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Fast and Forgotten Supercars of the ’90s

Vukasin Herbez June 6, 2019

  1. Tatra MTX V8

You probably remember the defunct Czech car company, Tatra, which produced luxury sedans behind the Iron Curtain. But in 1991, a group of young, talented engineers decided to make a supercar using race technology and a Tatra V8 engine. And the result was the Tatra MTX V8.

Introduced on the Prague Motor Show, the MTX V8 received many orders, but the product proved to be difficult. So eventually, they canceled the project. They only completed four cars, so it’s a real shame that the MTX V8 never got the chance to race against Ferrari, Porsche or Maserati.

  1. Panoz Esperante GTR-1

If you are a ’90s kid, you probably remember the Panoz Esperante GTR-1 from those popular cult racing games like Gran Turismo or Midtown Madness. This American supercar was the talk of the racing community in the late ’90s. However, despite the promising start, Panoz built only a few racing versions and one street-legal example.

The technology behind the Esperante was clearly for racing purposes. It had a space frame body structure, lightweight panels and two seats. Also, it had an engine they mounted towards the middle of the car for the best weight distribution.

The characteristic front of the car was aerodynamically efficient, although it wasn’t that attractive. Even better, under the hood, you could find a Roush-built, Ford-derived V8 delivering over 500 HP they mated to a sequential gearbox.

  1. DeTomaso Guara

In a brave attempt to get back to the supercar arena, the DeTomaso Company introduced the Guara in 1993 as a fully production-ready model. They offered the car as a coupe and a roadster, both with a rear-mounted BMW or Ford V8 engine and Formula One-inspired suspension.

They made the body out of Kevlar and also, the Guara pioneered several innovative construction techniques. But despite the good initial reviews, the Guara had a hard time finding customers. So all in all, they only built 50 cars.

  1. Jaguar XJR-15

Even though most people know about the XJ220, Jaguar had another supercar in the ‘90s. And that was the race-bred XJR-15 which they developed and produced in cooperation with the TWR racing team.

Based on a Le Mans winning racing model called the XJR-9, the XJR-15 was more user-friendly. It was a road-going car with a full Kevlar body and chassis, a six-liter V12 engine and numerous other “go-fast” parts. Because Jaguar produced it in limited numbers, in the two years of production, they only made 53 of them.

  1. Callaway Super Speedster LM

The Callaway Company had much success in the ‘80s with their version of the Corvette C4. They gave it a heavily turbocharged engine to deliver ridiculous performance numbers. However, Reeves Callaway wanted to go racing, so in the early ’90s, they unveiled the Super Speedster LM.

It was the ultimate version of a race-prepared Corvette C4 with a turbocharged LT5 V8 engine with 766 HP on tap. However, this was much more than just a highly-tuned Corvette. Best of all, the Super Speedster LM had numerous body modifications, a totally revised suspension, race brakes and much more.

These are the fast and fantastic but forgotten supercars of the ’90s. Most are obscure and rare machines you probably will never see on the street. However, if you’re lucky, you may see one of these beauties in a museum or at a car show. Limited in their numbers, these cars have quickly been forgotten.

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