We started a couple of weeks ago a new series of articles about the fastest cars of the past millennium. After the top 7 fastest cars of the 1960s and top 6 fastest cars of the 1970s we are continuing with the top 7 fastest cars of the 1980s. We will skip the introduction, hoping that you’ve pay attention to the previous articles we have written.
De Lorean DMC-12 (1981)
Back in 1980s, the American John De Lorean was a successful engineer. When he wanted to build its own sports car he ended up by creating a huge scandal and a true racing legend at the same time. The DMC-12 was developed with some help from Giugiaro coachbuilder and had a striking aspect with its unpainted stainless steel cladding.
Under the bonnet of the 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 was a Renault-built 2.8 liter V6 engine that was able to deliver no more or less than 130 bhp at 5.500 rpm and 208 Nm peak of torque at 2.750 rpm. The power was sent to the wheels via a five speed manual gear box or a three speed automatic transmission. Under these conditions, the 1981 De Lorean DMC-12 was able to sprint from stand still to 60 mph in 10.1 seconds, while the top speed was clocked at 110 mph.
With some help from the British Government, De Lorean established his factory in Northern Ireland. But the story doesn’t have a happy ending. The cars build here were plagued with problems, due to poor development and an inexperienced workforce. In 1982, John De Lorean was arrested for selling cocaine and the company went into liquidation. In all these year, De Lorean managed to deliver 9.000 cars.
Audi Quattro (1980)
In Germany in 1980 a legend was born. We are talking about the Audi Quattro, a car that is responsible for nowadays rally championship and four wheel drive systems. The 1908 Audi Quattro was the first production car with four wheel drive since the Jenson FF in 1966. More than that, the car managed to turn the Audi history into the prestige marquee it is today.
While the Jenson FF 4WD system was heavy and full of problems, the Quattro was lightweight and reliable. You’ll probably say that Audi Quattro wasn’t the first road car with 4WD system, but it was the first successful one. The system invented by Audi was had a conventional gearbox behind the front mounted engine with a differential positioned behind the transmission.
Under the hood of the 1980 Audi Quattro was a straight five cylinder engine with a 2.144 cc capacity and a 7:1 compression ratio. It was able to deliver 200 bhp at 5.500 rpm and 285 Nm peak of torque at 3.500 rpm. The engine resources were put to the ground via a five speed manual gearbox. Under these conditions, the 1980 Audi Quattro was able to sprint from not to 60 mph in 7.1 seconds, while the top speed was clocked at 137 mph.
With all these good thinks on its side, the Quattro went onto rallying events around world through the early 1980s. He managed to achieve impressive results and nowadays the Quattro is one of the most bellowed models in the world.
Porsche 924 Carrera GT (1980)
In 1976, Porsche has unveiled the 924 model. The Stuttgart-based model had smooth lines and thanks to its 4 seats it represents a great sales success. But under the hood was a 125 bhp 2.0 liter that won’t give to many thrills. To change that, Porsche decided to change the configuration and to add some steroids to its model. This is how the 1980 924 Carrera GT appeared. The car was designed to get the homologation for the FISA Group 3 production sports car class and only 400 units were built.
In this configuration, the 2.0 liter straight four engine was tweaked to develop 210 bhp at 6.000 rpm and 280 Nm peak of torque at 3.500 rpm. The engine resources were put to the ground via a five speed manual gear box. Under these conditions, the 1980 Porsche 924 Carrera GT managed to sprint from stand still to 60 mph in 6.7 seconds, while the top speed was clocked at 150 mph.
The model was only available in black, red or silver while inside the cabin, the designers choose a black with red-pinstripe upholstery.
According to some owners, driving the GT took some time to get used to. Its big turbocharger took time to spool ups, so there was a distinguished lag between pressing the accelerator and something happening. The 924 Carrera GT is a rare car, but its styling went on and became the inspiration for the 944.
MG Metro 6R4 (1984)
The 1980s was the era of rally cars. This is the story of a town car transformed into a great rally ride. In the early 1980s, Group B rally cars were able to have very high levels of power and Austin-Rover managed to create a state of art. The standard Austin Metro was turned into Metro 6R4 which stands from six cylinders, rear mounted engine and 4 wheel drive.
The engine was developed with some help from Cosworth and it had twin camshafts per cylinder head and four valves per cylinder. The V6, 3.0 liter unit was able to offer 410 bhp @ 6.500 rpm and 362 Nm peak of torque at 6.500 rpm. The engine resources were put to the ground via a manual five speed gear box. Under these conditions the MG Metro 6R4 managed to sprint from stand still to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds while the top speed was clocked at 155 mph.
Unfortunately, the 6R4 never got the chance to prove itself on the rally stages because, after a couple of crashes, Group B was banned. However, the MG Metro 6R4 continued to compete in other events and few years after that, the engine went and form the basis of the Jaguar XJ220.
Ferrari Testarossa (1984)
The 1980s was a great era for sports car. After Lamborghini’s Miura success, Ferrari went out with a superb car: the Testarossa. In have seen the day light in 1984 and was the world’s fastest production car with a top speed of 180 mph. The car was developed to offer not only great track and road performances, but also luxurious and comfortable rides.
And now let’s talk about the engineering hided under the bonnet. Just like the Boxer, the 1984 Ferrari Testarossa had a horizontally opposed 12 cylinder unit with 4.942 cc. It was able to deliver 390 horsepower at 6.300 rpm and 480 Nm peak of torque at 4.500 rpm. The engine resources were sent to the ground via a manual five speed gear box. Under these conditions, the Testarossa was able to sprint from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds while the top speed was clocked at 180 mph.
To achieve these performances, the engine was cooled by twin radiators mounted on each side of the car, in front of the rear wheels. On the outside, the car had an astonishing styling. It was aggressive and sporty from every possible angle with its wide flanks, low bonnet, pop-up headlights and rear lamps.
Inside the cabin, the customers had electrically adjustable and leather trimmed seats. The controls were position between the two seats in the center console. As you probably know, the Testarossa evolved in 1991 into the 512TR and then, in 1995, into the Ferrari F512M.
Porsche 959 (1986)
According to some specialists, the 1986 Porsche 959 was one of the most technologically advanced cars of its era. The Stuttgart model was based on the 911 and featured carbon fiber body panels, four wheel drive, six-speed gear box, active suspensions, magnesium-alloy wheels with tire pressure sensors.
In the back of the car was a flat six cylinder, 2.847 cc engine able to deliver 450 bhp at 6.500 rpm and 500 Nm peak of torque at 5.500 rpm. The engine resources were put to the ground via a six speed manual gear box. Under these conditions, the 1986 Porsche 959 was able to sprint from not to 60 mph in 3.6 seconds, while the top speed was clocked at an impressive 197 mph.
To drop off the turbo lag, at low revs all the exhaust gases powered the right turbocharger to give a light boost. Once the revs started to climb, the left turbocharger started to kick in. More than that, the 959 was the first Porsche to feature four wheel drive.
All these special features were built in a body based on the galvanized steel shell of the contemporary 911 Turbo. It is believed that just 292 road going 959 were build, making it a rare and special car.
Ferrari F40 (1987)
Nowadays, the car manufacturers love to create special editions to celebrate some important aspects in their history. The same thing was done by Ferrari in 1987 when the company decided to build a car to celebrate its 40 year of making cars. This is how a great piece of motoring history seen the daylight. In case you didn’t remember its name is the Ferrari F40.
Back in those days, Ferrari wanted a car that would eclipse Porsche’s glory and the F40 manage to do that. For short, the 1987 Ferrari F40 was a no-frills racecar for the road with none of the Porsche’s sophisticated drive train and electronics. It gained some advantage from lightweight materials. Ferrari used a lot of parts made from Kevlar and carbon fiber who helped to ensure a weight of just 1.100 kilograms.
Under the bonnet of the 1987 Ferrari F40 was a 3.0 liter V8 engine with a compression ratio of 7.7:1. It was create to deliver 478 horsepower at 7.000 rpm and 577 Nm peak of torque at 4.000 rpm. The engine resources were put to the ground via a manual five speed gear box. Under these conditions the 1987 Ferrari F40 managed to sprint from not to 60 mph in just 4.8 seconds, while the top speed was clocked at 201 mph.
On the outside, the car had an astonishing look. It was derived from the GTO, but it had more aerodynamic stability thanks to the lower front and larger spoiler. Inside, there was little in the way of luxuries, with no carpet, no provision for a stereo, while the door releases were simple cords, and the windows sliding plastic panels.
Via | Igloobooks | Foto: Wikipedia