Title: The World’s Most Brilliant Police Cars (And A Couple Of Rubbish Ones)

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Summary: The world is evolving rapidly. A hundred years ago, a ‘high speed chase’ was a red faced, baton waving policeman jogging down a country lane after an apple thief. With new technology in constant development and an ever increasing population, law enforcement has had to adapt to combat the changing nature of crime around the world. And one of those ways is by buying lots of really, really cool cars.

Meta Title: Police Cars | Cool Police Cars

Meta Description: Take a look at our list the world's most brilliant police cars, with a couple of duds thrown in for good measure.

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The world is evolving rapidly. A hundred years ago, a “high speed chase” was a red faced, baton waving policeman jogging down a country lane after an apple thief. With new technology in constant development and an ever increasing population, law enforcement has had to adapt to combat the changing nature of crime around the world. And one of those ways is by buying lots of really, really cool cars.

Don’t let Hollywood’s depiction of police cruisers as skidding stunt-fodder fool you. Today’s police cars look a lot less Chief Wiggum and a lot more Dirty Harry. Below we’ve assembled a collection of the fastest, most powerful, and just plain coolest police cars on the road today. Oh, and a couple of terrible ones, just for good measure.

2015 Dodge Charger

Dodge Charger

Look at this car. Just look at it. This is what a law enforcement vehicle should look like. The iconic Dodge Charger already resembles Mike Tyson if he was a Transformer, but the souped-up police version boasts a 5.7L, 340bhp Hemi V8 engine, capable of catapulting the vehicle to 60mph in under 6 seconds. Setting it further aside from the civilian Charger are upgraded heavy-duty brakes, police performance tuned steering, as well as the more obvious addition of a ton of hi-tech police radio equipment and computer kit.

Arial Atom PL

Ariel Atom Pt

The Arial Atom was gifted to the Avon and Somerset Constabulary as part of a campaign to increase safety awareness for motorcyclists and discourage speeding. How, exactly, a 155mph, 2.0 litre, 350bhp super-car tearing around the county’s roads promotes motorcycle safety isn’t really clear, but regardless, it’s a seriously cool machine, which looks (and moves) like a rocket, with a whiplash-inducing 0-60mph of 2.5 seconds. However, fear not, teenage loiterers, the car is only for promotional use, and won’t be out on the beat any time soon.

Caparo T1 – Rapid Response Vehicle

Caparo T1

If the guys on Traffic Cops had one of these, the programme would be over a lot quicker. Imagine the shock of glancing in your rear view mirror to see this demon powering up the road behind you, with its ridiculous 3.5-litre V6, 345bhp engine and max speed of 205mph. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on whether or not you’re a bank robber) the police issue version of the Caparo T1 was only a prototype, and never made it to production.

Bugatti Veyron

bugatti veyron

In keeping with the city’s reputation for its quiet dignity and respectable taste, the Dubai police force has recently assembled a modest squadron of Smart City Coupés to patrol the community, promoting safety while keeping emissions low.

No wait, that’s not right. Ah, yes – the Dubai police force have in fact spent 6.5 million dollars assembling a fleet of super cars including an Aston Martin One 77, a Ferrari FF, and a McLaren 12C. The jewel in the crown is the Bugatti Veyron, second fastest car in existence, 987bhp, 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, 922lb·ft of torque, and an earth shaking top speed of 267mph. The Dubai police force use their armada of mega-machines for show, patrolling wealthy tourist areas to maintain an image of class.

The only vehicle in existence that could outrun this police car is the Hennessey Venom GT, with a top speed of 270mph. Now that would be a good highway chase to watch.

Lamborghini Huracán LP 610-4 Polizia

Lambo

Despite the Italian traffic police writing off both Gallardo’s that Lamborghini gifted to them in 2004 (with one Gallardo somehow ending up squashed under a van), the manufacturer forgave and forgot, presenting the authorities with a shiny new Huracán in 2014. This gorgeous car packs a 5.2 V10 engine, 602bhp with a top speed of 202mph.

While it may not be as fast as the Veyron, the Huracán takes the top spot on this list due to the fact that, unlike Dubai’s fleet of supercars, the Italian authorities actually use their prized Lamborghinis out on patrol. The car has an LED light bar (specially attached so it doesn’t fly off when accelerating), four sirens, gun holsters, and a refrigeration system for transporting human organs due for transplants. On top of this, the car features recording equipment, as well as a detachable screen to show mischievous motorists exactly what they did wrong. Let’s just hope the Italian police force get to enjoy their Lambo a bit longer this time before a wayward minivan flattens it.

Now To The Other End Of The Spectrum…

Lada Riva

Lada

With a 1.5 litre engine, a chassis-rattling top speed of 95mph, and a 0-60 time of about 3 days, the Lada Riva used by the Cuban police force isn’t exactly the Batmobile. Used and abused by the Russians for decades, the Lada-loving Soviet Union sent several thousand across to Cuba in the 1970s, which have been in circulation ever since, a favourite of the police force and taxi drivers. The police version is kitted out with all the mod cons: a few wheels, probably some windows, and a massive honking comedy siren. That’s the sound of the police.

This thing

PC Keith Waller

PC Keith Waller of Hampshire Police fashioned this mean machine with the aid of teenagers at a local comprehensive school. The pedal car has five gears, cost over £1,000 to make, has a varying top speed dependant on whether or not the driver has had a Red Bull recently, and has a 0-60 time of forever.

The car was constructed to make the police look “cooler” and “fun”, but Hampshire constabulary have admitted they’re unlikely to be arresting anyone without a zimmer frame.

Need to wash away the memory of the Lada Riva and the Hampshire pedal car? Head over to our new cars section.

Author: Dan

Title: The World’s Most Bizarre Concept Cars

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Summary: With stiff competition every year to produce thrilling new concept cars, designers occasionally succumb to the pressure, go a bit loopy, and end up proudly presenting their gleaming new design to a chorus of laughter. We've compiled a list of the most baffling concept cars that, thankfully, never made it to production. Prepare yourself, it's going to get weird.

Meta Title: The World's Most Bizarre Concept Cars

Meta Description: We've searched out the most bizarre concept cars in existence. Read on. It's going to get weird.

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Concept cars are a chance for car manufacturers to prove themselves as forward thinking, original and industry leaders in innovation – think of a concept car show as a fashion catwalk, except with more metal, oil and rubber. Actually, probably about the same amount of rubber.

With stiff competition every year to produce thrilling new concept cars, it will come as no surprise that designers occasionally succumb to the pressure, go a bit loopy, and end up proudly presenting their gleaming new design to a chorus of laughter.

Below we have compiled a list of the most baffling concept cars that, thankfully, never made it to production. Prepare yourself, it’s going to get weird.

  1. BMW 328 Hommage

BMW 328 Hommage

Looks like: An absolutely furious beaver.

The Facts: The BMW 328 Hommage was unveiled in 2011 on the 75th birthday of the BMW 328 Touring Coupe. The tribute boasts a 3.0 litre engine, carbon fibre-reinforced plastic bodywork, and a minimalist dash like its race car grandfather. Sounds great. Unfortunately, this car gains a place in the list due to its giant set of gnasher-like grills and dead-cartoon eyes/headlights. Sorry, BMW, you just can’t unsee it.

  1. 1965 Dodge Deora Concept

Dodge deora

Looks like: There’s a bonnet thief in the neighbourhood.

The Facts: The 1965 Dodge Deora actually won awards, which goes a long way towards proving award ceremonies don’t always get it right. Lacking any side doors, the only way into the car is through the front, which opens up like a car boot, which means that every time you want to get in the car you have to shuffle rear-first into your seat. Smooth.

  1. 1950 Martin Stationette

1950 Martin Stationette

Looks like: A giant walnut.

The Facts: The Martin Stationette was designed in 1950 as a last ditch attempt of inventor James Martin to create a prototype ‘economy car of the future.’ Nobody was convinced by the rear wheel drive, suspension-less wooden frame and blistering 60 mph top speed, and so the car was never mass produced and the prototype was presumably left to grow into a full size oak tree.

  1. Mazda Miata Mono-Posto, 1999

mazda miata 1999

Looks like: A ketchup stain on wheels.

The Facts: Sick of annoying friends asking for rides? Need more ‘me’ time? Why not make it physically impossible for anyone to ever bother you again, by completely removing the passenger seat and boxing yourself in. Lightweight, with 190 horsepower and a Formula One style steering wheel, this is the car for you if you like going fast and hate everyone.

  1. Rinspeed X-TREM

X Trem Rinspeed

Looks like: A Transformer. That transforms into a Croc.

The Facts: Technically a pick-up truck rather than a car, this car is the brainchild of Switzerland based Rinspeed Designs, designed by the company’s director/resident mad scientist Frank Rinderknecht. The X-TREM boasts a V8-Cylinder 5439cc engine, onboard computer, waterproof upholstery, oh, and your very own hovercraft complete with a mini crane to winch you down gracefully into the sea. Heaving your cumbersome hovercraft out to the beach will never be a problem again!

  1. 1957 Studebaker-Packard Astral

studebaker-packard-astral

Looks like: The Torture Chamber of Tomorrow! ™

The Facts: Unveiled at the 1958 Geneva Motor Show, this concept car is the peak of 1950’s space race hyperbole. The Astral was packed with all kinds of exciting sounding but vaguely defined technology, such as an atomic engine, a single gyroscopically balanced wheel, and a ‘protective curtain of energy’, presumably to keep the Jetsons safe as they zip around Orbit City.

  1. Tang Hua Detroit Fish

detroit fish

Looks like: A Teletubby that has witnessed terrible, terrible things.

The Facts: Chinese company Tang Hua offered up this cute little monstrosity in 2008. Besides its being shaped like a Minion’s behind, the bizarrely named Detroit Fish also claims to be amphibious… despite having gaping holes where the doors should be. Best bring your wellies.

  1. Honda Fuya-Jo

Honda Fuya-Jo, 1999

Looks like: A Dalek on a hen night.

The Facts: Honda’s disco toaster was presented at the 1999 Tokyo Show and was designed for ferrying around “party animals who demand the full excitement of night life”, apparently completely forgetting the whole ‘no drink driving’ thing. The dash and steering wheel are designed to resemble a DJ’s turntables, and the minimalist seats are basically a backrest with a seatbelt, allowing for maximum partying. The interior is spill proof, too, so you don’t have to worry about all the Jägermeister flying overhead as you drive.

  1. Peugeot Moovie

moovie

Looks like: A beheaded C3PO.

The Facts: In 2005, Peugeot asked the world to “draw the Peugeot of your dreams for the near future”. To give it credit, it’s far from the goofiest car on the list; agile and city-friendly with an elegant and spacious interior. It’s just… well… how do you go uphill in it? Empty, the car weighs a mere 500kg. All it would take is a slightly hefty pair of occupants to send the car glamorously tumbling backwards like a massive metal Zorb.

  1. Aurora Safety Car

Aurora-Safety-Car

Looks like: One of those hideous fish from the deep ocean.

The Facts: Father Alfred Juliano, a Catholic priest, designed the Aurora in 1957 to be the pinnacle of car safety. The car’s ‘astrodome’ roof and bulbous windshield was designed so rain would roll off it (this was pre-windscreen wipers). Instrument panels were padded with foam, the spare tire was mounted in the front to absorb impacts, and the seats could swivel round in the event of a collision. How that would be useful, we don’t know.

Due for unveiling in 1957, the car broke down 15 times on the way to its own press conference and was towed to a total of 7 different garages en-route. After chugging into the conference hours late, barely functioning, and looking like a shark that’s had its nose punched in, the public were unsurprisingly uninspired, and none were ever sold. If you fancy punishing your eyes, you can view the car fully restored at Beaulieu Motor Museum in Hampshire.

Whew, what a ride. The horror show is over. Now, let us guide you back to normality with some cars that are a little easier on the eyes.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: Car Cultures Around The World: Cuba

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Summary: With almost no new vehicles gracing their shores in over 50 years, the Cubans have had to get creative, both with their driving habits and their car maintenance. There’s a little more to driving in Cuba than getting your head around navigating on the wrong side of the road.

Meta Title: Car Cultures Around The World: Cuba

Meta Description: Bristol Street Motor's take a trip to the Caribbean to take a look at what makes Cuban car culture so unique. Click through to find out more.

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shutterstock_93173311

When you step off the plane in Cuba, don’t forget to set your watch back to adjust for the time difference. About 55 years should do it. Cuba is a nation with the brakes on, where progress has halted its march and had a little half-century rest.

Perhaps the main cause of this time warp is the infamous US trade embargo that has cut Cuba off from the rest of the world since the early 60’s, when Kennedy and Castro had a bit of a falling out.

So, the all-important question:  how has all this affected driving in Cuba?

With almost no new vehicles gracing their shores in over 50 years, the Cubans have had to get creative, both with their driving habits and their car maintenance. There’s a little more to driving in Cuba than getting your head around navigating on the wrong side of the road.

First of all, there’s the cars themselves. Like everything else in the country, they’re trapped in time. On Cuban roads you’ll find a parade of cars straight out of Grease: ’55 Fords, Cadillacs, ’57 Chevys, and everything in between (including some ugly old Soviet Union contraptions, but the less said about those, the better). Gorgeous looks aside, the clunky old American cars handle as you would expect, like trying to steer a rhino on rollerblades.

How safe are the old cars?

Over the decades, wear and tear has meant that suspension no longer seems to be a thing in Cuba. Given that the lack of suspension means even the slightest knock will rattle your whole chassis, you might expect that the Cuban roads would be designed to reduce this as much as possible. Well, no. Cuban motorways are a minefield – and that’s barely a metaphor.

Initially, you may find the highways in Cuba are eerily quiet, with hours passing before another car rumbles past you. This is because there are under 180,000 cars in the whole country – compared to Britain’s 35 million. What the motorways are busy with, however, is pot holes, stray dogs, rogue cows, rickshaws, cyclists, street stalls, and just about anything else you can imagine. Take your eyes off the road for a couple of seconds to fiddle with the radio, and you are likely to glance back up to find your Chevrolet is now careening elegantly into a herd of bewildered goats. It’s probably advisable to check you still have all four tyres after every journey, too.

So, as you may have already considered, if you’re going to drive in Cuba you definitely need a seatbelt. Which is unfortunate, as there aren’t any. Seatbelts weren’t compulsory when the embargo began, meaning that the life-saving belts we take for granted never really reached Cuba. Not that the Cubans seem too fazed, sweeping lazily between lanes, oncoming traffic be damned. A little useful Spanish if you’re planning to take a ride in a Cuban taxi: “Más despacio, por favor” means “Slow down, please”.

How are they still functioning?!

Despite the peculiarities of Cuban driving, it’s impossible not to be impressed. Cuba is a nation of mechanics unparalleled anywhere else in the world. It is thanks to a practical can-do attitude and resourcefulness that the average Cuban can keep a 1955 Ford Fairlane Sunliner functioning as a taxi after 60 years, travelling hundreds of miles along treacherous motorway every single day. Under the bonnet you’ll find an engine to make Frankenstein jealous, with a mess of old parts from the US, Soviet Union, and China. It shouldn’t work, but it does. Somehow.

With the USA currently in talks with Cuba to begin trading once more, the iconic cars of Cuba look likely to begin disappearing from their chaotic roads in the near future, snapped up by collectors around the world and replaced by more modern vehicles. If you want to experience the thrill of driving in Cuba, there’s never been a better time to go. In the meantime, check out our website to see the latest generation of Fords, whose great grandfathers are still chugging around Havana to this day.

Author: Dan Hackett

Title: The Fastest Cars of All Time

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Summary: The fastest vehicles people have engineered operate in outer space. Up there, there’s no energy to waste on traction, and no gravity to worry about. But down on the ground, there is, and things get trickier. Yet as far back as the 1920s, we were mastering it – mastering the art of horsepower, torque and getting a tonnes’ worth of metal to move at over 100mph.

Meta Title: The Fastest Cars of All Time

Meta Description: Speed through the decades with our list of the fastest cars of all time, from 1920's torpedoes through to today's torque trailblazers.

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The fastest vehicles people have engineered operate in outer space. Up there, there’s no energy to waste on traction, and no gravity to worry about. But down on the ground, there is, and things get trickier. Yet as far back as the 1920s, we were mastering it – mastering the art of horsepower, torque and getting a tonnes’ worth of metal to move at over 100mph.

It’s amazing when you think about it.

To celebrate this miraculous achievement, we’re going to list the fastest cars in the world by decade, starting with the 1920s. To make this a fair round up, only production cars will make the cut – no race cars and no prototypes. So without further ado, let’s begin:

1920s – Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo
20s - Mercedes Torpedo - resized

Manufactured from 1928, the Mercedes-Benz 680S Saoutchik Torpedo was way ahead of its time, and was the fastest production car of the 1920s. It had a top speed of 110mph, courtesy of a 6.8-litre inline-6 supercharged dual-carburettor engine with a total 180 horsepower.

1930s – Delahaye 135 Modifie Speciale (MS)

The 135MS, launched in 1937, was the definitive version of Delahaye’s signature chassis. It was the top model in the range, with a 3,557cc straight-6 engine with 135 horsepower. It had a quoted top speed of 100mph, and was therefore one of the fastest cars in the world.

1940s – Jaguar XK120

40s - Jaguar XK120 - resized

Launched at the 1948 London Motor Show, the Jaguar XK120 was the fastest production car in the world at the time. It was powered by a 3.4-litre dual overhead-cam inline-6 XK engine with 160 horsepower. The 120 in its name is a tribute to its top speed – 120mph.

1950s – Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe

Produced between 1954 and 1963, the Mercedes-Benz 300SL Coupe had a revolutionary fuel injection system, derived from the DB 601 V12 World War II fighter. This was added to a 3.0-litre overhead cam straight-6 engine, for 215 horsepower and a top speed of 161mph.

1960s – Lamborghini Miura P400S and Ferrari Daytona 365 GTB/4

60s - Lambo - resized

We’ve chosen two cars for this decade, as we can’t decide which is most impressive. We’d rather you be the judge of that! So first up we have the Lamborghini. The Lambo Miura – pictured above in a fetching orange colourway –  was produced from 1966 to 1973. It was powered by a 3,929cc naturally aspirated mid-mounted V12 engine with 360 horsepower. Its top speed is quoted as 171mph. The Ferrari 365 GTB/4 was powered by a 4.4-litre front-mounted V12 with six Weber carburettors, producing 352bhp. Yet with less power than the Miura, it had a greater top speed of 174mph.

1970s – Lamborghini Countach LP400 and Ferrari F12BB

Again, we’ve had to choose two cars for this decade because they are so closely matched. The Countach LP400 was the perfect successor to the Miura. Although originally planned to have a 5.0-litre V12, it had a 3,929cc mid-mounted V12 engine with 360 horsepower and a quoted top speed of 186, but in reality it was more like 170. The Ferrari F12BB, or Berlinetta Boxer, had a 4.4-litre V12 engine with 360 horsepower. To do one up on Lamborghini, they quoted a top speed of 188mph, however in reality it was no faster than the Countach.

1980s – RUF CTR

Introduced in 1987 and based on the Porsche 911, the RUF CTR was a limited-production high-performance super-light sports car that shocked the supercar world. It had a highly tuned version of Porsche’s 3.2-litre flat-six cylinder engine. Two turbochargers and uprated components gave this car a staggering 469bhp and 553 N-m of torque, and with that a 0-62mph time of 3.2 seconds and a top speed of 211mph. Nicknamed ‘Yellowbird’, the CTR could be outperformed to 60mph by supercars, but it’d outperform them at the top end.

1990s – McLaren F1

90s - Mclaren f1 - resized

The McLaren F1, like the RUF CTR, is faster than many supercars today. It was a huge leap forward in car engineering, with a stunning top speed of 242.8mph with the speed limiter removed, or 231mph without the limiter removed. It was powered by a 6.1-litre S70/2 V12 engine with 618bhp and 617 N-m of torque. It wasn’t just the mighty top speed that made this car the icon it is today, however, with its acceleration smashing every other production car ever made; 0-62mph in 3.2 seconds and 0-100mph in 6.4 seconds is what it would do.

2000s – Bugatti Veyron 16.4

00s - Bugatti Veyron - resized

The McLaren F1 was knocked off its perch as the fastest production car in the world in 2005 by the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 – almost a decade after it was introduced. The Veyron was somewhat of an oddity, though, in that it wasn’t a super-light supercar. It had big leather seats, a luxurious interior and a suspension designed for comfort, not the track.

And yet with its 8.0-litre W16 quad-turbo engine producing 1,000bhp and 1,250 N-m of torque, the Bugatti Veyron 16.4 obliterated the F1’s speed record with a top speed of 253.81mph and a 0-62mph time of 2.7 seconds, thanks to all-wheel-drive. In 2010, Bugatti bettered their own record with a speed of 267.857 in the Bugatti Veyron SuperSport, a lighter more agile version of the 16.4. But this record didn’t last for very long…

2010s – Hennessey Venom GT

10s - Hennessey Venom GT - resized

Known as the unofficial fastest accelerating car in the world, The Hennessey Venom GT is produced by Hennessey Performance in America. It is based on the Lotus Exige, however ‘based on’ is putting the two together too closely, really, for the GT is in a different world.

In tests, it hit 270.49mph at the Kennedy Space Centre in 2014, making it the world’s fastest road car. However, it did not make the Guinness World Book of Records, because Hennessey hadn’t produced 30 at the time. But make no mistake – this is still the fastest road car in the world! To compound this, it does hold several other records, such as for the fastest production car from 0–186 mph with an average acceleration time of 13.63 seconds which was recorded and awarded by Guinness. Next stop – 300mph with the Venom F5.

Author: Tom

Title: Forgotten Cars of the 1990’s

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Summary: The 1990s was a stunning decade for cars. It was the decade of the McLaren F1, the Lamborghini Diablo and the Honda NSX and of course, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth. However, some of the greatest cars of the 90's have been lost to time...

Meta Title: Forgotten Cars of the 1990s | 90s Cars

Meta Description: Take a trip back in time with Bristol Street Motors to uncover some of the most unappreciated, underrated, or simply forgotten cars of the 1990's.

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The 1990s was a stunning decade for cars. It was the decade of the McLaren F1, the Lamborghini Diablo and the Honda NSX and of course, the Ford Escort RS Cosworth.

There are many more all-time greats we could list (Dodge Viper, Toyota Supra and Jaguar XJ220, anyone?) but rather than do that, we thought we would celebrate the forgotten cars of the ‘90s – the cars that should have been a far greater success than they ever were, and the cars that were sold in such a limited numbers that they have gone largely unnoticed.

Lest we forget, the following cars of the ‘90s:

Bugatti EB110 – The forgotten supercar

Bugatti EB110 - resized

The Bugatti EB110 is perhaps the rarest of all ‘90s supercars. It was designed by Marcello Gandini and Giampaolo Benedini and produced from 1991-1995 in Modena, Italy. The car had a stunning 60-valve, quad-turbo V12 powering all four wheels. With 558bhp at its disposal, 0-62mph was dealt with in just 3.2 seconds and the GT would go on to a whopping 213mph. It was very much a competitor to the Jaguar XJ220, although it lagged behind the Jaguar in terms of top speed (231mph). As a result, it never got the praise it deserved.

However, the EB110 lives on as a classic. It’s got a turbocharged power deliver to match the Ferrari F40 and the looks to match a McLaren F1. It is, in all ways, a truly incredible machine.

Volkswagen Golf Limited – The forgotten People’s Car

Golf LTD - resized

If you’ve never heard of this car, we’re not surprised. Only 71 were produced by Volkswagen Motorsport and only a handful still exist today, so they are exceedingly rare machines.

The Volkswagen Golf Limited was based on the Rallye Golf (pictured top). It had a 16-valve G60 engine and all-wheel-drive. The G60 engine was a special unit, in that it had a supercharger. In this application, it produced 207bhp and 186 lb/ft. of torque and accelerated from 0-62mph in 7.2 seconds. For the most part, these cars were sold internally to Volkswagen executives with very few units reaching the regular motorist. The Golf Limited was the most powerful Golf ever produced until the MK4 R32 in 2003, and today it’s the rarest Golf in the world, so if you see one, chances are it’s a replica or you can count yourself very, very lucky indeed.

BMW Z3 M Coupe – The forgotten shooting-brake

BMW Coupe (resized)

If you ever see one of these superb cars on the road, you won’t forget the moment, for the BMW Z3 M Coupe is one of the most stunning cars BMW ever made.

Manufactured from 1998-2002, the Z3 M Coupe was a shooting-brake version of the Z3 sports car. In fact, everything from the A-pillar forward is interchangeable with the Z3 Roadster, but the Coupe had a character of its very own. It had a S50B32 3.2-litre inline-6 engine with a very healthy 316bhp and 258 lb/ft. of torque.

Sadly, the Z3 M Coupe was one of the slowest selling cars BMW ever made, in part due to its bold design, and as a result these cars are exceptionally rare and they hold their value better than any other BMW today, bar the E30 M3.

Audi S6 and S8 – The forgotten performance saloons

The original Audi S6 was sold from 1994-1997, but it didn’t enjoy the high sales of its modern counterpart. Today, around 120 are left taxed and tested while a further 40 are declared SORN. And that’s a shame, as the original S6 was a good car.

There were two engines available – a 2.2-litre turbocharged inline-5 petrol engine with 227bhp and 240 lb/ft. and a 4.2-litre V8 with 286bhp. The V8 was an optional upgrade over the 2.2 and this had a meaty growl. All versions had Quattro all-wheel-drive.

The S8 had fewer sales than its smaller brethren. It was the first car to be launched on Audi’s then new D2 platform. It was powered by the same 4.2-litre engine found in the S6 however in this car it produced a healthy 333bhp. Only 139 are left taxed and tested today.

Nissan Sunny GTI-R – The forgotten hot hatch

Nissan Sunny - resized

The Sunny GTI-R was way ahead of its time, and it was arguably one of the best hot hatches of the ‘90s. It had a whopping 227bhp and 210 lb/ft. of torque, courtesy of a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, as well as all-wheel-drive. And the results were astonishing; 0-62mph in 5 seconds flat and an electronically limited top speed of 144mph.

To put that into context, this car accelerates faster than today’s MK7 Golf GTI and Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy – heck, it’s only 0.2 seconds off a DSG-equipped Audi S3. It was also fast enough to see off the mighty Ford Escort RS Cosworth. Yet, only 12,000 of these wicked hot hatches were sold, and only a few thousand still exist today.

Alfa Romeo 164 Europa – The forgotten charmer

The 164 came out in the ‘80s, but the best version came in the ‘90s. It was available with a 2.0i Twin Spark Engine, or a brisk 3.0i V6 or 2.5 turbo-diesel. The range became known as the 164 Super in 1993 and in the ‘90s it was bolstered by the stunning 3.0i V6 Quadrifoglio 4 (badged as the Q4), which was the fastest production 164 with all-wheel-drive.

It was a very handsome car, and the wooden steering wheel some models were optioned with just screams ‘90s awesomeness. You can pick up a well-loved model for £1,000 today.

TVR Griffith – The forgotten sports car

TVR Griffith - resized

Last but not least, we have the gorgeous and brutally-fast TVR Griffith.

Produced from 1991-2002, the original Griffith had a 4.0-litre Rover V8 engine with 240bhp or it could be had with a bored-out 4.3-litre version of the same engine, for 280bhp. The best version though came in 1993, after TVR developed their own 5.0-litre engine based on the Rover V8. This had a much more befitting 340bhp, and like all Griffith’s the power was fed to the rear wheels through a snappy 5-speed manual gearbox.

This light weight, high-power sports car was extremely well balanced and it offered a pure driving experience with no driver aids or safety features to speak of. The only thing keeping you on the road were four rubber tyres and your own reactions. You don’t get that today!

And there we have it…

So there we have it – the 90s cars that time forgot. We’d like to also give a special mention to the second-generation Toyota MR2, the Lotus Esprit, the Nissan Silvia S15 Spec R, the Leblanc Caroline GTR and the facelifted Renault Alpine. Whilst some, might have forgotten you, you’ll always have a special place in our hearts.

If you’re looking for a car that you’ll never forget, why not browse from our selection of used cars.

Author: Tom