While car-buyers looking for speed will likely restrict their search to models built in the past couple of years, some cars from
as early as the ’90scan keep up, even when judged by modern standards.
Fastest cars of the ‘90s: Early in the decade
1991 Vector W8 Twin Turbo: This 3680-pound model is surprisingly light on its feet and can go 0-60 mph in only 3.8 seconds. With a horsepower of 625, the 1991 Vector W8 Twin Turbo is powerful, boasting a 6-liter V8 twin-turbocharged engine.
Though the car’s design is from the mid-’70s, it nonetheless has a modern appeal. With a high snout, sharp creases, and a timeless style, the Vector W8 is made to satisfy particularly demanding drivers—those looking for speed, power, and glamour, all in one make.
1991 Audi Avus Quattro Concept: The 1991 Audi Avus Quattro Concept never graduated past the concept car stage and to the road. Nevertheless, Audi claimed that this model could reach impressive speeds—especially for the early ’90s—hitting 212 mph and reaching 60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
Using Audi’s 6-liter W12 engine, the Avus Quattro Concept had a horsepower of around 500. Sadly, this top-grade car was a non-functional model, and never actually got to see the light of day.
1994 was a good year for fastest cars of the ‘90s
1994 Dauer 962 Le Mans: Despite its power and speed, this
racing caris legal to drive on the road. Compared to its Group C predecessor, the 1994 Dauer 962 Le Mans is built with carbon fiber panels and a flat floor plan, both of which are designed to increase the car’s stability.
The 962 is high performance, with a 3-liter six-turbo engine and a horsepower of 730. Though it was built in the mid-’90s, it can reach shockingly high speeds, going from zero to 60 miles per hour (mph) in 2.8 seconds and hitting a top speed of 251 mph.
1994 Renault Espace F1: Looks like 1994 was a good year for building fast cars. The 1994 Renault Espace F1 was built to celebrate the Williams Formula 1 team’s racing win, and it was equipped with a 3.5-liter V10 engine that was borrowed directly from the winning FW15C F1 racing car.
Though the 1994 Renault Espace F1 was one of the fastest cars built in the ’90s, only one was ever produced. This ultra-rare vehicle boasts a horsepower of 789 and can go from 0-60 mph in only 2.8 seconds.
Fastest cars of the ‘90s: Middle of the decade and beyond
1995 McLaren F1-LM. This
hypercarstill ranks as one of the fastest cars of all time, despite being built in the early ’90s. Launched in 1991, the McLaren F1-LM was incredibly rare. A total of only 106 F1s were built, but the F1-LM was rarer still, with a mere five produced.
Its 6.1-liter V12 engine pushed the car to a horsepower of 680, an impressive feat. Due to its sleekness—the F1-LM’s weight was reduced by 132 pounds—the model could go from 0-60 mph in only 2.9 seconds.
1995 Porsche 911 Turbo: With a short chassis and a twin-turbo engine, this model was built to pack a punch. With a horsepower of 400 and a speed of 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, this car isn’t graceful—but it’s certainly powerful.
1997 Porsche 911 Turbo S: According to Car and Driver, the 911 Turbo S was built as a one-up to the 911 Turbo and designed to satisfy uber-rich folks looking for a high-performance, limited-edition car that’s worth over a hundred grand (approximately the original price of the 911 Turbo).
The 1997 911 Turbo S went for $163,000 apiece, and its primary allure was that Porsche gave it a limited run. By manufacturing scarcity, Porsche could swindle an extra 50 grand from wealthy car-buyers eager to have the rarer model. The 911 Turbo S could go 0-60 mph in 3.7 seconds, making it an impressive vehicle despite the steep price.
Of course, this list isn’t comprehensive: there are several other cars from the '90s that reached dazzling speeds, including the 1994 TWR Jaguar XJ220S, the 1999 Lamborghini Diablo GT, and the Porsche 911 GT1.
Check out the full lists from Hot Cars and Car and Driver for even more top picks.