- 1986 Porsche 959

Here are the 9 Edgy Game-Changing Super Cars of the '80s

The edgy eighties... what an era

3w ago


Don't you guys think we are at the peak of super cars and sports cars? I mean if you just think about it, we have the most advanced cars in the world, the current Holy Trinity — Ferrari LaFerrari, McLaren P1, and Porsche 918, And cars such as Koenigsegg and Bugatti which break records almost everyday! These cars are indeed at their peak, it’s time to look back down at the originals, the ones that started it all, and see how far we’ve come in time. The car world has changed alot! This article and series i am doing will take a look at the super cars that defined an era, one decade at a time, now we are looking at the super cars and sports cars in the ’80s. Enjoy, and let me know your thoughts in the comments!

1. 1987 Ferrari F40

1991 Ferrari F40

1991 Ferrari F40

This car needs no introduction. The legendary, the revolutionary, Ferrari F40. Introduced in 1987 and produced through 1992, the F40 was the best and quickest car at its time, and is still hailed as one of the best cars of all time. This successor to the 288 GTO is a rear-wheel-drive, mid-engine sports car was built to commemorate the automaker’s 40th anniversary, and it is the last Ferrari that was personally approved by Enzo Ferrari. After Enzo Ferrari passed away on August 14, 1988. With a top speed of 199 mph and an outstanding 0 to 62 mph in just 4.7 seconds, it was Ferrari’s fastest car at the time. It is definitely in everyone's dream garage. A mid-engine model, and a 2.9-liter twin-turbo, rear mid-longitudinal V8 engine. With a horsepower production of 163 hp/liter and a maximum torque of 425 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm. Its no wonder its such an amazing car. Only about 1311 of these cars were manufactured, with only 213 assigned to the US market. This car has definitely made history, and still is. still making history. The F40 is to this day known as one of the best-handling cars on the road.

Horsepower: 471 hp

Torque: 425 lb-ft

0-60 mph: 3.8 seconds

Engine: 2.9-liter twin-turbo V8

Top Speed: 199 mph

Original MSRP: $400,000

Current Estimated Value: $989,700+

2. 1986 Porsche 959

1986 Porsche 959

1986 Porsche 959

The Porsche 959 was an advanced and forwarded car for its time, having four-wheel-drive with banks of computers to create a driving machine far ahead of its time. It was originally designed to be a group B rally car, and it actually did compete, but the 959 also became the fastest street-legal production car when it was introduced in 1986, with a top speed of 195mph, obviously taken over by the Ferrari F40 at the time. It had a stunning twin-turbo flat-six mounted in the rear of the car, which put 444bhp through a 6-speed gearbox and through all four wheels as well. 3.6s, knot to 60, which is even more impressive, especially for its time. This car really left a mark on history. The looks were very gorgeous and advanced looking for their time as well. It screams the signature and traditional Porsche, as well as providing excellent aerodynamics necessary for such extraordinary performance at the same time. The 959 was miles and years ahead of any other car on the road. Only the F-40 could keep up with it on outright performance.

Engine: 2.85-liter twin-turbocharged flat-six

Horsepower: 444

Top Speed: 197 mph

Original MSRP: $225,000

Current Estimated Value: $900,000+

3. 1987 RUF CTR Yellowbird

1987 RUF CTR Yellowbird

1987 RUF CTR Yellowbird

You might have never heard of this amazing car, but you will be very surprised of how revolutionary it was when it first came out. RUF joined the fray with their iconic CTR, based on the 911 of the era but with an enlarged 3.4-litre version of Porsche’s 3.2 flat-six. This 469bhp machine was a special car for sure. Dubbed the Yellowbird for obvious reasons, the RUF CTR Yellowbird was a limited-production, high performance sports car. Aerodynamics, were a huge part of this car, and they were focused on the most. Ruf took the slimline body from the 3.2 Carrera and shaved off and welded it to give it its lithe shape, before adding an aluminium roll cage to make it very lightweight and super-stiff. This car topped out with a whopping 211mph, yes 211mph, that is insane, no one would imagine this car would be able to do that. It was this Ruf Yellowbird that paved the way for many super cars. And for context it is faster than many modern offerings from Ferrari, McLaren and Lamborghini.

Twin-turbo 3.6L flat-six creates 522 kw (710 PS), 880 Nm (649 lb-ft)

Rear-engine design sends power to rear wheels through seven-speed manual

Top speed in excess of 360 km/h (223 mph)

0-100 km/h (62 mph) in less than 3.5 seconds, 0-200 km/h (124 mph) in less than 9 seconds

4. 1984 Ferrari Testarossa

1984 Ferrari Testarossa

1984 Ferrari Testarossa

The Pininfarina-designed car was produced from 1984 to 1991, this beautiful car is one of Ferrari's best and underrated. Prior to the debut of the front-engine 1997 Ferrari 550 Maranello, it is easy to forget we had 24 years of mid-engine twelve-cylinders. A new mid-engine twelve-cylinder is the new normal, but back in the days, it was the status quo for high-end exotica. This stunning ferrari had a 4.9L flat-12 that featured an electronic ignition system with fuel injection, delivering 385 hp (6,300 RPM) and 361 lb-ft of torque (4,500 RPM). Also with a top speed of 180mph. This car is a definitive 80s history maker. Thanks to its swooping lines and huge impact on the car world, it’s sure to remain an icon for years to come.

0-60 mph: 5.2 seconds

0-100 mph: 11.4 seconds

Quarter Mile: 13.5 seconds

Top Speed: 180 mph

5. 1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato

1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato

1986 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Zagato

Also a very underrated car, this V8 car was a huge player in the '80s game. If exclusivity is what you want, then Aston Martin had you covered. Renewing their partnership with Italian design house Zagato, between 1986 and 1990, the two marques produced these beautiful V8 Vantage Zagatos. The main item that stayed was the 5.3-liter V8, good for 432 hp and 395 lb-ft of torque. In fact, Zagato was able to shave 370 lbs off the base model. the final design did not remotely look like an Aston Martin model at that time. Zagato shortened the wheelbase, aiming to cut some weight off the base model, and it also ditched the rear seats. Overhangs shrunk as well. They went for a more compact shape, while adding its own familiar design touches. People found the look disappointing, and not the way "Aston's should look". But i think it is an amazing car indeed.

Engine: V8.

Transmission: 5-Speed Manual.

Horsepower @ RPM: 432@6000.

Torque @ RPM: 5100.

0-60 time: 4.9 sec.

6. Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Lamborghini Countach

Now this stunning car needs no introduction, we all know the legendary, the iconic the revolutionary, the amazing Lamborghini Countach. The Lamborghini Countach was one of the last models to be built under the control of the founder Ferruccio Lamborghini, in an effort to improve upon the comfort, eye appeal, and performance of the revolutionary Miura. Through the years, the Countach was continually evolved. In 1978, the Countach LP400 S was revealed. We saw the styling with wider fender flares, wheels, and tires, and the introduction of the Countach's iconic and gargantuan V-shaped rear wing. Engine capacity was increased in 1982 to 4.8 liters, resulting in another name change to Countach LP5000 S. In 1985, the Countach LP5000 QV was introduced, QV standing for "quattrovalvole," or four-valve in Italian. True to its name, the now-5.2-liter V-12 was given a four-valves-per-cylinder head for increased efficiency, as well as another bump in output to 455 horsepower. This car is definitely a history maker, a revolutionary car for ALL generations, not just one. That is why it is included in the 80s, because it left such a huge impact on this era of supercars!

ENGINE 3.9L DOHC 24-valve V-12/370 hp @ 7,500 rpm, 266 lb-ft @ 5,500 rpm

TRANSMISSION 5-speed manual

LAYOUT 2-door, 2-passenger, mid-engine, RWD coupe

L x W x H 163.0 x 74.4 x 42.1 in


WEIGHT 2,646 lb

0-60 MPH 5.2 sec

TOP SPEED 162 mph

7. Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus Esprit Turbo

Lotus stepped up its game for the eighties’ Esprit, this car became even more advanced. They added a turbo and making other improvements to the 2.2-litre power plant to up its output to 215bhp and 220 lb-ft of torque. The Lotus still handled better than most of its rivals, and 0-60 times were also shortened to just over 5 seconds. This is a pretty great car, it isn't that bad. Throughout its 28-year production run, the Lotus Esprit went through 24 different iterations. Arguably one of the best is the Turbo Esprit HC which arrived in April 1986. This model retained the original Esprit’s sharp angles and wedge-like silhouette, but thanks to higher compression, it became faster than ever with 215 hp and 220 ft lbs of torque. It is definitely an 80's car classic.

Turbocharger Garrett T3 Turbocharger running at 9.5psi

Dry Sump Via Toothed-belt oil pump, driven at 0.69, of crankshaft rpm; two scavenge pumps

Power 215 bhp @ 6,250 rpm

Torque 220 lb ft @ 4,250 rpm

8. Ferrari 288 GTO

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO

1984 Ferrari 288 GTO

Such as the F40, this car needs no introduction. Firstly produced from 1984 to 1987, and with only a whopping 272 made, the 288 GTO was rated second on Sports Car International’s list of Top Sports Cars of the 1980s. It was one of the fastest street-legal production cars in the world at the time of its debut, and it also had a top speed of 189 mph and the ability to go from knot to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Enzo was definitely proud of this car. It is often referred to as an exotic homologation of the Ferrari 308 GTB produced in Ferrari's Maranello factory. The 288 GTO was the first Ferrari race car that could be legally driven on the road since the 250 GTO. The 288 GTO’s aerodynamics were designed around the Group B regulations, so it can be road legal. Ferrari managed to make the GTO stable up to its terminal velocity. It is one of the best and one of the most amazing cars in the world.

Engine: 2,855 cc, twin-turbocharged V8.

Transmission: Five-speed manual, rear drive.

Power: 394 bhp @ 7,000 rpm.

Torque: 366 lb/ft @ 3,800 rpm.

Weight (Dry): 1161 kg (2560 lbs)

Power to Weight: 350bhp/ton.

0-60 mph:4.8 sec.

Top Speed: 189 mph.

9. DeLorean DMC-12

DeLorean DMC-12

DeLorean DMC-12

Now, if you look at performance figures, the DeLorean is not a super car. Even by the standards of its day it was boring, slow, sluggish and not really a car that can live up to the name "super car", taking over 10 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour, its 88mph and Its 2.8-litre V6 was restricted by tough emissions regulation at its time of release. BUT, yes there is a but, this car is a very interesting one. And yet, this machine is still one of the most recognizable cars out there, turning heads and dropping jaws over 30 years since it was first produced. It one of the most famous cars in my opinion, most people know it. With is weird shape and cool doors, this car has made a huge name for its self. Recognized by the whole world, because of its appearance on shows and movies! This car is defiantly a game changer in its own... particular way.

Engine type - Number of cylinders‎: ‎V 6

Drive wheels - Traction - Drivetrain‎: ‎RWD

Engine Alignment‎: ‎Longitudinal

Fuel type‎: ‎Petrol

Thank you for reading my article on the 80's "game changers" the websites i use for inspiration and help are: Gear Patrol, Automobile, and Autoweek. Hope you enjoyed!

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