All posts in “Aston Martin”

Soundcheck: Aston Martin Valkyrie begins to scream

In July, Aston Martin published the first video of the Valkyrie on track at Britain’s Silverstone Circuit during the Formula One Grand Prix weekend there. Test driver Chris Goodwin didn’t push the 1,160-horsepower coupe to its limits, merely massaging the throttle for the camera a few times. The English carmaker headed back to Silverstone this month with a group of guests in tow, and this time the test driver put a little more muscle into the fly-bys. Since the track was wet, the soundtrack still can’t be considered the ultimate experience, but even so, the 6.5-liter Cosworth V12 sounds exceptionally good.

This new video injects a high-pitched wail that was missing in July, the kind of wicked, soaring keen that jellies one’s organs and notifies the mind of blinding terrors on approach. In fact, the Valkyrie now makes all the noises Formula 1 fans wished the F1 race cars could make. That’s no hyperbole, either. Compare the modern Cosworth to the 3.5-liter Honda V12 in the 1991 McLaren MP4/6, the resemblance is clear. Remove the street-legal equipment on the Aston Martin and let Goodwin uncork it, as we expect to happen in next year’s World Endurance Championship, and it’s clear the WEC might have the best sounding racers in all of motorsport.

Deliveries are scheduled to begin before the end of the year, so Aston Martin should be wrapping up its validation testing on Verification Prototype 1 if it hasn’t already. After that come competition entries into the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC). And after that, someone will need to convince at least one owner to drive the Valkyrie on the street so that we can all enjoy the noise.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition Revealed – 10 Cars Only

In its centenary year, British Airways is also celebrating the 50th anniversary of one of its most iconic airplanes, the Concorde! Aston Martin appears keen to celebrate the groundbreaking, supersonic airplane too, revealing the special edition Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde yesterday, 50 years after Concorde first took to the air.

For those few who haven’t heard of Concorde before. It flew between 1976 and 2003 as the first commercial supersonic passenger plane. It was operated exclusively by British Airways and Air France. It was developed and manufactured as a joint venture between Sud Aviation (later Aérospatiale) and the British Aircraft Corporation (BAC). It’s success was due to the fact that it cut travel times roughly in half, due to the fact that it could travel at supersonic speeds.

For its homage, Aston Martin’s Q by Aston Martin division has created 10 special edition versions of the DBS. It joins the Aston Martin Wings Series, following on from the Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition; Vantage Blades Edition; and the V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80. The commission comes via Aston Martin Bristol.

On the outside, the unique touches include bespoke side strakes milled from solid aluminium; a bespoke livery comprising British Airways colours on the roof strake, aero blade and rear diffuser; black tinted carbon fibre roof with Concorde silhouette graphic; the famous British Airways ‘Speedmarque’ logo in chrome on the front wings; a Q by Aston Martin wing badge with black enamel infill; authentic jet black painted Civil Aviation Authority aircraft identifier numbers and bespoke inspection plaques signed by Aston Martin Lagonda President and Group CEO Andy Palmer and British Airways Chairman Álex Cruz.

The interior gets predominantly blue design features. It includes the Concorde logo on the front seat facings; a Mach Meter graphic embroidered on the driver’s side sun visor; a unique headliner featuring printed Alcantara displaying a ‘sonic boom’ graphic; paddle shifters made from titanium from Concorde compressor blades; floor mats in Terence Conran design pattern; seatbelt buckle badges milled from solid aluminium and bespoke sill plaques.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition Interior

Aston Martin will handle the sale of the 50 unit production run. Parts of the proceeds from the sale of each individual car will be donated to the Air League Trust, a not-for-profit organisation that teaches under-privileged children how to fly, and offers support for them to work in engineering.

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Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Concorde Edition celebrates airspeed

This year is the 100th birthday of British Airways, as well as the 50th anniversary of the first flight for the Aérospatiale/BAC Concorde supersonic passenger jet. Today marks the 16th anniversary of the Concorde’s final hop, when Concorde 216 registered as G-BOAF flew from Heathrow to Bristol, England, with 100 BA employees on board, to roll into a display space at the Aerospace Bristol museum. That same plane was the last Concorde built, coming off the line in 1978 at BAC Filton Bristol. To celebrate the plane and BA and its aerospace neighbor, Aston Martin Bristol commissioned 10 special editions called the DBS Superleggera Concorde. Pieced together with the expertise of Q by Aston Martin, the coupe is the latest in Aston Martin’s aviation-inspired Wings Series specials, following the Vanquish S Red Arrows Edition, Vantage Blades Edition, and V12 Vantage S Spitfire 80.

Dressed in white, the coupe gets ornament in British Airways livery colors on the front splitter, roof strake, rear spoiler, rear diffuser, and inside the Aston Martin wings badge. A Concorde graphic decorates the black, carbon fiber roof, and a Concorde-shaped chunk of solid aluminum streaks through the side strakes. The British Airways “Speedmarque” logo is on the front fender above the black enamel Q by Aston Martin badge, the rear fenders wearing registration G-BOAF.   

Printed Alcantara on the Superleggera’s cockpit headliner displays a sonic boom graphic, the front visors get mach meter graphics, the front seats show off Concorde and Speedmarque logos. Pieces of titanium compressor blades from the supersonic bird have been turned into paddle shifters, and embossed solid aluminum seatbelt buckles shine the Concorde again. The floor mats adopt a design by Sir Terence Conran, he being one of three designers commissioned to upgrade the Concorde’s interior not long before the jet went out of service.

The 5.2-liter V12 engine holds steady at 710 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque, plenty of thrust for booming travel on the ground. Aston Martin Bristol says it will donate part of the proceeds from each sale to the Air League Trust, a nonprofit that teaches underprivileged children how to fly and helps open doors for them into engineering professions.

Special Report: The 2019 Aston Martin Vantage, better than a 911?

For decades the Porsche 911 has been the yardstick, the go to car for the affluent man or woman that fancies a great sports car that can thrill on the weekend and, if they so choose, trundle through commuter traffic without fuss or issue in the week. The formula has remained the same too – flat six at the back a couple of seats for the little ones just ahead of the engine a manual or auto transmission in the middle and a reasonably sized boot/frunk at the front. Buying a 911 is a no brainer, they hold value as a result of the ludicrous demand, they are almost all a joy to drive and they are as reliable as a Volkswagen Golf. Few challengers have come and gone, even fewer have the lineage or provenance of the 911 and few are as accomplished all rounders.

An Aston Martin would normally not cross a Porsche 911 buyers mind, the previous generation 2005-2018 Vantage was often considered a competitor. In reality there was a signifiant gulf between the two not only in abilities, but also the ownership experience. That all changed with the introduction of this, the latest generation Vantage. Why the sudden change? Well, the partnership with Mercedes-AMG brought a tried and tested, modern V8. The partnership extended to the infotainment system that was always a point of criticism in Astons of old. These updates significantly boosted the appeal of the Vantage, it started to catch buyers attention. Then the media drove the Vantage on road and track and the rave reviews did wonders for the credibility of the Vantage.

Here I am, in Q4 2019 having recently driven the Porsche 992 911 Carreras in S and 4S guises, both as coupes and cabriolets. I find myself somewhat well placed to draw comparisons with the Vantage that has just been delivered on my driveway. Styling is subjective, but it cannot be denied that the gaping Vulcan like front grill, dramatic taught lines and wide rear haunches provide a visual punch that knockout the subtle, stylish and suited Porsche. These cars are visually sending out different messages.

The same can be said for the interior, the 992 is clean, sharp, functional. The Aston is, again, a lot more dramatic with its button festooned square steering wheel. The dash is also littered with buttons and the gear selector is not a conventional stick, but the buttons that Aston have used for a number of years. The British contender lacks rear seats – for the few that shoehorn their children in the back seat or use them as extra storage space, this may be a dealbreaker. On the topic of space, there is no glovebox in the Aston.

Onto the engines. Once again, this is a story of contrasts. For cars that share a target audience, this is the biggest difference. Front mid engined V8 plays rear engined flat six. Both are turbocharged and both are available with auto and manual gearboxes. Start them up and another sensory contrast makes itself known – sound. This, for me, is a significant differentiator. The 992 sounds the same way as it looks, smooth and sophisticated. It turns heads but does not snap necks. The Aston does the latter, the V8 with the sports exhaust is rude on startup and in Sport+ or Track mode, it warbles like an old school V8, then splatters, bangs and howls as you push on. The whip cracks on up shifts and gun shots on downshifts are a far cry from the 911s image. The relation to the Mercedes-AMG’s noises is there, but the Aston is far more brutal, raucous and hard-edged. It is different enough.

The sounds accompanying the gearshifts may be entertaining, the shifts themselves from the ZF eight-speed cannot match the finesse and scarcely believable speed of the PDK box. The Aston’s steering is not hyper fast as many cars on sale today, but it does lack precious feel. Given that it is the first time Aston has adopted an EPAS system, it is fair to say that it will improve in the future as Porsche’s did.

The Aston wins on power, 503bhp vs a Carrera S with 450. 0-100 times are very similar, both will hit the measure in the mid threes according to their press releases. Porsche, as per, are conservative and in the real world would leave the Aston behind from a standing start.

As a daily driver the Vantage is fantastic. Around the congested London streets it is comfortable, the steering is light, the ride supple and the seats are comfortable. The brake pedal is a touch too sensitive but adjusted modulation over time alleviates this, a little more travel would be an improvement as would a glovebox. I suspect the reason for their being a lack of glovebox is the engine being situated so far behind the front axel, the dash itself is quite high. This means there is a sporty post box like view out of all the windows. Racy, not very good for general visibility. The blindspot from the wing mirror position also takes some getting used to.

The comparisons on tangible elements are all good and well. The majority of measures swing towards the 911, particularly when you consider the Carrera S is around £20,000 less than the Vantage. Then you turn to how the cars make you feel and this is where the Aston sets itself up fabulously. Could you imagine James Bond driving a 911? No. The feeling of rarity, bonafide specialness is part and parcel of owning an Aston Martin. If you drive through London you’ll need an abacus to keep count of the 911s that you’ll cross paths with in just an hour around Kensington and Mayfair. Vantages are far rarer, they command attention, something only the most hardcore 911s can do. This may sound trivial, but to me, and I suspect a genuine sports car owner, the way the car make you feel is taken into consideration. Mute the head and focus on the heart and there is a gulf separating the Porsche and the Aston, the Aston gives you this warm happy feeling that is a charm that few competitors possess.

It cannot be denied that the 911 is more accomplished in its abilities, in equal measure anyone considering a 911 would be foolish not to get behind the wheel of the Vantage, it is a fine machine and one that might just charm them off of their feet, perhaps for the drama and noise alone.

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Daniel Craig Customized a Special Aston Martin for the Neiman Marcus Christmas Catalog

Every year, Neiman Marcus releases a collection of items for their Christmas catalog that, if we’re being frank, is completely absurd, over the top and only for the incredibly rich. We’re not buying any of…

New Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato Revealed: $7.4 Million Price Tag

Aston Martin’s latest collaboration with Italian design house, Zagato, has been revealed. The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato is also the most expensive to date. Customers will have to stump up $7.4 million to own one! Of course, the DBS GT Zagato isn’t an ordinary supercar purchase.

The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato has been promised for some time. It is only available to customers of the Aston Martin DB4 GT Zagato Continuation; a two for one deal!

It makes its debut at Audrain’s Newport Concours in the United States. The DBS GT Zagato is the final part of Aston Martin’s DBZ Centenary Collection, built to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Italian coachbuilder.

The Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato gets a 5.2-litre twin-turbo V12 with 760 bhp. This means that the DBS GT Zagato gets 35 hp more than the standard Aston Martin DBS Superleggera. Performance figures have not been disclosed. Zagato models tend to be less about engineering and all about the design.

It uses the special Zagato colour, Supernova Red, with contrasting exposed carbon fibre accents and Satin Black and Gold 3D machined wheels. The design incorporates a gloss-finish carbon fibre roof and rear diffuser together with 18-carat gold wings badges front and rear, black anodised active front grille, gold anodised side strakes and centre-lock wheel nuts.

Inside, the Aston Martin DBS GT Zagato gets Caithness Spicy Red leather, Zagato ‘Z’ seat quilting and satin-twill exposed carbon fibre. A big part of the DBS GT Zagato is its configurable carbon and metal 3D-printed interior finishes. Elements of the interior design will be fully custom using 3D printed Carbon, Aluminium, or Gold PVD (physical vapour deposition).

‘Q by Aston Martin’ will take care of the customisation. No two cars will be the same. Just 19 will be produced.

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Aston Martin Valhalla In Action on the Racetrack For the First Time

Aston’s Vallhalla Takes On Silverstone

To celebrate Aston’s debut of the Valhalla in North America, the company decided to showcase a video of its new car tearing around Silverstone. The video was shown at The Quail. In the video, the Valhall and the Valkyrie both shoot around the track looking like they’re right where they belong. 

The video is less than a minute long and goes by way too quickly. We could sit around a watch these things on the racetrack all day long. Still, it’s nice to see the Valhalla and Valkyrie doing their thing. The Valhalla in the video is what the company calls a dynamic concept. That means they’re still tweaking the car as it gets closer to the end of development. 

The Valhalla and Valkyrie are similar cars in many ways, but the Valhalla is designed to be a bit more livable day-to-day whereas the Valkyrie is a hardcore track monster. This is evident just by looking at them. The Valhalla is smoother and softer. It’s door entry and egress is a little easier to handle, and the interior is a little more spacious and comfortable. 

While Aston hasn’t said exactly what the car’s performance will be, it has said the vehicle will get a turbocharged V6 engine that should put power out to all four wheels. The power number is supposed to be around 1,000 hp. This should make the car good for a 0-60 mph time of about 2.5 seconds. 

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Aston Martin Will Have a Manual Available for the New Vanquish

Aston Upholding Its Promise

Aston Martin’s CEO Andy Palmer has said in the past that he wants to be the last company out there to offer a manual transmission. That means the car company will have to be able to offer one on its upcoming new models. According to Car Sales, the manual is now a definite thing in for the new mid-engine Vanquish

This is an interesting and honestly smart move by the automaker. Sure the number of people who want a manual transmission might be pretty low, but Aston will be one of the few companies out there with a mid-engine supercar with a manual transmission. This makes the Vanquish even more of an alluring car in the eyes of many people. 

What manual transmission will be used, Palmer did not say. Motor Authority suggests it would be the 7-speed that was recently added to the Vantage. 

Palmer’s comments might make you think that all of Aston’s cars will have available manual transmissions, but that’s not the case. The upcoming Valhalla will not offer a manual. When asked if  it would Palmer said, “No, now that car will only come with a paddle-shift transmission.” That’s unfortunate but not surprising. A paddle-shift transmission makes sense for that car.

The Aston Martin Valkyrie Will Attempt Nürburgring Lap Record

Taking on The Green Hell

The Aston Martin Valkyrie is an amazing car. It features a 1,160 horsepower coming from a 6.5-liter V-12 hybrid powertrain that will make the car rocket anywhere. It also has some of the world’s most advanced aerodynamics. Altogether it is a performance monster. Now, Aston Martin wants to prove just how amazing the car is by trying to beat the Nürburgring lap record

In an interview, Aston’s boss Andy Palmer told the Australian publication Car Sales, that the car would make the attempt. While the attempt will happen, Aston doesn’t plan to rent out the whole racetrack to do it. Palmer said he would rather do the lap attempt during a public day or an industry testing day. That could make things a bit more difficult. 

The time to beat is the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ 6:44.97, according to Car Sales. That’s a tough time. The all-time, any vehicle best time was set by Porsche’s 919 Evo time-attack car, which managed a 5:19.55. The Valkyrie likely won’t beat that time, but it has a good chance chasing down and passing the Lamborghini Aventador SVJ’s time. 

In addition to taking on The Green Hell’s fastest lap time, the company plans to take the Valkyrie to other racetracks for top lap time attempts, including Silverstone and the Belgium Spa circuit. It will be interesting to see how the Valkyrie fares. 

Aston Martin Will Bring the First DB4 GT Zagato Continuation to Le Mans

A Fitting Debut for an Amazing Car

Aston Martin’s DB4 GT Zagato is a special car. Only 19 of the vehicles were produced. This makes it one of the most exclusive Aston Martins out there. However, Aston has a special Continuation project. It will build 19 additional DB4 GT Zagatos, and it recently completed the first in the Continuation series. According to the company, it will bring that first car to Le Mans for its official debut. 

The DB4 GT Zagato is a track only car. It’s an exact copy of the original car. The engine is a 4.7-liter straight six. That engine was also used in the DB4 GT Continuation. The car will be on display at Le Mans in the Aston Martin VIP hospitality facility at the Circuit de la Sarthe. 

The car took about 4,500 hours to complete. It’s finished in the original color from the 1960s, which is called Rosso Maja (a unique shade of red). The interior mostly black, with leather seats, black carpet, and a full FIA roll cage equipped as standard. When the cars are sold, they’ll be offered with the new Aston DBS GT Zagato as a package deal. That deal, however, comes at a pretty penny. It will cost £6 million ($7.6 million) before taxes.

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Aston Martin Is Preparing a Road-Legal Vulcan for Gumball 3000

There’s Only One Street Legal Vulcan

The only Aston Martin Vulcan that’s street legal is being prepped to compete in the Gumball 3000. Aston Martin just revealed the car with a wrap on it. The Vulcan was built to be a track-only hypercar, but Aston couldn’t let the car stop there. The company only built 24 examples of the car and one of those has been converted to a street model. 

The vehicle will run in the Gumball 3000. The wrap on the car is called Vulcan Bomber and was inspired by the Avro Vulcan bomber plane that served in the British Royal Air Force until the 1980s, according to Motor1

To make the Vulcan street legal, the company had to add headlights, windshield wipers, and adjust the front splitter among other small changes. Mechanically, the car had to have updates to its V12 engine to make it emissions compliant. The clutch is also different and the gear ratios revised. Aston also softened the suspension some to make it ride smoother. 

We’re thrilled to see this car in its special wrap and competing in the Gumball 3000. There’s a lot to love about the Vulcan, and we wish more street-legal versions of the car had been made. Unfortunately, this is the only one. Fortunately, Aston isn’t letting it sit and collect dust. 

Aston’s On Her Majesty’s Secret Service DBS Superleggera Honors the Movie

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary

Aston Martin has launched a special edition of its DBS Superleggera that honors the famous James Bond movie On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. It’s been 50 years since the movie came out. The car is aptly named On Her Majesty’s Secret Service DBS Superleggera. There should be no confusion. The car has numerous exterior and interior elements that are unique.

It comes in a beautiful Olive Green paint which echos the car used in the film. The model also gets diamond turned forged wheels, a carbon fiber splitter, carbon fiber aero blades, and a special blacked-out grille. The interior of the car is fitted with beautiful black leather with red contrast stitching. It also gets red accents on the dash, doors, center console, and seats. The car also gets a special Bang & Olufsen BeoSound system. The powertrain was not touched. 

Aston Martin’s CCO, Marek Reichman, said the Olive Green paint helps give the DBS Superleggera a subtlety that the car doesn’t have otherwise. He also expressed his excitement at Aston putting out this car. “Creating a James Bond special edition is always an exciting challenge as we work to create a car that embodies the legend of James Bond, and the original movie car.”

Aston will build only 50 of the cars. The price for this level of luxury, performance, and cinematic tie-in will not come cheap. The company set the price at $381,556.

The Greatest Supercars of the 1990s

The Golden Era – Homologation, The Big Mac and the Rise of the Everyday Supercar. Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Supercars from the 1990s

This is our first in a series of posts about the awesome cars of the 1990s. In this post we curate the best supercars from the 1990s, an era stacked with exotic masterpieces. Some of the defining features of the 1990s supercar era includes the amazing McLaren F1 and the revelation that was the Honda NSX as well as the spirit of competition amongst top manufacturers in prototype racing that created some awesome limited run homologation specials for the road.

The high performance supercar market went from niche to mainstream in the 1980s. Supercars like the Lamborghini Countach, Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 had collectively wowed car fans the world over in the late 1980s and with Wall Street humming and the global economy in good shape, the appetite for exotic cars only grew going into the early 1990s. As the 1990s started, many pundits wondered however whether we had already reached peak car. After the extraordinary supercars of the eighties, many supercar manufacturers entering the nineties asked “how on earth do we follow that?”

It is impossible to talk about the 1990s supercar era and not mention the impact of the mighty McLaren F1. McLaren came along in the mid-90s with the ultimate supercar, the McLaren F1. The F1 did not just beat the other supercars at the time, it blew them away so convincingly that it wasn’t until the Bugatti Veyron came along more than a decade later that its acceleration and top speed records were beaten. It was Gordon Murray, the former F1 engineer and his obsession with weight savings and attention to detail that redefined what a supercar could be. It was like no other supercar before it (or like any other since), a car that redefined what it meant to be a supercar.

At the other end of the spectrum was the Honda NSX. It came along in the 1990s and shook up Lamborghini, Ferrari and Porsche. Here was a major manufacturer known for small compact Honda Civic cars who created a supercar that was easy to drive, was fast and agile and didn’t break down. Anybody could drive it. It forced all the sports car makers to get better and ushered us all into the world of the everyday supercar. Speaking of everyday Supercar, the 1990s saw the 911 Turbo genuinely scare the top players with more than 400 horsepower, all wheel drive and astonishing performance in a daily driver.

On our list of the best 20 cars, no less than six cars raced. In fact, five of the cars on our top supercars of the ‘90s list were expressly built to race and are known as homologation specials. Carmakers had fully embraced the “win on Sunday, sell on Monday” mantra in the early 1990s and channeled vast amounts of money into trying to find racing glory. Racing homologation rules (stipulating that road-going versions of cars had to be manufactured for homologation) inspired automakers to produce these machines. The FIA GT1 class therefore produced some of the best race cars of the mid-1990s and (thanks to those loosely interpreted homologation requirements), some of the wildest street cars too. These included the Porsche GT1, Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR and the insane Dauer 962 LM.

In terms of awesome supercars, the 1990s were the golden age. Fun times indeed. Please read on for our take on the greatest 1990s supercars.

Criteria note: We focused on the first year of manufacture as our criteria for a car making it into the decade. If the car had first been manufactured in the 1980s and was carried over into the 1990s largely unchanged then it belongs in the 1990s (aka Ferrari F40). If it was initially built in the 1980s but was substantially updated or had a sub-model in the 1990s then it could make the 1990s list (aka Ferrari F512 M). 

Author note: This initial article was written by JACK MATTHEWS in May 2017 and was updated by Nick Dellis (with help from car nut Kenny Herman) in May 6th 2019.

20 Best Supercars from the 1990s

Read on for our ranked list of the greatest supercars of the nineties. We discussed whether to rank the cars versus just have an unranked list and realized it was way more fun to have people argue about rankings than not.

Lotus Esprit Sport 350

Lotus Esprit Sport 350

20. Lotus Esprit Sport 350

The best Lotus of the 1990s. Rare, fun, a little underpowered though.

Power: 349 bhp @ 6500 rpm / Torque: 295.0 ft lbs @ 4250 rpm / Engine: 3.5 liter twin-turbo V8 / Produced: 1999 / Base Price: £64 950 / Units made: 50 / Top Speed: 175 mph (281.6 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.7 seconds

Having raced the Esprit in GT2 and GT3 classes, Lotus began to develop a new version of the car to race in GT1 class racing. Development of the car was entrusted to the newly formed Lotus GT1 Engineering group, which included many staff from the recently dissolved Team Lotus. For us however the more impressive Lotus of the 1990s was the 1999 Lotus Esprit Sport 350.

It was the ultimate incarnation of the Esprit. Only 50 were made. Taking the V8 GT further, the Sport 350 was one of the most exclusive Esprits made. It featured the standard-spec V8 with blue-painted intake manifolds. What set the 350 Sport apart from the VT GT was a number brake, suspension and chassis improvements. Lowering the kerb weight was a primary design focus for Sport 350. Apart from the weight reduction, the other major change to Sport 350 was its braking system. While exclusivity was offered with the Sport 350, it is a shame Lotus never tuned the engine beyond its standard specification. This is strange given the fact that every other aspect of the car was up-rated for track use. It was one of the closest cars to emulate the track experience on the road.

Read more: Lotus Esprit Sport 350.

Porsche 911 Turbo S (993)

Porsche 911 Turbo S (993)

19. Porsche 911 Turbo S (993)

All wheel drive. Twin turbo flat six engine. Over 400hp. Ludicrous performance. Porsche delivers a daily driver that destroys supercars. The ultimate air cooled 911.   

Power: 424bhp @ 6250 rpm / Torque: 423 lb-ft @ 4500 rpm / Engine: 3.6 L twin-turbo Flat-6 / Produced: 1997 / Base Price: N/A / Units sold: 183 cars produced / Top Speed: 183 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.4 seconds

Considered by many Porsche enthusiasts as the “ultimate 911”, the type 993 represented a unique blend of power and simple elegance. The car had a more streamlined look and was “lower slung” than earlier versions of the 911. The styling was perfect and it is still the best looking 911 series. This was the last of the “air-cooled” Porsche 911s (insert sad face here).

The turbo-version of the Type 993 Porsche 911 was also introduced in 1995 and featured a bi-turbo engine that was at the top of the performance pack for the time. For Turbo 993s the 3.6 liter got twin KKK K16 turbos and made 402 hp although you could customize your order (on Turbo S and GT2 models) to up that to 444 hp. The 993 Turbo was the first 911 Turbo with all wheel drive, essentially lifted from the 959 flagship model.

During the second to the last year of production of the 993 (1997), Porsche offered the 993 Turbo S. The X50 power pack had larger turbos, intake and exhaust upgrades, and a new computer. Power upgrade got it to 424 hp and included extras like carbon fiber decoration in the interior as well as very cool yellow brake calipers, a slightly larger rear wing, a quad-pipe exhaust system and air scoops behind the doors. This was the last of the air-cooled 911 Turbos and our favorite.

Read more: Porsche 911 Turbo S (993).

Nissan R390 GT

Nissan R390 GT

18. Nissan R390 GT

The fastest and most expensive Nissan road car ever developed. 0-60 mph in 3.2 seconds and 0-100 mph in 6.5 seconds. Road car was capable of 220 mph.

Power: 549.9 bhp @ 6800 rpm / Torque: 470.0 ft lbs @ 4400 rpm / Engine: 3.5-litre twin-turbo V8 / Produced: 1998 / Base Price: ~US$1,000,000 / Units sold: 1 (road car) / Top Speed: 220 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.9 seconds

The ultra-rare Nissan 390R was basically a detuned Le Mans racer offered for sale to the public at a hefty $1,000,000. Only two were made. It was the fastest and most expensive Nissan road car ever developed was created to comply with the Le Mans GT1 Class regulations which required manufacturers to build at least one street-legal version of the race car.

Unlike many others, Nissan built the road car first and built the racing version from it. The R390 GT1 design was the work of Ian Callum at Tom Walkinshaw Racing. Behind the driver sits the heart of this true supercar, the VRH35L twin-turbocharged 3.5-litre double-overhead-camshaft V8 engine with electronic sequential port fuel injection which produces 549.9 bhp @ 6800 rpm while complying with all European market exhaust gas regulations. R390 GT1 performance as one would expect is staggering and includes a sub 4.0 second zero to 60 mph time and top speed north of 220 mph.

Inside are normal road car appliances such as full instrumentation and leather-covered driver and passenger racing seats. The short-throw gear lever for the Xtrac six-speed sequential gearbox and tiny racing steering wheel are reminders of the close alliance between the road car and the vehicle which captured four out of the top-ten spots in the 1998 Le Mans 24-hour race.

Read more: Nissan R390 GT

Aston Martin V8 Vantage 1990s

Aston Martin V8 Vantage 1990s

17. Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Big, bruising and totally nuts. This twin-supercharged V8 Aston was the most powerful car in the world for a while. Handling sucked, quality was iffy, but it was still very cool.

Power: 550.0 bhp @ 6500 rpm / Torque: 550.0 ft lbs @ 4000 rpm / Engine: Twin Supercharged V8 / Produced: 1993 – 2000 / Top Speed: 186 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.5 seconds / Base Price: NA / Units sold: 281 cars made

Bullish, aggressive and in many ways a tad ham-fisted when compared to today’s lithe, delicate yet calmly aggressive Astons, the Vantage battered its way to 186mph with the help of its 5.3-litre supercharged V8 mounted ahead of the driver and sending power to the rear.

The Vantage was one of the cars that emerged during the era of Aston Martin’s ownership by Ford Motor Company, and featured harsher edges to its styling than had been seen on many Aston Martins previously. This styling was taken a step further in 1999, with the release of the Aston Martin Vantage Le Mans. The special edition’s looks came somewhere between that of a bull and a shark, which fit the 600bhp machine’s personality quite well.

Read more: Aston Martin V8 Vantage

Ferrari F512 M

Ferrari F512 M

16. Ferrari F512 M

Last production mid-engine flat-12 model and the final iteration of the famed Testarossa. Updated chassis and engine massively improved performance and driving experience.

Power: 440 bhp @ 6750 rpm / Torque: 368.8 lb/ft @ 5500 rpm / Engine: 4.9 L Tipo F113 G Flat-12 / Produced: 1995–1996 / Base Price: N/A / Units sold: 501 produced / Top Speed: 196 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.6 seconds

We chose the F512 M over the 512 TR as our favorite Ferrari Testarossa. The result of constant evolution, the 512M shared almost all of its engineering from the 512 TR that came before it. The F512 M was the last version of the Testarossa.

The F512 M sports had the same 4.9-litre Tipo F113 G longitudinally mid mounted flat-12 engine with 440.0 hp at 6,750 rpm. Most of the changes were limited to slight body upgrades that many consider ruin the lines of the original design. In our eyes it looks better so it got the nod over the 512 TR. The front and rear lamps received a design change. The pop-up headlamps were replaced by two fixed square units. The rear tail lamps were round and the bumpers had been restyled to yield a more unified look as well as the addition of cool twin NACA ducts.

Read more: Ferrari F512 M in detail

Porsche 911 GT3 (996.1)

Porsche 911 GT3 (996.1)

15. Porsche 911 GT3 (996.1)

This is where the GT3 legend begins. Porsche wanted to go racing in the GT3 endurance category and developed this 3.6 liter Mezger engined masterpiece. Thank you Porsche.

Power: 360 @ 7200 rpm / Torque: 273 lb/ft @ 5000 rpm / Engine: 3.6L Water Cooled Flat-6 / Produced: 1999–2001 / Base Price: $90,000 / Units sold: ~1,868 cars produced / Top Speed: 187.7 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.5 seconds

The GT3 we love today all started in 1999 with the 996 model GT3 and it all started because Porsche wanted to enter the GT3 class of the FIA. Porsche began investing in developing both the race car and the road-going version which was required by GT class homologation rules and the GT3 was the result. The GT3 became the 996’s range-topping model until a new GT2 was launched.

Based on the 996 Carrera, the 996 GT3 was a really a track focused sports car that was lighter, sharper and more potent than its everyday sports model siblings. To help in the performance stakes, the GT3 the water-cooled flat six was loosely based on the GT1 and got a dry-sump crankcase with an external oil tank making it more powerful and higher revving. Gone were the rear seats, sunroof, air conditioning, radio and a boatload of sound deadening.

Major design changes included a more aggressive front end with larger headlamps shared with the Boxster, a sleeker body, and a more raked windshield. Design and aerodynamic features exclusive to the GT3 included slimmer air vents for the front bumper, a front splitter, new side skirts, a revised rear bumper, new wheels, and massive rear wing.

The GT3 quickly became the choice for drivers because of its remarkably sharp throttle response, better steering, steady balance, and amazing engine. While a Turbo had it beat for outright speed, this was the ultimate drivers Porsche. Its lighter body and race tuned suspension tuning also made it a perfect machine for attacking weekend drivers who wanted a track car.

If you are in the U.S you may at this point wonder why you can’t find any GT3s from the era for sale. Porsche did not bring the GT3 to the United States until 2004 (see the 996.2 model just below).

Read more: 2000 Porsche 911 GT3

Pagani Zonda C12-S

Pagani Zonda C12-S

14. Pagani Zonda C12-S

Brought back the magic to the supercar world

Power: 550 bhp @ 5500 rpm / Torque: 553.2 lb/ft @ 4100 rpm / Engine: Mercedes AMG V1 (7010 cc) / Produced: 1999-2002 / Top Speed: 210.1 mph (338.0 km/h) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.8 seconds / Base Price: NA / Units sold: US$325,000

My favorite car debuted in 1999. Most people think the Zonda was a car from the early 2000s. While it was the 2002 Zonda with the upgraded 7.3-liter V12 that people remember, Pagani had already been successfully marketing the Zonda for three years up till that point. It was originally launched as the C12-S in 1999.

Read more: Pagani Zonda posts / Pagani Zonda C12-S

Dodge Viper RT:10 ‘Phase II SR’

Dodge Viper RT:10 ‘Phase II SR’

13. Dodge Viper RT/10 ‘Phase II SR’

8 liters of truly brutal American muscle

Power: 415.0 bhp @ 5200 rpm / Torque: 488.0 ft lbs @ 3600 rpm / Engine: Naturally aspirated 8 liter V10 / Produced: 1996-2002 / Base Price: US$58,500 / Units sold: NA / Top Speed: 170.0 mph (273.6 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.7 seconds

Some might not consider the original Dodge Viper a supercar, but at the time of its release it was a revelation with its aggressive looks and insane 8-liter V10 engine. The 1996 RT/10 could be referred to as a second generation Viper and it featured a host of upgrades over earlier Vipers produced from 1992 to 1995. It was a much better car. Outwardly the main difference to the 1996 Viper was the absence of side exhausts which were replaced with two standard exhausts exiting the rear. The three spoke wheels were also gone and replaced with 5-spoke counterparts. Inside, the cabin remained largely unchanged, but a removable roof was standard as was sliding plastic panels for the windows. Underneath, the chassis was stiffened, suspension geometry revised and a more robust rear differential was installed.

Our pick of the 1990s Viper’s was the GTS which was launched in 1996. It was a more powerful version of the RT/10 with 450 hp and a new double bubble coupe body. Beyond more power though, the GTS had over 90% new parts compared to the RT/10. In 1997 and 1998 model years the Viper would continue to receive minor updates and the GTS would get second-generation airbags, revised exhaust manifolds, and a revised camshaft for 1997, and the RT/10 would gain a power increase up to 450 hp (336 kW; 456 PS) for 1998.

Read more: Dodge Viper RT/10 ‘Phase II SR’

Toyota GT-One

Toyota GT-One

12. Toyota GT-One

A pure-bred Le Mans car, created specifically to contest the world’s most famous 24-hour race with no compromise in terms of design or engineering. Road version equally nuts.

Power: 600 bhp @ 6,000 rpm / Torque: 479 lb/ft / Engine: 3.6 liter 90-degree V8 twin-turbo / Produced: 1998 / Base Price: US$1,400,000 / Units sold: 2 / Top Speed: 236 mph (380 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.2 seconds

The Toyota TS020, better-known in Europe as the Toyota GT-One, is a pure-bred Le Mans car, created specifically to contest the world’s most famous 24-hour race with no compromise in terms of design or engineering. The engine had its heritage in the twin-turbo V8 which powered Toyota’s Group C cars in the late 1980s.

In accordance with the FIA rules of the day, the GT-One had also to be developed as a legal road car. In fact the differences between the race and road versions were small: in road-going mode, the rear wing was set lower and the suspension ride height was raised. A smaller fuel tank was fitted and the addition of catalytic converters ensured the vehicle complied with emissions regulations. Toyota says the engineers at Toyota Motorsport GmbH created just two ‘production’ TS020 GT-Ones – one is on display in its museum, the other in Japan.

Read more: 1998 Toyota GT-One

Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

11. Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

Porsche wants race. Takes 993-based 911 and grafts it to the rear-end of a 962. Adds twin-turbo 3.2-liter water-cooled flat-six engine capable of developing 600 hp. Done.

Power: 544 bhp @ 7,000 rpm / Torque: 443 ft lbs @ 4,250 rpm / Engine: 3.2-liter twin-turbo flat-six / Produced: 1996-1998 / Base Price: ~US$900,000 / Units sold: 23 / Top Speed: 193 mph (310 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.4 seconds

Porsche management wanted to compete in factory-based GT racing programs. It developed a brand new car. Basically it was 993-based 911 and essentially grafted it to the rear-end of a 962. dropped a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter water-cooled flat-six engine capable of developing 600 hp. A futuristic 911-inspired carbon fiber shell finished the exterior packaging.

In order for Porsche to enter the highly competitive GT1 category back in 1996, a total of 23 road going-machines had to be built. To be specific there were two 1996 cars, 20 1997 cars and only one variant was built in 1998. The Strassenversion (road going) uses a 3.2-litre twin-turbo flat-six engine which puts out 536bhp and 443lb ft of torque. Now these might not seem like big numbers compared to modern supercars like the Porsche 918, but considering the GT1 only weighed 1120kg, the GT1 could get to 62mph in around 3.4 seconds. Unfortunately the GT1 was routinely beaten on track by Mercedes’ ferocious CLK-GTR. As a result, Porsche – along with a number of other manufacturers – pulled out of the GT1 class for 1999, effectively killing the championship class.

Read more: Porsche 911 GT1 Strassenversion

Ruf CTR-2 Sport

Ruf CTR-2 Sport

10. RUF CTR-2 & Ruf CTR-2 Sport

Might be based on a Porsche 911, but the Ruf CTR2 is far from a typical German sports car. Almost 520 hp from a Le Mans-derived twin-turbo engine. Straight line monster.

Power: 520 bhp @ 5800 rpm / Torque: 505.2 ft lbs @ 4800 rpm / Engine: 3.6 liter air-cooled twin-turbo flat-6 / Produced: 1995-1997 / Base Price: US$315,000 / Units sold: 16 standard CTR2, 12 CTR2 “Sport” / Top Speed: 220 mph (354 km/h) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.5 seconds

Based on the 993-chassis 911 Turbo the CTR2 featured either the standard rear-wheel drive or an optional all-wheel-drive. It had a totally upgraded and custom suspension system, uprated brakes and integrated roll-cage as well as a very custom and cool wing. The body was made out of kevlar to save weight. The heart of the CTR2 was the race derived air-cooled Porsche 3.6 litre. It had twin-turbos and was based on the engine used in the Porsche 962 Le Mans Group C car. The team at RUF tuned it to produce 520 hp 505 ft lbs of torque.

In addition to the “regular” CTR2 was the CTR2 Sport. Built up from a Porsche 911 Turbo body-in-white, RUF manufactured the CTR-2 Sport for ultimate outright performance. The specially built engine was tuned to produce almost 600 hp depending on boost. Options included a roll-cage, a clutchless RUF EKS transmission, adjustable torque bias, adjustable boost control. This is the ultimate in straight line insanity, able to accelerate to sixty in 3.5 seconds (in 1995) and onto a top speed north of 220 mph. Crazy.

Read more: 1997 Ruf CTR-2, 1997 Ruf CTR-2 Sport

Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR

Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR

9. Mercedes-Benz CLK-GTR

Homologation special madness by the crazy Germans at Mercedes-Benz. Only car here that can easily do a backflip for those fun “what-the-f**k” moments.

Power: 612.0 bhp @ 6800 rpm / Torque: 571.6 ft lbs @ 5250 rpm / Engine: 6.9 liter Mercedes-Benz M120 V12 / Produced: 1998–1999 / Top Speed: 191 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.4 seconds / Base Price: US$1,547,000 / Units sold: 20 coupes, 6 roadsters

The CLK GTR was born out of Mercedes-Benz desire to duke it out against Ferrari and Porsche in the FIA GT Championship. Essentially taking elements of a CLK racer and some road car trimmings and mashing them together, they produced the prototype in time for the 1997 season.

Although the 1999 GT1 class was cancelled, Mercedes-Benz had already promised 25 road-going homologation versions to customers and was obliged to produce these. Customer cars featured a 6.9-litre V12 which produced 604bhp, bestowing the GTR with ballistic performance – 0-60mph took 3.8 seconds, on the way to a top speed of 214mph.

This came at a steep price; despite comforts being kept to a minimum in an effort to save both weight and cost, the production CLK GTR was listed at the time as the most expensive production car ever built in the Guinness Book of World Records, costing $1,547,620.

In 1999, Mercedes-Benz were due to race a CLR – a track-focused version of the CLK GTR – at Le Mans, until in qualifying on the back straight of the Circuit du Sarthe Mark Webber’s car took off, flipping several times as it tumbled into the bushes. In the race itself, a second similar incident took place while Peter Dumbreck was at the wheel, leading Mercedes to withdraw from the event and move away from sports car racing.

Read more: 1998 Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR Straßenversion

Jaguar XJ220 - Best 90s SupercarsJaguar XJ220 - Best 90s Supercars

8. Jaguar XJ220

Jaguar’s first production supercar, the XJ220 was a bold step. Crappy sounding engine and huge turbo lag. Held top speed record till McLaren F1 came along.

Power: 542.0 bhp @ 7000 rpm / Torque: 475.0 ft lbs @ 4500 rpm / Engine: TWR 6R4 V6 (twin turbo) / Produced: 1992 – 1994 / Top Speed: 217 mph (349.2 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.9 sec / Base Price: US$700,000 / Units sold: 281 cars made

The XJ220 started life as a mid-engine, four-wheel-drive concept car developed by Jaguar employees in their spare time. That initial concept was planned around a V12 powerplant. By the time the first customer cars were delivered in 1992, a twin-turbo 3.5-litre V6 sat mid ship, delivering 542bhp. The basic shape and aims of the car remained the same however.

With a top speed of 212mph, the XJ220 was the fastest production car from its launch through to 1993, when it was topped by another British-built speed machine. This peaked initial interest in the car, but between the 1990s financial recession and the car’s retail price of £470,000, few took up the offer of ownership and only 281 cars were produced throughout its run.

It was handy on the track too; it went straight to the top of the Nurburgring time sheets in 1991, recording a lap of 7:46:36; Hardly surprising, considering it was built with help from Tom Walkinshaw racing.

Read more: Jaguar XJ220

7. Lamborghini Diablo GT

Lighter, faster and better handling than all other Diablos. Race car modifications finally made the outrageous Diablo a serious road racing supercar.

Power: 575.0 bhp @ 7300 rpm / Torque: 465.0 ft lbs @ 5500 rpm / Engine: 6.0 liter 60 Degree V12 / Produced: 1999-2000 (Diablo GT) / Top Speed: 215 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.6 seconds / Base Price: US$309,000 / Units sold: 83 cars made

Lamborghini were never ones for making their own job any easier. This is the manufacturer that built the Miura then gave itself the task of following it; they managed that – in terms of impact if not necessarily driving experience – with the incredible Countach. Entering the nineties, they had to do it again.

Enter Diablo, the name literally translating as Devil (check). At launch it was fitted with a 5.7-litre V12 producing 485bhp, enough to launch its sleek and flash, yet still muscular body from 0-60 in 4.5 seconds and on to a top speed of 196bhp.

The Diablo, despite its nefarious name, was somewhat tamer than the car that came before it. It featured carbon fibre in the cockpit, but this was surrounded with luxurious leather trim.

That’s not to say it wasn’t without its evil side, most potent in later iterations the 510bhp SV and the rear-wheel-drive SE30 Jota – featuring that 5.7-litre V12 bumped up to 595bhp and various racing-focused changes that revealed the Diablo’s darker side. Only 15 Jotas were delivered from the factory, though 28 kits were produced, making this one of the rarest Lambos of the era.

Our pick of the litter is the Diablo GT. Lamborghini introduced the Diablo GT in 1998 based on the formula of the SE30 and the SE30 Jota. It combined the modifications of the GT2 race car with the outrageousness of the Diablo to offer serious road racing performance. So much so, it remains as the fastest road-going Diablo ever made by the factory. At the time of delivery in September 1999, the Diablo GT was also one of the fastest supercars as well, reaching a top speed of 215 mph (346 kph). It was easily the best Diablo made.

For the detailed oriented, about is a picture of the GTR. It took the GT and made it even crazier. Interior was stripped bare, it got a full roll cage and things like the stereo, soundproofing, and air conditioning were all removed. Add some Plexiglass windows, a fire suppression system, and single seat with a six-point harness. Hardcore. 

Read more: Lamborghini Diablo GT

Ferrari F50 Best 90s Supercars

Ferrari F50 Best 90s Supercars

6. Ferrari F50

Ferrari’s most undeservedly underrated supercar. Superb.

Power: 513.1 bhp @ 8500 rpm / Torque: 347 lb/ft @ 6500 rpm / Engine: 4.7 L DOHC 65 degree Tipo F130B V12 / Produced: 1995 – 1997 / Top Speed: 202 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.7 seconds / Base Price: $480,000 / Units sold: 349

So far in this countdown, we’ve had a lot of homologation-special racing cars repurposed for the road to meet the entry requirements for their respective championships. The F50 was different in that it featured components of an actual racing car, toned down only slightly for the road.

The Ferrari F50 began life with a tough act to follow. Its predecessor, the F40, had blown the motoring world away through the eighties and well into the nineties. Ferrari had to pull something very special out of their hats to follow Enzo’s final sign off for the company.

Their starting point was one of their old racing engines; the 3.5-litre V12 from the company’s 1990 F1 car. This was bored out to 4.7-litres before being mounted mid-ship in a carbon fibre monocoque chassis.

The resulting machine produced 513bhp, sent to the rear wheels in a car that weighed just 1320kg. The result? 0-60 in 3.8 seconds, a claimed top speed of 202mph and a deafening driving experience that shook owners to their cores. For those seeking an even more visceral experience, the roof could be removed.

Sadly the F50 could never live up to its legendary predecessor. In tests, its top speed came up far short of the F40’s 201mph, and the more bloated F50 was never as pure an experience as the car that went before it. Still, we feel it deserves a place on the list of the greatest supercars of the nineties.

Read more: Ferrari F50

Dauer 962 Le Mans

Dauer 962 Le Mans

5. Dauer 962 Le Mans

Dauer showed up to Le Mans with road and race versions and promptly won. FIA changed the rules to make sure the 962 wouldn’t be back in 1995. Now that is badass.

Power: 730.0 bhp @ 8250 rpm / Torque: 517.0 lb/ft @ 5000 rpm / Engine: 3 liter water-cooled twin turbo flat-six / Produced: 1994 / Base Price: $1,200,000 / Units sold: 13 / Top Speed: 253 mph (405 kph) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 2.7 seconds

One of the weirder footnotes in Le Mans history is the Dauer 962, which won the race in 1994 thanks to some creative rulebook interpretation.

From 1983 forward, the Porsche 956 and its 962 IMSA spec version dominated for a decade. Porsche manufactured nearly 150 956/962s and sold many of the cars to private teams. Dauer took a handful of these Porsche 962s and modified them for street use. It is one of the most extraordinary cars to be sold for the streets, but that’s what allowed Porsche to enter the 962 in the GT category at Le Mans in 1994.

Of the companies that have produced a 962 road car, the most successful has been Dauer. After displaying their first 962 at the 1993 Frankfurt Show, Dauer partnered with Porsche to manufacture a contender for the 1994 24 Hours of LeMans. At the 24 hour race, Dauer showed up with both a road version and race version of the Porsches 962, a design which had already won Le Mans six times. After winning the race, the FIA declared it would be creating rules to make sure the 962 wouldn’t be back in 1995. However, with a Le Mans win under their belt, and with support from Porsche, Dauer continued to build their road-going 962.

Read more: Dauer 962 Le Mans.

Porsche 911 GT2

Porsche 911 GT2

4. Porsche 911 GT2

Wide arches, rear wheel drive, Turbo engine. GT2 craziness begins here.

Power: 444 bhp @ 6000 rpm / Torque: 431.5 lb/ft @ 4500 rpm / Engine: 3.6 L twin-turbo Flat-6 / Produced: 1995–1996 / Base Price: NA / Units sold: 57 cars produced / Top Speed: 187 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.7 seconds

I dread to think what the nineties supercar scene would have been like had it not been for homologation requirements. The track-focused, road-going 911 GT2 was introduced in 1993, initially to meet the requirements for GT2 regulations.

The formula of ultra-light, high-power and track credentials seemed to strike a chord with Porsche’s customer base, as the German marque kept the twin-turbo track rocket on its order sheets all the way through to 2012.

424bhp came courtesy of the rear-mounted 3.6-litre power plant, fed air through neatly-positioned intakes at either end of the GT2’s colossal rear wing. Other contemporary road-going 911s of the day also had four-wheel-drive, though this was scrapped in the GT2 in favour of racier rear-wheel-drive.

This made the 993-generation GT2 quite the handful on track or on the road, and a certain level of driving prowess is required to keep one pointing in the right direction over a “spirited” series of bends. You know is good when it gets a top 20 finish in our best Porsche’s ever list.

Read more: 1998 Porsche 911 GT2

Bugatti EB110

Bugatti EB110

3. Bugatti EB110

With a quad turbo, 3.5-litre V-12 the Bugatti EB110 GT seemingly defined the term “supercar”. It was one of the most technologically advanced cars of the 1990s.

Power:  650.0 hp @ 8000 rpm / Torque: 477 lb/ft @ 4200 rpm / Engine: 60 Degree quad-turbo V12 / Produced: 1992 – 1995 / Top Speed: 217 mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.35 seconds / Base Price: US$380,000 / Units sold: 31 cars made

Initially revealed on the company’s founder, Ettore Bugatti’s 110th birthday in 1991, the EB110 came to be the last Italian-produced Bugatti before VAG took over the troubled automaker.

These days the Bugatti name stands purely for all-out speed and refinement, and though the EB110 was never a record breaker at the top end of the speed stakes, topping out at 216mph in the era of the McLaren F1, it was capable of reaching 62mph in just 3.2 seconds in 1992 Supersport trim – one of the fastest cars of its era over that dash.

That rapid acceleration was mostly thanks to the Bugatti’s 3.5-litre, quad-turbo V12, which transferred 604bhp to the road through all four wheels.

There’s something really appealing about all of the little design details on the EB110 which could be easily overlooked; from the cluster of circular air intakes just behind the doors, to the elegantly simple interior, all the way down to the gearshift layout positioned on the transmission tunnel, keeping the gear knob uncluttered.

Read more: Bugatti EB110

Honda / Acura NSX

Honda / Acura NSX

2. Honda / Acura NSX

The car that shook the supercar world. A supercar that could be driven every day, didn’t break down and anybody could drive. Thank this car for today’s supercars being usable.

Our Pick: 1998 ACURA NSX-T / Power: 290 bhp @ 7100 rpm / Torque: 224 lb/ft @ 5500 rpm / Engine: 3.2L VTEC 6 Cylinder 290 hp / Produced: 1990-2005 / Top Speed: 162.2-mph / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 4.8 seconds / Base Price: $88,725

1991 saw the launch of a supercar that caused a shock across the whole automotive scene. With the NSX project, Honda set out to build a true supercar that had none of the ergonomic issues or reliability problems that plagued exotica at the time.

Sold under the Acura brand in the States, and the Honda brand across the rest of the world, the NSX featured a 3.0-litre V6 with Honda’s trademark VTEC technology supplying the power, mounted mid-ship with extra consideration to the positioning of the seats and fuel tank for optimal weight distribution.

Honda’s pedantic construction of the car paid off; famous fans of the NSX included none other than Ayrton Senna himself, and the handling was enough to take the fight to the supercar elite of the day and cement the NSX’s place in supercar history – even becoming the reference point for a certain McLaren still to come on our nineties list.

Our pick of the range is the 1997 NSX-T. Acura increased the DOHC 24-valve VTEC V-6’s displacement from 3.0 liters to 3.2 and replaced the five-speed manual with a six-speed box for 1997. That meant 290 horsepower and 224 pound-feet of torque from the normally aspirated, 8000-rpm-redline engine. The immediacy of the NSX’s reflexes is matched with elegance and phenomenal precision and the engine’s flyweight reciprocating assembly loves to rev.

Read more: Honda/Acura NSX

McLaren F1

McLaren F1

1. McLaren F1

The best ever. Period. The end. Obsessive focus leads to the creation of the greatest supercar of all time.

Our Pick: McLaren F1 LM / Power: 671 bhp @ 7800 rpm (F1 LM) / Torque: 520 lb/ft @ 4500 rpm (F1 LM) / Engine: 6.1 L (6,064 cc) BMW S70/2 V12 / Produced: 1993–1998 / Top Speed: 240.1 mph (386.4 km/h) / Acceleration (0-60 mph): 3.2 seconds / Base Price: ~US$650,000 / Units sold: 106 cars

If cars like the Ferrari F40 and Porsche 959 began the chase for something beyond the supercar, then McLaren birthed it with the F1. Gordon Murray’s masterpiece was for a long time the fastest production car ever made. Its top speed of 240 mph puts much of even today’s supercar crowd to shame, and ergonomic features like the driver-centered, three-seat cockpit have rarely been seen since.

The technical challenge of getting a road car to such incredible speeds was one unlike any other manufacturer had undertaken. McLaren, after initially seeking out Honda power given the two company’s success together in Formula One racing, eventually settled on a 6.1-litre BMW V12. This was mounted in the middle of the car, and put 618bhp through the rear wheels.

The F1 was also the first production car to use a carbon fibre monocoque chassis, and gold famously lined the engine bay to aid with heat dispersal. This effort paid off, granting the F1 a staggering 0-60 time of 3.2 seconds and that all-important 240 mph top speed.

After delivering 100 customer cars McLaren stopped production after seven prototypes, 64 road cars, 5 special F1 LMs (built to commemorate victory at Le Mans in 1995), three F1 GTs (road going versions of the long tail 1997 F1 GTR race car) and 28 F1 GTR road cars. Of these, the Sultan of Brunei owns the most, and has two very special black F1 LMs with striking Pininfarina graphics as well as an exact replica of the F1 GTR that won LeMans.

Read more: All McLaren F1 posts

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Aston Martin Vantage AMR Will Get a Manual Transmission

You Get to Row Your Own Gears

The manual transmission is dying a much-bemoaned death. At least, enthusiasts are sad to see them go. Aston Martin won’t let the manual transmission go quiet into that good night. The company’s new Vantage AMR will rage, rage against the dying of the manual transmission light.

The car is quite similar to the regular Vantage. It uses a 4.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8. That engine is good for 503 hp and 460 lb-ft. The Vantage AMR also has the engine mounted far back from the nose of the car to give it near perfect 50:50 weight distribution. This should make it one of the better cars to drive on sale today. Aston claims a 3.9-second 0 to 60 mph time and a blistering fast top speed of 195 mph. 

The big news for the car, though is that it will get a special 7-speed transmission from Graziano. The gearbox features a dog-leg shift pattern instead of the typical double H pattern you see on most cars with a manual. The gearbox also has something called AMSHIFT. This unique system helps make you a better driver by using sensors to help mimic proper heel-and-toe downshifting. It also allows you to shift from one gear to the other without letting off the accelerator.

This is a special car with a special kind of manual transmission. While some people will be annoyed the Vantage AMR has the fancy AMSHIFT system included, they should just be happy that the manual transmission car exists. Aston plans to make 200 units. It has a price tag of $179,995.

Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante Revealed

Aston Martin’s DBS Superleggera went topless today! Official details have been announced for the much-awaited Aston Martin DBS Superleggera Volante. Drop-top Aston Martin’s always look better. The DBS Superleggera Volante is no different!

The soft-top shape suits the powerful rear bodywork perfectly, emphasising the width of the rear haunches. Aston Martin has placed a high level of focus on aerodynamics. The front splitter and the air dam work together to generate downforce alongside the Aeroblade II system at the rear. It is such a successful combination that the Volante loses just 3 kg of downforce post-chop.

The top is constructed from an eight-layer material. Colours include Bordeaux Red, Atlantic Blue and Titan Grey, eight in total. The mechanism takes just 14 seconds to open and 16 seconds to close at the touch of a button, either from the inside or on the outside. Aston Martin has also ensured that the stack height is kept to a minimum, increasing the amount of space taken in the boot.

Underneath, the DBS Superleggera Volante uses familiar drivetrain technology. A twin-turbocharged 5.2-litre V12 engine is the centrepiece. It produces 715 bhp and 900 Nm of torque, enough for a 340 km/h top speed and a 100 km/h sprint time of just 3.6 seconds. The 8-speed ZF gearbox is rear mounted. Electronics allow a GT, Sport or Sport Plus mode. A further quiet start mode also allows you to leave the driveway discreetly, useful for maintaining your relationship with a volatile neighbour!

The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera will cost £247,500 in the UK, €295,500 in Germany and $329,100 in the US. Deliveries are set to begin during the third quarter of 2019.

Aston Martin ‘DBS 59’ Pays Homage to 1959 Le Mans Win

The Aston Martin DBS has been a resounding success, that much is sure. The revived DBS has drawn acclaim from all quarters, holding its own against esteemed competition from the Italian stables of Ferrari. To capitalise on this success, Aston Martin have been offering limited edition models. The latest pays homage to the company’s 1959 win at the Le Mans 24 Hours.

As with most special edition Aston Martin’s, this one has been ordered through the Q by Aston Martin service, on Commission by Aston Martin Cambridge. The Aston Martin DBS Superleggera ‘DBS 59’ will be a limited run of 24 special edition DBS Superleggeras.

The special edition model honours Aston Martin’s historic 1-2 finish in the DBR1 at the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Aston Martin fans will recall that Roy Salvadori and Caroll Shelby drove the DBR1 to an overall victory. The ‘DBS 59’ is said to honour the DBR1 through “specially engineered styling cues”.

The DBS 59 Arrives finished in Aston Martin Racing Green. Carbon fibre hints at the thoroughly modern nature of the DBR1 while bronze details emulate the winning car, details such as the ‘Superleggera’ bonnet badging, bespoke front grille, brake callipers and 21” forged Y spoke satin duotone wheels. Further bespoke touches include the individually numbered roundel painted on the fender, and the bespoke tyre wall arrow decal.

Inside the cabin, the DBS gets Obsidian Black and Chestnut Tan leather as its main surfaces. Q by Aston Martin also had the opportunity to analyse the original seat material used on the DBR1. It recreated that same weave with each seat back and door insert trimmed in heritage style material. The bronze details continue on the inside too, with unique bronze shift paddles and a bespoke ‘59 Edition’ logo embroidered on the seatback.

Aston Martin Has Trademarked ‘Valen’ Name

A New Model?

In a recent trademark paperwork filing, Aston Martin trademarked the name, Valen. The V names for the company will likely continue. The real question is if this means there will be another Aston Martin model coming soon. This isn’t the first V name that Aston Martin has trademarked.

Recently, we reported on it trademarking the name Valhalla, which is expected to be for the AM-RB 003. That was just speculation, though, so the car could be called Valen. According to Carscoops, the company has also trademarked the name Varekai, which would suggest it’s keeping its options open.

Still, it makes you wonder why Aston Martin needs to trademark so many names. Does it really need that many options for the upcoming AM-RB 003, or does the automaker have some other cars in the works that we don’t know about? 

The CEO of the company did say he would like the company to sell more models. His target number for the brand is 14,000 units eventually. To make that happen it would seem that the company would need to add more vehicles to its lineup, and they probably can’t all be mid-engine supercars or hypercars.

Aston may have to produce something a little more practical, and that vehicle could be the recipient of one of the names the company has trademarked. It’s unclear what all Aston will add to its lineup, but that should become a little less cloudy in the upcoming year or so. We’ll keep you posted.

Aston Martin to Build Limited-Edition DBS GT Zagato

Unique, Interesting, and Expensive

Aston Martin can’t seem to stop debuting awesome cars. Now the company is showing off the limited-edition DBS GT Zagato. The car uses Aston’s DBS Superleggera as the starting point and then the car gets a new body that’s absolutely gorgeous. The car is supposed to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Zagato design house. It will also serve to mark 60 years of the companies working collaboratively. 

The DBS GT Zagato will be paired with a DB4 GT Zagato Continuation and come with a price tag of $7.9 million before taxes and other fees kick in.

The DBS GT Zagato is a truly unique car despite the fact that it shares so much with the DBS Superleggera. The car has a special double bubble roof, large front grille, wraparound windshield, and all around muscular curves. It’s a long and handsome front-engined car. Speaking of the engine the car will get, Aston hasn’t released technical details, unfortunately.

However, Carscoops speculates that it could be the 5.2-liter V12 that’s in the Superleggera. If that is the case, then the engine would be good for 715 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque, unless some maniac at Aston gets ahold of it and tries to get more power out of it.

The car will be made in limited numbers. According to the press release, only 19 of them will make their way to the public. Aston will begin delivery of the cars in the fourth quarter of 2020. The DB4 GT Zagato will be delivered later this year. Both cars will be built in the UK.

Take a Closer Look at The Aston Martin Vanquish and the AM-RB 003

Let’s Get In Close

Jack Rix of Top Gear recently got to spend time with both the Aston Martin Vanquish and the AM-RB 003. No, he didn’t get to drive them, but he did get extremely up close and personal with both vehicles. While Rix goes on about the car in the videos and discusses all of the amazing magical things that Aston has worked into the cars, the photography team at Top Gear manages to get some simply breathtaking shots of these vehicles in the studio. The visuals alone are worth seeing. 

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Rix starts with the AM-RB 003. That name is just a temporary one. The rumored name is Valhalla, but that is just a rumor at this point. Rix discusses how the AM-RM 003 is similar in many ways to the Valkyrie. He also points out the ways in which it’s different. For example, the powertrain. Instead of a shrieking V12, the car gets a V6 hybrid powertrain. Rix doesn’t have all the answers yet, though he makes some predictions. Aston is still keeping most of the truly good things under wraps.

Rix goes all in on the styling and exterior and interior design of the car. Pointing out things like the Flex Foil technology in the rear wing, the 3D printed center console on the inside, the unique and minimalist integration of technology on the inside of the car, and the seats that are integrated into the carbon fiber tub of the vehicle.

Then Rix moves on to the Vanquish, which will compete with Ferrari, McLaren, and Lamborghini’s supercars. Again, Rix doesn’t have all the answers. Aston keeps him out of the car and doesn’t let him get into too many of the technical details. The car is a few years away from production so, it’s really no surprise that Aston is keeping things under wraps.