Home Cars Fast and Forgotten Supercars of the ’90s

Fast and Forgotten Supercars of the ’90s

Vukasin Herbez June 6, 2019

  1. Cizeta Moroder V16T

When they first offered it in 1988, the Cizeta-Moroder V16T had the potential to become the next big thing in the world of supercars. This car had it all including a celebrity endorsement, an Italian background, famous constructors, an exotic name and the top technology.

But the main feature of this obscure beast was a monstrous V16 engine they made out of two flat-plane crank V8 units mounted transversely behind the cabin. The V16 engine had six liters of displacement and delivered 560 HP, which was a fantastic number for the late ’80s. The performance was equally impressive.

The V16T could accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in just four seconds with a top speed of over 200 mph. Even today, those numbers would draw attention from the supercar crowd. The base list price was sky-high at close to $300,000. Sadly, they ceased production after only 20 examples, which is why they are a rare sight today.

  1. Gigliato Aerosa

When they presented it in 1997, the Aerosa was an interesting supercar from a joint venture between the Gigliato Design Company and Lamborghini. Lamborghini did the engineering work and fabrication of the prototype and Gigliato did the design and aesthetics, obviously.

They sourced the power from Ford in the form of the 4.6-liter Mustang V8 producing around 300 HP. Even though the proposed price wasn’t so high, and the car had respectable figures, the project never advanced beyond the prototype/one-off phase.

  1. Spectre R42

In the early ’90s, the British company, GT Developments decided to move from their Ford GT 40 replica business and enter the supercars game with the R42. The based the design of the R42 on a GT 40 space frame chassis using a modern Ford V8 engine. The design was elegant, and the interior featured more appointments than the regular GT 40 replica model.

They presented the car in 1993 but the market never showed much interest due to its obscure background. Another factor was that the supercar market in the early ‘90s was suffering from the recession.

  1. MCA Centenaire

The Automobile Club of Monaco is a powerful institution in the car world. So, to celebrate its 100th anniversary, the club decided to construct and build a supercar. They named it the Centenaire, introducing it in 1990.

They produced the Centenaire until 1992 during which time they only produced five units. The power came from a Lamborghini V12 engine. However, the later versions had the Mercedes 6.0-liter V12 tuned by AMG.

  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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