The ten Most Iconic American Automobiles From The Nineties

Ford Taurus SHO

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There was a time when a Ford Taurus was faster than a Ford Mustang GT. When the second-generation Ford Taurus Tremendous Excessive Output (SHO) got here out, in 1992, it nonetheless had the Yamaha-designed 3.0-liter V-6. The 1993 mannequin yr launched a much bigger 3.2-liter model of the engine, which produced the identical 220 horsepower, however now made 215 pound-feet (292 Nm) as a substitute of the three.0-liter’s 200 pound-feet (271 Nm).

The engine had a redline of seven,000 RPM and was mated to a five-speed handbook transmission with 3.73 gears, designed by Mazda. The Second-generation additionally had an optionally available four-speed automated. With the handbook gearbox, the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) dash took 6.5 seconds whereas the high pace was 143 mph (230 km/h).

Ford Taurus SHO specs
Engine3.2-liter V-6
Energy220 HP
Torque215 LB-FT
Transmissionfive-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph6.5 seconds
High Velocity143 mph

Chevrolet Corvette C4 ZR-1

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The Corvette C4 is usually seen because the worst era Corvette, nevertheless it’s presently the best option to get a top-of-the-range Chevrolet Corvette, with out having to promote any inside organs. The C4 Corvette ZR-1 began as an concept for the quickest manufacturing automotive. After GM acquired Lotus, in 1986, the Corvette division began working carefully with Lotus engineers so as to create the C4 ZR-1. Probably the most notable distinction of the C4 ZR-1 was the brand new engine, rather than the outdated L98 V-8.

The brand new LT5 engine was nonetheless a 5.7-liter V-8, however featured DOHC and 32 valves. Lotus’s experience resulted in 375 horsepower at 5,800 RPM and 370 pound-feet (502 Nm) at 4,800 RPM. Regardless of being 200 kilos (91 kg) heavier than the usual C4 Corvette, the ZR-1 managed a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) dash in 4.5 seconds, on to a high pace of 176 mph (284 km/h). Energy was routed by a six-speed ZF handbook.

Chevrolet C4 Corvette ZR-1 specs
Engine5.7-liter V-8
Energy375 HP @ 5,800 RPM
Torque370 LB-FT @ 4,800 RPM
Transmissionsix-speed ZF handbook
0 to 60 mph4.5 seconds
High Velocity176 mph

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R “Fox-body”

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The third-generation Ford Mustang has the longest lifespan, thus far. It got here out again in 1978 and was produced all the best way till 1993. It was within the final yr when probably the most thrilling model got here out – the SVT Cobra R. The Fox-body used a modified model of the “5.0” (it’s really a 4.9-liter) engine that featured GT40 “high-flow” cylinder heads. The end result – 238 horsepower a 4,600 RPM and 280 pound-feet (380 Nm) at 4,000 RPM.

Many imagine that the Fox-body Mustang Cobra was underrated due to the 14.-second quarter-mile time at 98 mph (158 km/h) and 5.7-second 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) dash. Energy went to the rear by a “beefed-up” T5, five-speed handbook.

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra R “Fox-body” specs
Engine4.9-liter V-8
Energy238 HP @ 4,600 RPM
Torque280 LB-FT @ 4,000 RPM
Transmissionfive-speed handbook
Quarter mile14 seconds @ 98 mph
High Velocity176 mph

Chevrolet Camaro SS “Catfish”

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The fourth-generation Chevy Camaro is among the most recognizable ones and even has a hilarious nickname, which displays that. It’s known as the “Catfish” as a result of it appears to be like like an precise catfish, particularly on the entrance. The fourth-generation Camaro was underpinned by the identical F-platform from the third-generation Camaro.

The fourth-generation Chevy Camaro SS got here with quite a lot of 5.7-liter pushrod V-8s. In 1997, the long-lasting LS1 engine was launched. The V-8 variations produced as much as 330 horsepower and 345 pound-feet (468 Nm). With the T56, six-speed handbook feeding energy to the rear, the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) was doable in 5.5 seconds on to a high pace of 160 mph (258 km/h). Again within the Nineties, the Camaro SS was highly effective, huge, and low cost, which makes it quintessentially American.

Chevrolet Camaro SS “Catfish” specs
Engine5.7-liter pushrod V-8
Energy330 HP
Torque345 LB-FT
Transmissionsix-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph5.5 seconds
High Velocity160 mph

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am

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A lot of what makes the fourth-generation Chevrolet Camaro SS nice applies to the fourth-generation Pontiac Firebird since they’re, basically, the identical automotive. Each vehicles debuted across the similar time, in 1992, and have been based mostly on the outdated F-platform. Just like the “Catfish” Camaro, the Firebird’s high-performance variations got here with quite a lot of 5.7-liter V-8 engines, together with the LS1, for which a WS6 efficiency bundle was obtainable, together with a practical “Ram Air” hood scoop and a high-performance exhaust.

Energy ranged from 275 to 330 horsepower and as much as 345 pound-feet (468 Nm). Just like the Camaro, a BorgWarner T56, six-speed handbook ship energy to the rear, which ends up in a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 5.4 seconds. The Nineties wouldn’t see probably the most highly effective, Firehawk, model of the Firebird, which obtained the Corvette model of the LS1 pumping out as much as 350 horsepower.

Pontiac Firebird Trans Am specs
Engine5.7-liter V-8
Energy275 – 330 HP
Torque345 LB-FT
Transmissionsix-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph5.4 seconds

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra (SN95)

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To not be mistaken with the supercharged “Terminator” Cobra, the 1999 Mustang SVT Cobra includes a naturally-aspirated model of the four-valve, 4.6-liter V-8 that makes 320 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 317 pound-feet (430 Nm) at 4,750 RPM. Whereas not probably the most highly effective model of the SN95 Mustang, the automotive serves as a baseline for creating among the most iconic modern-day Mustangs, such because the “Terminator” Cobra and SVT Cobra R.

With a five-speed handbook, sending energy to the rear, the 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) occurs in 4.8 seconds. In 1999, a complete of 8,095 models have been produced in convertible or coupe physique type, and by 2001, the entire manufacturing run of the non-supercharged SVT Cobra reached 15,346 models.

Ford Mustang SVT Cobra (SN95) specs
Engine4.6-liter V-8
Energy320 HP @ 6,000 RPM
Torque317 LB-FT @ 4,750 RPM
Transmissionfive-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph4.8 seconds

Chevrolet Corvette C5

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The Chevrolet Corvette has been the definitive American sports activities automotive for many years and on the time of penning this, the C5 is presently the largest bang for the buck of any of the eight (thus far) Corvette generations. The legendary LS1 comes as commonplace and packs 345 horsepower at 5,600 RPM and 350 pound-feet (475 Nm) at 4,400 RPM in early variations.

Whereas a four-speed automated is obtainable, the popular transmission is a BorgWarner T56, a six-speed handbook. Due to a comparatively low weight of simply over 3,100 kilos (1,400 kg), the C5 Corvette can dash from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 4.5 seconds and attain a high pace of 174 mph (280 km/h).

Chevrolet Corvette C5 specs
Energy345 HP @ 5,600 RPM
Torque350 LB-FT @ 4,400 RPM
Transmissionsix-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph4.5 seconds
High Velocity174 mph

Learn our full evaluate on the Chevrolet Corvette C5.

Dodge Viper

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For a lot of, Dodge Viper is the true American supercar. The venomous snake isn’t solely pure extra when it comes to aesthetics, driving expertise, and powerplant, however is a religious successor to a different “over-the-top” American icon – the Shelby Cobra. Commissioned by Chrysler president, Bob Lutz and designed by Tom Gale, later Carroll Shelby himself was connected to the venture. No shock, on condition that the thought was to create a modern-day Shelby Cobra. Just like the Cobra, the Viper wished to kill you and had a giant engine.

On this case, it was an 8.0-liter OHV V-10, based mostly on a truck engine. Earlier fashions produced simply over 400 horsepower with generation-two fashions bumping it as much as 450 horsepower (in actuality, 488 horsepower). One factor that by no means modified was that the Viper had gobs of low-end torque – as much as 490 pound-feet (490 pound-feet (665 Nm). The Viper all the time got here with a T56, six-speed handbook, with very lengthy gearing. Even earlier vehicles might attain from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.8 seconds.

Dodge Viper specs
Engine8.0-liter OHV V-10
Energy450 HP
Torque490 LB-FT
TransmissionT56, six-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph3.8 seconds

Learn our full evaluate on the Dodge Viper

Shelby Sequence 1

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If the Dodge Viper was a religious successor to the Shelby Cobra, the Shelby Sequence 1 was a Shelby Cobra, reimagined. The light-weight American roadster got here out in 1999 as a very limited-production automotive – 249 models in whole. It was designed by Carroll Shelby and produced by Shelby American, similar to the Sixties Shelby Cobra. In contrast to the Cobra, nevertheless, it was not powered by a Ford V-8. As a substitute, it was motivated by a 4.0-liter L47 Aurora, Oldsmobile V-8 engine with DOHC and 32 valves.

The usual Sequence 1 produced 320 horsepower and 290 pound-feet (393 Nm), which was good for a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) time of 4.1 seconds and a high pace of 170 mph (274 km/h). The quarter-mile was blasted in 12.8 seconds at 112 mph (180 km/h). A six-speed handbook transaxle despatched energy to the rear wheels. Optionally available packages included an X50 bundle that added 50 horsepower and a supercharger package bumping output to 450 horsepower and 400 pound-feet (542 Nm), however solely 9 examples had each.

Shelby Sequence 1 specs
Engine4.0-liter L47 Aurora, Oldsmobile V-8 engine
Energy320 HP
Torque290 LB-FT
Transmissionsix-speed handbook
0 to 60 mph4.1 seconds
High Velocity170 mph

Learn our full evaluate on the Shelby Sequence 1

Ford Crown Victoria

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Whereas humble in comparison with the remaining, the Ford Crown Victoria is the epitome of Nineties, American motoring. The “Crown Vic” will principally be remembered as the most well-liked automotive of taxi firms and police departments because it “served” as the popular people-moving and law-enforcement car of alternative for a few years. Since 2007, the Crown Victoria was obtainable as a fleet automotive solely. What makes the “Crown Vic” an iconic Nineties American automotive is the simplicity, reliability, and full lack of sophistication.

Energy got here from the 4.6-liter, Ford modular V-8 that made as much as 250 horsepower and 287 pound-feet (389 Nm). All through its years of service, the ‘Vic” got here with quite a lot of four-speed automatics. Regardless of that includes a not-very-inspiring, body-on-frame construction, the “Vic” was the bottom for some epic efficiency variations just like the Mercury Marauder and Ford Bondurant Crown Victoria, which had as much as 355 horsepower and 316 pound-feet (428 Nm).

Ford Crown Victoria specs
Engine4.6-liter, Ford modular V-8
Energy250 HP
Torque287 LB-FT
Transmissionfour-speed automated

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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