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1990s supercars

Published: 10 July 2008

Supercars in the Nineties

By now well and truly established, the supercar regulars continued to offer ever more outrageous products. The recession bit in the early ’90s, but thereafter some of the landmark cars were launched: the McLaren F1 is, for many, the definitive supercar of all time – a one-off conceived with all the purity of a grand prix racer. Others dabbled (remember the Jag XJ220?), but none achieved the Macca’s astonishing single-mindedness.
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

Lamborghini Diablo

1990

£156,000

5707cc V12, 492bhp, 428lb ft 

 4.1sec

202mph 

Lamborghini Diablo supercar

For 

 The Audi-fettled 6.0 VT was the last, and best

Against 

 A playboy's plaything; never gained real credibility

Verdict 

 Lambo's thinking looked slow after the F40 and 959

 

Lamborghinis third mid-engined V12 supercar lacked the impact of the first two. A series of lightweight, race-derived special editions delivered the full supercar terror, but the Diablo didn't shock or innovate like its forebears

Related Articles:  Other Lamborghini stories

 

Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Bugatti EB110

1992

£281,000

 3500cc V12, 553bhp, 451lb ft

3.6 sec

 209mph

Bugatti EB110 supercar

For 

 So good to drive that Schumacher paid for one 

Against 

 Went everywhere fast, including bankrupt

Verdict 

 Great car, lousy economy. We wouldn't have VW's Veyron had it survived

 

With Gandini styling, an ultra-exclusive name, a carbonfibre body, four turbos, up to 600bhp and well over 200mph, the Bugatti EB110 had all the supercar credentials, but not enough customers

 

Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Jaguar XJ220

 1992

£415,000 

 3498cc V6, 542bhp, 475lb ft

 3.9sec

 217mph

Jaguar XJ220 supercar

For 

 Held the production-car speed record for a couple of years
 at 217mph

Against 

 Like the Diablo, never gained much credibility. Elton John had one

Verdict 

 Bold styling, but timid thinking

 

Jaguar's only supercar had a fraught life. First shown with four-wheel drive and a Jag V12, it made production at a much higher price with rear-drive and the blown V6 from the Metro 6R4. Disappointment and the recession kippered sales 

Related Articles:    Other Jaguar stories


 

Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

McLaren F1

 1994

£640,000

6064cc V12, 627bhp, 479lb ft

3.2sec

240mph

McLaren F1 supercar

For 

 Everything, but especially the engine  

Against 

 Disappointing sales equals ultra-rarity equals daft prices now

Verdict 

 What you get when you give the monomaniacal Gordon Murray free rein

 

If we were going to build a sports car, it would have to be not only the finest the world had ever seen, but also the finest it was ever going to see.' Massively arrogant, Ron, but dead right. The F1 is arguably the greatest roadgoing supercar of all time – as voted for by you!

Related Articles:  News  |  Other McLaren stories

 

Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Ferrari F50

 1995

£342,700 

 4699cc V12, 520bhp, 347lb ft

3.7sec 

 202 mph

Ferrari F50 supercar

For 

 Rarity: only 349 were made, keeping values high 

Against 

 Ungainly styling and little quicker than an F40

Verdict 

 Completely eclipsed by the McLaren F1

 

The third hyper-Ferrari didn't live up to the first two. Maranello threw all its F1 know-how and most of an F1 engine at its fiftieth anniversary car  – and somehow ended up with something slightly disappointing to drive

Related Articles:  Other Ferrari stories 

 

Make and model

Year

Price

Engine

0-60mph

Top speed

Porsche 996 GT1

 1997

£560,000

3163cc flat six, 544bhp, 442lb ft

3.7sec

192mph


Porsche 996 GT1

For 

 This is no open-top Carrera GT poser, but a proper supercar with Le Mans heritage

Against 

 Unforgiving and not exactly user-friendly

Verdict 

 The ultimate Porsche, but not necessarily the best

  
Related Articles:  Other Porsche stories


 

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