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30 1980s Cars That Changed The Automotive Industry

Vukasin HerbezNovember 22, 2018

4. Porsche 944 Turbo

This forgotten gem from Stuttgart is one of the best affordable sports cars you can still buy. And, they are still budget-friendly today. However, if you don’t act fast, the chances are that the prices will go stratospheric soon. They designed the 944 as an entry-level Porsche, giving it an interesting layout. In fact, it comes with a front-mounted engine and rear-mounted transaxle gearbox.

Best of all, the handling is sublime. Even though the base 170 HP engine wasn’t slow, the real treat is the turbo. It has a 2.5-liter turbocharged engine that puts out 250 HP. Due to being lightweight with a good transmission and aerodynamics, the 944 Turbo is a fast car. The 0 to 60 mph takes only 5.9 seconds and it can top 162 mph. So, even today, this little Porsche can outrun some modern sports cars.

3. Toyota Landcruiser J60

It is insane that quality examples of the J60 series Landcruiser are bringing north of $30,000 today but this is the reality of the collector car market. The classic ’80s SUV was affordable not that long ago, but now the prices are getting out of hand. However, most restoration projects are still somewhat affordable. So, if you have the means to perform it, you should consider finding an ‘80s Landcruiser.

Toyota introduced it in 1980 and discontinued it in 1989, selling the J60 all over the world. And it was especially popular in America. The Landcruiser combined the ruggedness of a classic FJ40 with a durable 4.2-liter inline six-engine and a bigger, more comfortable body. The combination proved so influential, the J60 is now the focus of collectors all over the world.

2. Lancia Delta HF Integrale

Lancia introduced its compact model, the Delta, in 1979. However, it was on the market for five years before the company started thinking about a performance version. Lancia was always big in rallying. And after the banning of their Group B model S4, they wanted something that could work well on the street and track, so the HF Integrale was born.

Initially, this model featured a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that produced 185 HP, but later it went up to 220 HP. It had a permanent, well balanced all-wheel-drive system. The Delta HF Integrale is an important hot hatch because it was the first with all-wheel drive. This marked the beginning of a transition from the front wheel drive, simple hot hatches, to the high-tech, all-wheel drive performance monsters we have today.

The combination of a powerful engine, sharp handling, great traction and low weight was intoxicating for magazine testers of the day. The Delta HF Integrale received nothing but praises. Over the years, the Delta HF Integrale has been a successful concept on rally stages all over the world and among hot hatch fans. They ceased production in 1994 after creating almost 40,000 of them.

1. Lamborghini LM 002

Lamborghini made the Urus, a superfast SUV with a twin-turbo V8 and impressive performance. Still, many car fans are not so impressed. Yes, the Urus is a mighty fast luxury cruiser, but it isn’t as wild and unexpected as the mid-80s Lamborghini LM 002.

This crazy creation debuted in the mid-80s as Lamborghini’s attempt to enter the world of luxury SUVs and widen its appeal. The LM002 used a special chassis and suspension as well as Lamborghini’s famous V12 engine. The 5.2-liter unit with 400 HP was the same one as you would find in the legendary Countach.

These are the 30 iconic cars from the ’80s that changed the car industry forever. Did any of them take you for a walk down Memory Lane? If you look hard and long, you may be able to find your favorite in mint condition. But, you should hurry before these classics are long gone.

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