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1980s supercars

Published: 10 July 2008

Supercars in the Eighties

The Italians continued to innovate in the ’80s, but they also came under pressure like never before from a series of supercar wannabes. The Germans fettled the humble 911 Turbo into the race-spec 959, which showed how computers could sport brains as well as brawn. Meanwhile Honda showed the NSX, which became the first contender from the Orient. It was the first supecar your nan could drive.
Browse our GBU-style pick of the decade's landmarks below – and vote for your favourite supercar decade in our poll

 


Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Ferrari 288 GTO

 1984

£59,540 

 2855cc V8, 400bhp, 366lb ft

 4.9sec

 190mph


Ferrari 288 GTO

For 

 Way rarer than the F40: just 272 were made 

Against 

 Nasty cabin: cheap materials and Fiat switchgear

Verdict 

 Brutal and beautiful­ Ferrari does Group B with predictable results

 

The first of the hyper-Ferraris with its twin-blown, 2.8-litre 400bhp V8, and for some the greatest road-going Ferrari of them all. The fastest production car of its day at 189mph.

Related Articles:   Other Ferrari stories


Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Ferrari F40

1987

£163,000 

 2936cc V88, 478bhp, 426lb ft

4.9sec 

 201mph

Ferrari F40 supercar

For 

 Better steering than a McLaren F1, says Gordon Murray  

Against 

 Hard ride and laggy engine make for an edgy drive

Verdict 

 Ferrari's raw response to Porsche's brainbox 959

 

Enzo's last road car, and the first production road car to claim a 200mph top speed, though it's never been proven. Ferrari's 40th brithday present to itself wasn't luxurious, but a massive 478bhp in 1235kg was some consolation. An epic supercar

Related Articles:  Other Ferrari stories


Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Porsche 959

 1987

£145,000

2850cc flat six, 450bhp, 369lb ft

3.7sec

197mph


Porsche 959 supercar

For 

 Electronics radically altered the supercar driving experience

Against 

 Could leave the driver feeling a little forgotten. Nick Faldo had one

Verdict 

 For the first time, brains were as important as brawn

 

Computers controlled the damping, the four-wheel drive and the 2.8-litre, 450bhp turbo six, and produced a scarcely believable 3.7sec 0-60mph time. But modest Porsche left the 200mph boasting to Ferrari. This was a prescient car, and set the template for the modern 997 Turbo

Related Articles:  News  |  Other Porsche stories


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