Hot Rod culture is one of key ingredients of the American automotive landscape. However, no company ever dared to present a factory-built Hot Rod until 1997 when Plymouth presented the Prowler. It was a retro-futuristic roadster with a V6 engine and fantastic looks.
Imagined as the follow-up to the Viper, the Prowler was a hit on the show circuit and Chrysler wanted to capitalize on that. But despite having initial success, the car proved to be a failure. It just wasn’t all that powerful and only had looks going for it.
The Alpine A610 was introduced in 1991 as a replacement for Alpine GTA and old A310 from the late ’70s. The fiberglass-bodied coupe featured several interesting features like a futuristic interior, rear-mounted turbocharged V6 engine from Renault, and vivid performance.
The 3.0-liter V6 produced 247 hp, enough to launch this lightweight coupe from 0 to 60 mph in 5.8 seconds with close to 170 mph as its top speed.
The R35 Skyline GT-R is a car that doesn’t need a special introduction. One of the fastest, most capable, and best handling sports cars you can buy is globally famous.
The biggest part of its appeal is the engine. The Skyline has a signature turbocharged 3.8-liter V6 that delivers 570 HP or 600 in NISMO trim. In combination with intelligent all-wheel drive, the GT-R can achieve 60 mph in less than three seconds.
Back in 1967, Fiat introduced the Dino, a coupe and convertible that featured the Ferrari V6 engine straight from the 246 GT Dino. The coupe was designed by Bertone while the convertible was styled by Pininfarina. The two shared the mechanics, engine, and performance, but their designs were totally different.
The Fiat Dino Coupe was officially sold in America. If you are a budget-minded enthusiast, look for the Dino Coupe since it is more common and affordable than the convertible.
Honda planned this model for a long while. The basic idea was to introduce a sports car with the technology, performance, power, and design of a supercar. To say that Honda succeeded in that would be an understatement. The NSX was all-around brilliant. Basically, buyers got Ferrari performance and looks for supermarket prices along with Honda’s signature reliability and low maintenance costs.
The heart of the NSX was a 3.0-liter V6 with 274 hp and later, a 3.2-liter V6 with 290 hp. Since the car was light, its 0 to 60 mph time was five seconds and its top speed was over 170 mph. The introduction of the NSX stunned competitors and the car market. Nobody expected such a bold move from such a complete car. The NSX was not only capable but also extremely balanced thanks to its mid-engined layout and clever engineering.
This is one of the most iconic Japanese sports cars and has reached legendary status by appearing in many street racing movies, video games and music videos. But Supra’s popularity is not only based on media appearances. This is one serious machine, especially the Turbo version.
The base model was naturally aspirated. Despite being quick, the most sought-after model is the 3.0-liter straight six twin-turbo variant with 276 hp. We know 276 hp is not much, but the engine produced somewhat more than advertised and had fantastic tuning potential. Today, it’s hard to find a stock Supra, With just a few bolt-on power adders, a bigger turbo, and intake system, drivers can get all the way to 1000 hp on the rear wheels as a result.
The story of the XJ220 is a strange one. Conceived in the late ’80s as Jaguar’s first road-going supercar, it looked promising. The concept car and first prototypes had Jaguar’s V12 engine tuned to produce a high output. However, halfway into development, it was decided to install a new 3.5-liter twin-turbo V6 with 542 hp. The design of the car was fantastic and emphasized its performance and speed.
When it was released, the XJ220 was the world’s fastest road-going model at an enormous price. Despite the hype when it was announced and wealthy customers waiting to buy this model, several delays in production and lack of the V12 affected the market. Eventually, less than 300 were built. The XJ220 was called that since it could top 220 mph. It was never officially sold in the USA. Now is the chance to bring one of these misunderstood beasts home.
Venturi is a small French car company that was active in the ’90s. Using components from other car companies and producing its own bodies and chassis, Venturi produced several beautiful, fast cars and left its mark in the history of obscure supercars with its magnificent 400 GT model from the mid-’90s.
Visually similar to Ferrari F40, the Venturi 400 GT also used a twin-turbocharged engine. But in Venturi’s case, it was a 3.0-liter Peugeot V6 pumped up to produce 400 hp in street trim. In racing trim, it was capable of over 600 hp.
Started by John Z. De Lorean in the late ’70s, De Lorean was briefly marketed as the next big thing in the sports car world. For a short time, it looked that America got a sports car brand that could rival Europe’s finest. De Lorean presented an interesting concept of a sports car with Gullwing doors, modern wedge-shaped design, a mid-mounted V6 engine, and stainless steel body.
However, production was late, and when the car was finally revealed it turned out to be slow, underpowered, and riddled with quality problems. Due to its prominent appearance in the Back to the Future movies and numerous music videos, the DMC 12 is still a popular car and one of the automotive symbols of the ’80s.