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Automotive manufacturers are always trying to create the next best thing. Throughout history, there has only been a handful who have achieved just that. This list from Car News Central compiles 7 cars that were ahead of their time.
You might remember that we’ve taken a closer look at the Miura in the past, branded as the true mother of all supercars. The 239.9 cubic inch, V12 engine is capable of 345horsepower.
Every time the exotic silhouette of a mid-engine car catches your eye, the Lamborghini Miura’s influence is there. Produced between 1966 and 1973, it was the first serious production mid-engined supercar, and had a transversely mounted V12 tucked behind the passenger compartment. It delighted in being driven fast, and is still very expensive today.
Jensen Interceptor FF
Audi Quattro what? Jenson was making four wheel drive passenger cars all the way back in the 1960s, but it suffered from poor British engineering. The four-wheel drive system worked fine, but it was only engineered for right hand drive cars and it was much more expensive than a RWD interceptor. Produced between 1966 and 1971, it featured a 439.7 cubic inch engine that was capable of 385 horsepower.
Mid-engined, right-wheel drive and shaped like a wedge. It is the modern supercar before there was a modern supercar. It’s so advanced that Lancia are now building a new car based on the same principles almost 40 years later. Featuring a 2.4 liter, V6 engine that Stratos can produce 189.59 horsepower and was made between 1973 and 1978.
Nowadays it’s kind of a given that supercars will have active aerodynamics to keep them pinned to the road at ludicrous speeds, but back in the 90s that kind of witchcraft was unheard of. So that made it all the more impressive when the Mitsubishi GTO rocked up with front and rear spoilers that could move depending on your speed. Manufactured between 1990 and 2001, the GTO also had a full time four-wheel drive and four-wheel steering. Manufactured with a 181.6 cubic inch engine, the GTO could produce 276 horsepower.
When it was introduced in 1986, the 959 was the fastest street-legal production car, with a top speed of 195mph. Each car had a complicated AWD system that standardized AWS for Turbo models following it. You could control ride height and was the first passenger car to have an electronic tire pressure monitoring system. The 959 was manufactured between 1986 and 1988 and then was reintroduced into production in 1992 and 1993. The sportscar featured a 2.8 liter, 173.85 cubic inch engine capable of 450 horsepower.
The retro looks are archetypal 1930s to 1940s America and it’s the forerunner to the modern minivan. And it looks way, way better than any minivan. It had a rear-mounted Ford V8, capable of 90 horsepower which left the interior wide open for passengers. This car was manufactured in 1936.
It even had radio controls clustered around the steering wheel, previewing a move towards safer and more accessible controls. The car, produced between 1947 and 1948, was also designed, much like the modern Prius, to have as low coefficient of drag as possible. The loss of this car and it’s 5.5 liter, 334 cubic inch engine is a true tragedy.