Do these forgotten cars deserve more love? #2 90s sportscars

Are these 90s sportscars underrated?

6d ago


In this series I will take 7 forgotten cars from a chosen theme and and rate them out of 20, I'll decide this by taking a journalist score out of 10, and a personal score out of 10 and adding them together. I made also made a grading system

0-7 Erase it from your memory

8-11 Nothing memorable

12-16 Officially underrated

17-20 It can't get more underrated than this

Number 1: Isuzu Impulse RS

Were kicking things with a sportscar from Isuzu. Isuzu is know nowadays for making SUVs and trucks, not sportscars. But in 1991 they made this, the Impulse RS, and it sounds promising. A small light coupe with a complex AWD system, intercooled turbocharging and passive all wheel steering, and it lives up. It was an utter joy to drive with suspension tuning done by a company who has made proper drivers cars out of things like the Vauxhall Carlton and the Proton Satria, Lotus. It had 160bhp propelled it to 60 in 7 seconds which was good for a car of it's class.

While not the prettiest thing in the world, I really like it for the rawness of it. It's like a mini evo. This was probably the best car Isuzu ever made and deserves far more attention.

Journalist score: 8/10

Personal score: 8/10

Total score: 16/20, Officially underrated

Number 2: Venturi Atlantique

Next up is the Atlantique, from short lived French sports car maker, Venturi. It was a sports car designed to compete against cars like the Lotus Esprite and Porsche 911. It came with either a PRV V6, or the V6 from the Clio V6. It had a decently warm reception from critics. It was seen as a more upmarket alternative to rivals, more Aston Martin than Arial Atom. It was quick for the time and handled decently as well.

I really love the Venturi. It's every thing I love about a car. Leftfield, beautiful unique. It is one of my favorite French cars and one of my favorite cars straight up. Definitely underrated.

Journalist score: 7/10

Personal score: 9/10

Total score: 16/20, Officially underrated

Number 3: Audi S2

Our next car is the Audi S2, a heated up version of the Audi 80. Now when most people think of a hot Audi 80, they're minds almost always go to the legendary RS2, and for good reason as it is one of my top 5 favorite cars. But it has a far less remembered little brother. It was the first car in Audi's "S" series. It shared many parts with the RS. Critics liked it a fair bit mainly for it's 217 horsepower turbocharged 5 cylinder engine and saw it as a more modern and refined version of the original Quattro although not quite as good.

I like this car, not one of Audi's very best but surely it shouldn't be completely forgotten, right?

Journalist score: 7/10

Personal score: 7/10

Total score: 14/20, Officially underrated

Number 4: Panoz Roadster

Even if you know Panoz in the first place it's most likely for the Esperante, but before it they made this. The even less well remembered roadster. Now ignore the kit car looks since it was actually a proper production car. It shared most of the drivetrain and components with a Ford Crown Victoria. Not very glamorous but it was fast and handled really well. Being made in 1992 it predated the retro boom about to happen in car design at the turn of the century and for it's styling, well it's not to my taste but it works for what it is.

I think the perfect way to describe it is, it's what the Plymouth Prowler should of been, a brash V8 manual roadster and not some watered down cruiser for the elderly.

Journalist score: 8/10

Personal score: 7/10

Total score: 15/20, officially underrated

Number 5: Qvale Mangusta

Up next is the Qvale Mangusta. Originally shown as a concept wearing De Tomaso badges, De Tomaso left development halfway leaving it to one Kjell Qvale, who named it after himself, hence Qvale Mangusta. It has the V8 from a contemporary SVT mustang as well as things like the 5 speed manual. This car is 100% a cruiser through and through. It doesn't like hard driving and suites being driven at a brisk pace rather than ripping through as fast as possible.

Now I really hate the way the car looks, but I like it. It is very exclusive and unlike pretty much any other car, even more so than the Venturi.

Journalist score: 6/10

Personal score: 7/10

Total score: 13/20, Officially underrated

Number 6: Hyundai Scoupe Turbo

Next is the Hyundai Scoupe. It was the first car with the first Hyundai with an inhouse engine and replaced the 1st gen. It got a warm reception with it being praised for it's decent performance and handling and good value. It was built from 1993 to 1995 and was replaced by the far better selling and well remembered Tiburon.

Personally I'm not really bothered by it. In fact I'm struggling to think of things to say about it. In my mind it's a perfectly adequate budget coupe.

Journalist score: 6/10

Personal score: 5/10

Total score: 11/20, Nothing memorable

Number 7: Maserati Shamal

To end of this list we have this, the Maserati Shamal. At the time it was the top of the range for Maserati. Designed by the same man who did the Lamborghini Countach it featured much wider arches than the Ghibli on which it's based. It got to 60 in 5 seconds and had 322BHP reaching a top speed of 168MPH. They only made 369 in total making them very rare indeed, and for an Italian sports car of this vintage they were suprisingly useable and comfortable but also energetic, exhilarating and a proper drivers car.

To be honest this is probably my favorite Maserati. It's mad and loud but also useable and almost daily drivable. (shocking I know) This is a type of car they don't really make anymore and it's a shame they don't.

Journalist score: 8/10

Personal score: 9/10

Total score: 17/20: It doesn't get more underrated than this.

Which car is best

So while the Isuzu is brilliant and I love the Venturi, the Shamal is just so cool and special despite what you might think. A proper drivers car that really should be more celebrated.

Next week: Volkswagens

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Comments (4)

  • I would prefer the Esperante convertible as a Panoz, I know you said that it's not as forgotten, but I still think it's forgotten enough

      6 days ago
  • I like the Panoz Roadster and the Isuzu Impulse as they are very unique, I also would like to see the Subaru SVX on the list.

      6 days ago
  • Mazzy and the audi

      6 days ago
  • I like the Audi best

      6 days ago