When it was first introduced in 1988, Cizeta-Moroder V16T had the potential to become the next big thing in the world of supercars. The car had it all, celebrity endorsement, Italian background, famous constructors, exotic name, and technology. This obscure beast’s main feature was a monstrous V16 engine made out of two flat-plane crank V8 units and mounted transversely behind the cabin.
The V16 engine had six liters of displacement and delivered 560 hp, which was an excellent number for the late ’80s. The performance was equally impressive, with a 0 to 60 mph time of just four seconds and a top speed of over 200 mph. Even today, those numbers will draw attention from the supercar crowd. The base list price was close to $300,000, and the production stopped after only 20 examples, which is why they are an obscure sight today.
Monteverdi was a Swiss luxury car brand active from 1967 until 1984. Over the years, Monteverdi produced many premium models that were marketed as cars with “German quality, Italian design, and American power.” This was a winning combination, and Monteverdi cars featured Chrysler’s engine to produce effortless performance, speed, and raw power many European manufacturers of the period lacked.
The most extreme Monteverdi model was Hai 450 from 1970, which featured an entirely new chassis and body as well as the famous Hemi 426 V8 engine in the back. Monteverdi wanted the most powerful engine Mopar had to offer, and in 1970, that was the mighty Hemi. The car was called “Hai,” which is a German word for a shark. The 0 to 60 mph time took only 4.5 seconds, making it the quickest car of the era.
Maybe not as known as Ferrari or Lamborghini, De Tomaso is another legend of the Italian sports car scene from the ’60s. Started by Argentinean Alejandro De Tomaso, the company first started as a racing car outfit. Still, it soon moved to sports car markets with a lineup of successful modes that featured Ford’s small block engines, 5-speed transaxle gearbox, and aggressive design.
The first car was De Tomaso Mangusta, which was introduced in 1967. Yet the Pantera introduced in 1969 proved to be far more successful and popular, even though it shared a lot with the Mangusta. The key to Pantera’s success was the fact that Alejandro DeTomaso got the deal with Ford Motor Company, which meant that De Tomaso products were to be sold officially in America through the Lincoln-Mercury dealership network. Ford provided the engines, and De Tomaso did the rest, and Pantera was a home run for this small company. When production ended in 1989, De Tomaso built over 7000 Panteras. Even Elvis Presley owned one.
Bristol Cars is one of the craziest companies in the world. Not for their models, which are quite strange, but for their business policy. The company was barely making money for decades, operated only one showroom, sold only 1 or 2 cars per year, and refused to modernize its lineup for decades. However, they somehow managed to survive. In 2004, Bristol decided to introduce a new model with uncompromised performance and fresh design, and that is how the Bristol Fighter was born.
The chassis was custom made with an impressive body that featured Gullwing doors and a long hood. The Fighter’s design has no resemblance to other Bristol cars, but it carries the tradition of using Chrysler engines, and this sports car has an 8.0-liter V10 from Dodge Viper rated at 525 HP.
If you are into domestic performance cars, you certainly know about Hennessey from Texas. In the last few decades, they have been one of the biggest names in aftermarket muscle and performance car parts, conversion kits, engines, etc. And since 2011, they are also supercar manufacturers with the Venom GT.
Venom GT is not 100% American car but kind of a British-American hybrid. It is based on the Lotus Elise but significantly modified, widened, and stretched with different suspension, brakes, design, and drivetrain. Practically everything is new and different from the original car. The power comes from a 7.0-liter LS2 V8 engine with three power levels – 800 HP, 1000 HP, and 1200 HP.
The Venom GT was available as a coupe or convertible, and it held the world record for the fastest production car from 0-186 mph (0-300 km/h) with an average time of 13.63 seconds. Its production ended in 2017 after 13 cars were made.