a bold wedge-shaped supercar with a flat windscreen. It was built in 1989 by Vector Aeromotive Corporation, using a manufacturing process called Aeromotive Engineering. The W8 was powered by a V8 6.0-liter engine that produced up to 625 horsepower and was capable of propelling the car from zero to 60 mph in around four seconds. Also, it reached a top speed of 240 mph.
After producing only 22 examples, Vector ended production of W8, and it was soon taken over by another company. When new, the incredible W8 was selling at a base price of $283,750!
Isdera Commendatore 112i
The Isdera Commendatore 112i was one of the rarest and most unique supercars in the ’90s. It was designed by the former Porsche designer Eberhard Schulz and his two sons. Isdera had planned to produce a small number of cars and sell them for a price of $450,000, but he went bankrupt before the production even started.
Technologically advanced for the era, the Commendatore came with automatic air brake and ride height systems — features that are only seen on the latest mainstream supercars. Furthermore, its futuristic bodywork boasted enormous 19-inch rear alloys and gull-wing doors. As for performance, the Commendatore featured a Mercedes 6.0-liter V12 engine that generated up to 402 horsepower, which was powerful enough.
MTX Tatra V8
The V8 Tatra was introduced in 1991 as a super-sports car, built by MTX in cooperation with Tatra. Back in the day, it was the fastest Czech car designed by the famous automobile designer Václav Král. It had a V8 3.9-liter engine that generated up to 302 horsepower and accelerated from zero to 62 mph in 5.6 seconds. Also, it reached a top speed of 165 mph.
The Tatra V8 had a lot to offer and was in high demand. But, as soon as the production of 200 pre-ordered cars could begin, there was a fire at the MTX factory, which stopped the production of this exotic vehicle.
Shelby Series 1&2
We have all heard of the famous automotive designer Carroll Shelby, but we might not be aware of the concept cars that he created in the 1990s. The Shelby Series 1 featured a V8 4.8-liter engine that produced more than 325 horsepower with a six-speed manual transmission. This car was pretty decent, but it did not fulfill the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards, so its production had to stop.
Later, three examples of Shelby Series were developed. However, production had to stop again due to changes in the US DOT emissions and safety standards. After that, the Series 2 project ran out of money, and only three prototypes of the car were created.
Nissan R390 GT1
Around 20 years ago, Nissan debuted its street-legal supercar R390 GTI. It featured a twin-turbo V8 3.5-liter mid-engine that produced up to 470 pound-feet of torque and 550 horsepower. Also, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds and reached a top speed of more than 200 mph.
There was only one R390 GT1 road car ever built, which is usually exhibited at the global headquarters of Nissan in Japan. The official price tag of this car was set at 1 million dollars, but it was never marketed.
The Vector M12 was introduced in 1996. The Vector Aeromotive Corporation designed this sports car, and only a handful were ever made. The M12 looked great from afar, but up close, it had the quality of a cheap kit car covered in fiberglass. Its production was stopped because of the company’s mismanagement and slow sales.
The M12 was powered by Lamborghini’s 5707cc V12 engine, which produced 425 pound-feet of torque and 492 horsepower. In addition, it could accelerate from zero to 60 mph within 4.8 seconds and reached a top speed of around 190 mph. The base price of this car was $184,000.
The Cizeta V16T was a supercar that resembled the Lamborghini Diablo. The only thing that set it apart from the Diablo was its double pop-up headlights. The V16 engine of Cizeta pulled out immense power — 540 brake horsepower and 400 pound-feet of torque. It also propelled from zero to 60 mph in 4.0 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 204 mph.
The V16T was produced between 1989 and 1995, and its estimated price was $280,000. In the ’90s, only 19 V16Ts were built. Its production stopped due to its high tag price and US regulations. Overall, Cizeta was a fascinating machine with beautiful styling reminiscent of the Diablo.
Aixam Mega Track
The Mega Track was an exotic sports car that was built by a French company named Aixam. It used a Mercedes V12 engine that delivered up to 394 horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds and reached a top speed of 155 mph.
The most unique feature of the interior was the adjustable ride height — the car raised its clearance from 8 to 13 inches at full height. Only five prototypes of the Track were produced, and then later, a new and more exciting version, the Mega Monte Carlo, was introduced for the model years 1996 to 1999.
The McLaren F1 is a 1992 supercar that competed in popular competitions such as the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Also, in 1998, it set the record for being the world’s fastest production car. This car had no visible flaws, and it truly lived up to the expectations of the drivers who owned it.
Its 6.1-liter engine produced up to 627 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, it reached a maximum speed of 240 mph, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. Overall, it was unlike any other supercar launched at that time — it was fast, powerful, and had plenty of groundbreaking technology.
The Lamborghini Diablo was manufactured from the model year 1990 to 2001. It was powered by a high-performance 5.7-liter engine that generated around 485 horsepower and 428 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, Diablo was able to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 seconds.
Diablo boasted ample features, including electric windows, hand-stitched fine leather, fully adjustable steering wheel and seats, and an Alpine audio system. Also, it looked more modern and organic at the time, thanks to its angled and flat dashboard, and its separate instrument cluster binnacle. Overall, the Diablo was a fascinating sports car that delivered a comfortable ride.
Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR
The Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR was yet another incredible supercar of the ’90s. It was primarily developed as a race car, but then a 35 was introduced for road use. In 1997, this car competed at the FIA Championships, where it was successful. And then later in 1998, it received some upgrades and raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
For the road trim, the CLK GTR used a robust V12 engine that produced up to 612 bhp (brake horsepower) and 568 pound-feet of torque. It was listed at $1,547,620, making it the most expensive production car at that time, as per the Guinness Book of World Records.
Porsche 911 GT1
The 1998 Porsche 911 GT1 was a racing supercar, which was specially designed to compete. This vehicle had limited production; however, 25 road versions of this car made their way onto the market. It featured a twin-turbo flat-six engine that produced up to 550 horsepower and 464 pound-feet of torque, which was quite impressive at the time. Also, it reached a top speed of 193 mph, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 3.5 seconds.
The road version of the 911 GT1 received a few changes, including road-going gear ratios, higher ride height, softer suspension, and steel brakes that replaced the carbon discs of the race car. Overall, this car was definitely hyped back then and intrigued many people.
The Jaguar XJ-15 was one of the top supercars in the 1990s. During its manufacturing period starting from 1990 to 1992, a total of 53 XJ-15 were built. It had an aerodynamic design, all thanks to the chief designer Tony Southgate who collaborated with Peter Stevens to construct this spectacular vehicle.
The Jaguar XJ-15 featured a rear-wheel drive and a robust mid-engine that produced up to 450 brake horsepower (bhp) and reached a top speed of 186 mph. Besides, the highly-advanced fuel-injection was a bonus as compared to other supercars at that time on the market. The Jaguar XJ-15 was surely a delight for supercar drivers.
At the time of its launch in 1991, Honda NSX shook the supercar world. It could be driven every day by anybody, and it didn’t even break down. Additionally, it featured a robust V6 3.0-liter engine that produced 290 bhp (brake horsepower) and 224 pound-feet of torque. Plus, it accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds and reached a top speed of 162.2 mph.
Sold under the Honda brand across the world and the Acura brand in the United States, this supercar also featured Honda’s VTEC technology — carefully mounted in the middle of the car, paying extra attention to the fuel tank and positioning of the seats for optimal weight distribution.
Dauer 962 Le Mans
Dauer showed up in the 1990s with its race and road versions and promptly won the Le Mans. Its water-cooled twin-turbo flat-six 3-liter engine pushed out an impressive 730 bhp (brake horsepower) and 517 pound-feet of torque. Furthermore, its acceleration was extremely remarkable, reaching from zero to 60 mph in just 2.6 seconds, then onto a top speed of 253 mph.
Inside the car, you could find carbon fiber panels covered in leather. There were also other interesting features, including a detachable steering wheel, interior-cooling, and properly detailed luggage. Overall, this car was packed with premium materials and was a perfect purchase for the ones who could afford it.
RUF CTR2 Sport
RUF CTR 2 Sport was a 1990s supercar that was built from a Porsche 911 Turbo body-in-white. Its engine generated a massive 600 horsepower, depending on the boost. In addition, it delivered 505 pound-feet of torque and accelerated from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
The interior of the car gave a complete and luxurious feel, which is usually not found in tuned cars. It featured ultrasoft leather that was used to cover the door panel, seats, center console, and dashboard. Furthermore, this car boasted a separate USB input and a classic navigation system. All in all, the RUF CTR2 Sport was a perfect combination of comfort and performance at the time.
Pagani Zonda C-12 S
Pagani Zonda was launched in 1999. This outrageously stunning supercar was powered by a Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 engine that produced up to 550 brake horsepower and 553 pound-feet of torque. Flat out, the C-12 s could also reach a maximum speed of 210 mph, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds.
The C-12 S also featured new light clusters and exhausts, elongated nose, and flaps at the rear for improved aerodynamics. On the whole, this vehicle felt very quick, thanks to its strong torque and low inertia which creates astonishing acceleration.
The Yamaha OX99-11 was a ’90s supercar that featured carbon fiber chassis, a six-speed manual gearbox, and an aluminum body, which helped to achieve a low curb weight of only 2,540 pounds. Additionally, it was powered by a V12 3.5-liter engine that produced up to 400 horsepower with a six-speed manual gearbox. Not only that, but the Yamaha OX99-11 also reached a top speed of 200 mph, which was quite impressive for a sports car at the time.
There were a total of only three Yamaha OX99-11s ever built, and there was a plan to develop more production versions for a price of $800,000. However, this plan failed due to disagreements between IAD and Yamaha concerning the budget of the car.
Lotus Elise GT1
The Elise GT1 was a racing supercar built by Lotus in the 1990s that pretty much resembled the general shape and look of the Elise GT1. The street-legal GT1 version used a twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produced 350 bhp (brake horsepower) and 295 pound-feet of torque. Additionally, this car propelled from zero to 60 mph in 3.8 seconds.
On the other hand, the engine of the race trim delivered 424 pound-feet of torque and 550 horsepower. This power was transferred to the rear wheels via six-speed sequential transmission. The Lotus Elise GT1 was never offered for sale to the general public as its only purpose was to qualify the racer for competitions.
Chevrolet Corvette ZR-1
When you see the Chevrolet ZR-1 from afar, it resembles the C4-generation Corvette. But, if you look a little closer, you will be able to see some changes. For instance, both its tires and the body are wider than the C4-generation. This supercar uses a DOHC V-8 engine that generates up to 380 horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. Also, it has the ability to get you from a speed of zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and reach a maximum speed of 175 miles per hour.
As a Corvette, the ZR-1 also features hybridized Z51 suspension, Bosch ABS II anti-locking braking, and FX-3 selective ride control packages. Overall, the ZR-1 offers a level of comfort and sophistication beyond what most exotics currently provide.
The Maserati Shamal was produced between 1990 and 1996. It was named after the warm winds of the Mesopotamian desert and was designed by the famous designer Marcello Gandini. The Shamal was powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter V8 engine with four-valve heads. It produced a staggering 321 pound-feet of torque and 326 horsepower.
Also, this supercar was capable of reaching a top speed of 168 mph, accelerating from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds. The Maserati managed to sell 396 units of this mighty beast, which was definitely an achievement back then and is still quite impressive today.
De Tomaso Guara
The Guara was launched as a coupe at the Geneva Motor Show in 1993. It was based on a prototype of the Maserati Barchetta Stradale from 1991. Its body shell was made out of Kevlar, Fiberglass, and other composites. Furthermore, the Guara was also known for having agile handling characteristics.
This supercar featured a supercharged V8 4.6-liter engine that produced around 397 brake horsepower and 370 pound-feet of torque. Also, it could get from zero to 60 mph in five seconds and could reach a top speed of 170 mph. The first De Tomaso cars were sold from 1994 to 2004. Its production stopped in 2004 when factory output had slowed down, and De Tomaso went into liquidation.
Venturi 400 GT
The 400 GT still remains one of the most performance-oriented French cars ever built. Not only that, but the 400 GT was the first car in the world to come standard with carbon brakes. This supercar featured a twin-turbo V6 engine that generated up to 390 pound-feet of torque and 408 horsepower. Moreover, it also accelerated from zero to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and reached a top speed of 180 mph.
Apart from offering exceptional performance, this car handled well, thanks to its curb weight, which was 496 pounds less than a Ferrari 355. A total of only 73 units of racing and 15 street versions of the 400 GT were developed.