Blast from the past: 10 of the best 90s supercars

Who doesn't love an old school supercar?

2y ago

10. McLaren F1

We'll start strong with what is classed as the ultimate supercar - the McLaren F1. Back in 1998, the F1 shattered the previous production car speed record by achieving two runs averaging 240.1 mph at Volkswagen's test track called Ehra-Lessien with a peak speed of 243mph. Andy Wallace who completed the drive was skeptical at first because it was exceeding the boundaries of technology at the time with the tyres being his main concern but after a few runs to build up his confidence, he achieved his goal.

Powered by a 6 litre naturally aspirated engine by BMW, the F1 had plenty of power to claim the supercar name and was arguably the first to be classed as a hypercar.

9. Mercedes-Benz CLK GTR

Built for homologation reasons so that it could enter into the FIA GT Championship, the rules state that a minimum of 25 road cars had to be built in order for it to be eligible for the series. When a car is converted from a race car to a road car, creature comforts are instantly binned off which is part of the CLK charm. One issue with a couple of perspective owners was that the seats and pedals couldn't be moved meaning if you were too small, tall or even too large then it simply wasn't possible to drive.

Powered by a Mercedes 7 litre V12 engine, the CLK had ferocious power and decimated anything that got in its way. Finding one for sale will be a rarity and they're certainly an expensive collectors item.

8. Jaguar XJ220

Ah, the XJ220. Like most cars, especially expensive supercars, a deposit is required to have a slot saved for you and the 220 was exactly the same... although that didn't go to plan. What was originally said and hinted to prospective owners was that the car would come with a V12 engine but that was later scrapped and a twin-turbo V6 engine was finalised and that didn't go down well for a few people. A large percentage dropped out purely for that reason but luckily Jaguar still managed to sell all of the cars for a whopping £470,000 making it one of the most expensive cars of its time.

Speaking of that V6, it's hardly a bad thing. It may only be 3.5 litres but add two turbos to it and the outcome is 540bhp with that savaged forced induction feeling. Even by today's standards that's bloody powerful.

7. Bugatti EB110 SS

Before the likes of the Veyron and the Chiron, Bugatti were still mad as a hatter and the EB110 supports that. Still using FOUR turbos attached to a V12, it was a French powerhouse with some of the most bizarre styling that you'll find but I love it. A year after the standard car was released, Bugatti came out with the Super Sport which increased the power to 592bhp and took the fight to the likes of the XJ220 but with added comfort and luxury.

6. Porsche GT1 (Strassenversion)

Like Mercedes with the CLK, Porsche's GT1 had to go through the same procedure that produced the Strassenversion which roughly translated means street version. Armed with a 3.2 litre twin-turbo flat six, the GT1 also binned away anything that was remotely comfortable and was purely focused on speed and performance. Only 25 were produced and are rare as rocking horse s**t so managed to find one for sale will be a tough task.

5. Ferrari F50

The F50 followed the F40 and was deemed by some as completely unworthy to continue in the flagship line for Ferrari... what a load of bollocks. It featured a naturally aspirated V12 engine with the block from a Formula One car that was mated to a 6-speed manual gearbox with pure Ferrari theatre and heritage. It was fast, raw and looked the part so anyone who argues that it isn't one of the best supercars ever made needs to have their head checked. It was the last pure analogue supercar that the company produced and remains firmly in my bucket list.

4. Jaguar XJR-15

Okay, so a lot of people actually don't know about this car and should be educated. It was the world's first fully carbon fibre production car and featured a race spec 6 litre V12 engine producing 450bhp with only 53 examples completed. Unfortunately as it's considered to be a collectors item, many of them reside in garages with only a few actually being drive and raced.

Fun fact - the body was designed by a man called Peter Stevens who later went on to help create and design the McLaren F1, that's cool, right?

3. Lamborghini Diablo VT

A supercar list without a Lamborghini is like cereal without milk - it's just wrong. I've been fortunate enough to have been out in numerous Diablos and I can vouch that each and every experience is bloody awesome! The VT in particular was the company's first attempt at an AWD V12 flagship car which has paved the way into the present through the Murcielago and now the Aventador. The styling is a tad marmite but a it's a Lambo so it has to be dramatic, right?

2. Nissan R390

Our third and final homologation special comes in from Nissan but unlike the others, 25 weren't produced. So how many? One. How many were sold to the public? None. The lone car resides with Nismo at their main warehouse next to the #32 R390 GT1, both of which share the same 3.5 litre twin turbocharged V8 engine with 550bhp on tap. Definitely the rarest car on the list and it's a shame that we'll probably never see one on the streets.

1. Pagani Zonda C12

Right at the very end of the 90s, Pagani introduced the Zonda but little did they know that they had just created one of the greatest cars to date. Over the years the exterior design hasn't changed massively because it's hard to improve on perfection but underneath it has become more powerful, more angry and much, much faster. Possibly carrying one of the best exhaust notes from its massive 6 litre V12, Pagani created something truly special.

So, what would you class as the best?

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Comments (15)

  • NSX R

      2 years ago
  • I’d like to add the Vector W8 Twin Turbo and Dodge Viper to this list.

      2 years ago
  • The 90s were the peak for supercars.

      2 years ago
  • Thanks for throwing a couple surprises in there. I confess I was starting to think “another ‘90’s supercar list”, but the Jag and the Nissan were completely new to me and fun to look at and read about.

      2 years ago
  • CLK GTR it’s my favorite

      2 years ago