Mixing unlikely contenders with storied nameplates, the mission continues.
60. Mitsubishi Galant 2000 Turbo ECI
150 PS | 1145 kg | 131 PS/t
No matter how high standards are raised, a few unsung four-doors always manage to slip in. Even the little-documented and otherwise innocuous Galant contends. Produced long before Mitsubishi’s rally dominance, yet long after the company defaulted to front-wheel drive, it owes merit to typical turbo trickery.
59. Honda Accord/Vigor 1800 FI
130 PS | 990 kg | 131 PS/t
As if the Galant was not mundane enough, the face of vanilla, the Honda Accord cuts above. Instead, magic stems from one of the first multi-port and computer controlled fuel injection systems in a Japanese car. At 62 mpg (52 mpg US), it’s impressive by today’s standards, especially for a naturally-aspirated car.
58. Opel Monza 3.0i
180 PS | 1370 kg | 131 PS/t
Rich man’s Ford Capri or poor man’s BMW 6 Series? Altogether, this Senator-based coupé was little more than a curious footnote in history. At the very least: an on-board computer, sleeker styling and a well deserved name change for the British ‘Vauxhall Royale Coupé’ variant admirably updated the ageing design.
57. Opel Manta 400
144 PS | 1095 kg | 132 PS/t
This Opel double-header ends with a tragic rally hero. Set to rule the stage with legend Walter Röhrl at the wheel, bad timing meant Lancia and Audi would steal both the spotlight and the driver. Today, Manta owners suffer a fate worse than death: a German joke cycle. Der kürzeste Manta Witz? Steht ein Manta vor der Uni.
56. Saab 900 Turbo 16
175 PS | 1315 kg | 133 PS/t
The world would be a duller place without this, Saab’s final in-house design. Attention to detail was astonishing; even the doors were specifically designed to meet the undercarriage, to ease ingress and limit corrosion from incoming debris. As early adopters of turbocharging, Saab were no strangers to speed too.
55. Chevrolet Corvette
193 PS | 1445 kg | 134 PS/t
No introduction is needed for the very blueprint of the American sports car. It died in 1983, only to be resurrected as the most anticipated car of the next year. Truly, this was a wonderful performance bargain; but a certain synth-funk hit bearing the Corvette name went further on the charts than the real car did here.
54. Toyota Soarer 2800
175 PS | 1305 kg | 134 PS/t
Appearances deceive, in fact this was arguably Japan’s Corvette; conceived as a larger, more subtle version of the Supra. Although, any pretences of subtlety hit the floor as the Soarer became the heavily modified star of the 1986 manga, Shakotan Boogie. Thus, the Japanese fascination with lowered car culture began.
53. Alfa Romeo Alfa 90 2.5 Quadrifoglio Oro
158 PS | 1170 kg | 135 PS/t
In top form, Alfa Romeo kept to the V6 rear-wheel drive formula they were known for. Also keeping with tradition, the world famous build quality of the company ensued no one would ever see it again. Despite commercial failure and, more recently, existential failure: it led the road to the 2016 Giulia Quadrifoglio.
52. Buick Regal 3.8 Turbo
203 PS | 1490 kg | 136 PS/t
If the Corvette was an icon, the Regal Turbo; better known as the Grand National, was a dark horse. Meteors of regulation threatened to wipe out the muscle car for good. Knowingly, Buick offered the turbocharged ‘T-Type’ range to adapt to the new climate. One black costume later, and the rest is history.
51. Volvo 760 Turbo
182 PS | 1330 kg | 137 PS/t
Remember, this rear-driven turbo brick can outrun every vehicle so far. In fact, it’s on par with the next car in a numerical tie, only losing to a tiebreaker based on 0-60 time. Anyone berating it for being ‘too square’ would be pushed into a rhombus under acceleration. No wonder John Luther drove a Volvo 700 Series.
Now approaching the top half, come back next time for serious performance.
All photos sourced from WheelsAge.org.