Prior to our finale, the wonderful world of wedge-shaped supercars nears.
20. Mazda Savanna RX-7 Turbo GTX
165 PS | 1035 kg | 159 PS/t
It’s a widely known fact that Wankel engines and turbocharging go together like fish and chips. Knowledge at hand, Mazda put two and two together as a parting gift for the first generation RX-7. Later iterations may attract more attention today, but the first of the breed broke ground (as much as it broke apex seals).
19. Nissan Silvia/Gazelle 2000 RS Turbo
190 PS | 1170 kg | 162 PS/t
Before the Silvia name became synonymous to the drifting scene, with unmodified examples ceasing to exist entirely, it was home to a subdued range of coupés. Since dipping its toes into Motorsport, a generous 6500 RPM dripped its way into the road version. Certainly, the car deserves more recognition today.
18. Nissan Fairlady Z 2+2 300
230 PS | 1385 kg | 166 PS/t
Known in the West as the 300ZX, few noticed shared parts with the outgoing cheese-on-wheels 280ZX, fans still flocked via the turbocharger method. Listed here is the larger 2+2 variant, meaning it features extra space to cart around the whole family; provided the family members in question each happen to be mice.
17. Jaguar XJ-S HE
299 PS | 1770 kg | 169 PS/t
Any car tasked to replace the E-type Jag had an awfully tough act to follow. Likewise, the XJ-S was blamed for making a royal hash of things, though redemption was imminent. Enter the HE, which worked on fuel-efficiency; thus winning the prestigious Spa 24 hour race of 1984, surpassing even BMW’s best.
16. Maserati Biturbo 425
200 PS | 1180 kg | 169 PS/t
Being crushed by a skip on a certain BBC television programme is hardly the kindest claim to fame, alas, the Maserati Biturbo never sought vindication from history. Record-breaking unreliability aside, this was a machine of inner beauty, best evidenced by stunning interiors. In any case, it’s the fastest four-door here.
15. Nissan Skyline 2000 RS Turbo
205 PS | 1195 kg | 172 PS/t
In the drought anterior to the 1989 revival of the Skyline GT-R, the fastest Skyline around remained driven by the rear wheels. Boost welcomed the smooth straight six, tidily wrapped up in a two-tone parcel. It may not be the definitive car to wear the name, however, it rightly settles as one of the most engaging.
14. Lotus Esprit Turbo
210 PS | 1220 kg | 172 PS/t
Striking would be the correct word to describe such a design. It was as if Giugiaro rendered it in an early 3D video game, razor edges and all. Handbuilt by 21 employees in Hethel, a production time of 24 days created a turbocharged monument to a radical design. Reliability concerns were just a drop in the ocean.
13. Ferrari 400i
315 PS | 1818 kg | 173 PS/t
Prancing horse to some, frolicking donkey to others, the 400 holds regard as one of the most controversial models in the company stable. As the first automatic Ferrari, fears were not unfounded, although V12 power would drown out the voices of detractors. Conclusions depended on if you liked the styling.
12. TVR Tasmin 350i Convertible
190 PS | 1021 kg | 186 PS/t
Ford engines were no longer cutting this slice of Blackpool cheddar, so the reputable Rover V8 stepped in as the power source for the next generation of models. Aptly referred to as the ‘TVR Wedges’ by fans, the comical name hid a shed-built supercar; the first stepping stone in the rise of the TVR golden age.
11. Ferrari 308 GTBi Quattrovalvole
240 PS | 1275 kg | 188 PS/t
Here is a Ferrari more people will recognise. The spotlight in a certain TV crime drama may have helped matters, yet even without such appearances, Pininfarina designed one of the purest expressions of the supercar. Various upgrades (including a change from fibreglass to steel) immortalised it further.
Next time, we will focus on the runner-ups. Tune in for the finale afterwards.
All photos sourced from WheelsAge.org.