Sports cars are fun to drive, give us a sense of excitement, and look amazing while on the road whether driving at top speed or cruising slow.
When you see one of these cars drive past you, it’s nearly impossible not to stop and stare. Whether you admire the style, the low-slung build, the impressive rear wing, or the sounds these cars make, they quickly grab your attention and don’t give it back. With that in mind, let’s take a walk back to the 1990s to reminisce about the performance cars offered and how much they cost during that decade.
Mazda RX-7 (Pictured Above)
Using a Wankel rotary engine and a lightweight body, the Mazda RX-7 was a hit. This car gave owners a manual transmission and the balance needed to scream down any road. Even though the engine was only 1.3-liters in size, the output was incredible at 250 horsepower and 217 lb.-ft. of torque. The total weight of an RX-7 was 2,700 pounds, making it a lightweight performance machine. Originally, this little Mazda cost as little as $10,200 and topped out at $15,100 when it was new. Some models of this car sell for as much as $45,000 today.
Toyota Supra MK4
With a legacy such that the MK4 model offered, it’s no wonder Toyota brought back the Supra. This was easily one of the hottest sports cars of the decade, giving enthusiasts a car that was impossible to beat. Tuners loved the Supra because it could take every modification they could think of and continue to run perfectly. This A80 version used a familiar 3.0-liter twin-turbocharged straight six-cylinder engine to produce 320 horsepower and 315 lb.-ft. of torque. Originally, this car sold for $34,225, but some MK4 models go for upwards of $200,000 today.
The Nissan 300ZX was one of the most popular performance cars during the 1990s. This car was everywhere, with more than 80,000 versions sold in North America. Using a 3.0-liter V6 engine, this car produced 222 horsepower, but with the addition of twin turbos, that number increased to 300 ponies for the ride. Simple, understated, and successful, the 300ZX was off and running but was quickly discontinued in North America due to the Yen/Dollar ratio. Originally, this car cost $30,000, but you can find one for close to $27,000today.
Acura brought us a glorious mid-engine sports car, an excellent alternative to Ferrari. This beautiful car brought performance lines, an excellent reliability record, and the style that turned heads. 270 horsepower and 210 lb.-ft. of torque pumped out of the 3.0-liter V6 engine of the NSX, making it one of the top-performing sports cars of the decade. How much did an Acura NSX cost in 1991? This car could be had for $62,000, which was quite a bit less than the Ferrari models.
Nissan Skyline GT-R R33
The R33 models of the Skyline made it to tuner shops around the world to be the car that was easy to customize. This car could produce impressive levels of power without too many changes being made. The Nissan Skyline GT-R used a 2.6-liter engine that produced 276 horsepower and 260 lb.-ft. of torque in stock form. A NISMO version upped the ante with a 2.8-liter twin-turbocharged engine producing 400 horsepower and 347 lb.-ft. of torque. Originally, this car cost around $30,000, but today it’s so rare the price has skyrocketed.
Sometimes we forget Mitsubishi used to make some of the coolest sports cars in the market. The 3000GT is a prime example of the performance and power this brand was known for creating. With the Toyota Supra in its crosshairs, the 3000Gt used a 3.0-liter V6 engine with a pair of turbos to pump out 300 horsepower and 308 lb.-ft. of torque. When new, this car fetched $39,000, but today you can buy one for a lot less.
The Porsche 968 finished off the 944 generation. Porsche was in a financial crisis and leaned on the 968 to dig them out. This was easily one of the best sports cars of the decade, giving us a 3.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that pumped out 240 horsepower and 225 lb.-ft. of torque. The lightweight build and impressive structure made the 968 a huge success in the market. When 1993 arrived, Porsche added a Turbo S performance version to this car, giving us 305 horsepower and 369 lb.-ft. of torque. The original starting price for this impressive Porsche was $39,950.
Even an entry-level Porsche is a lot of fun to drive. Thus, the Porsche Boxster was born in 1996 and hit the roads in 1997. The decade was coming to a close, but that wasn’t going to stop Porsche from giving us a fun little car to drive. This lightweight performance machine used a 2.5-liter flat six-cylinder engine producing plenty of power for a joyful drive. This could be the car that saved Porsche, and it sold for $40,745 in the 1990s.
The BMW M-Coupe was an interesting-looking car with a long front end and a hatchback rear. This car could easily be the mullet of the car world from the 1990s. Essentially, it was a Z3 roadster with the E36 and E46 engines under the hood. Unfortunately, sales were slow for a car that offered practicality and performance in one impressive machine. The original price for this unique car was around $46,000, which has more than doubled in today’s market.
Chevrolet Corvette C4
Hardly any list of sports cars from the 1990s is complete without the Corvette somewhere in the mix. The C4 version used an impressive 5.7-liter LT5 V8 engine to produce 375 horsepower, giving this car incredible power wherever it went. This car GM new life in the performance realm, making it a cornerstone model during its time in production. So many versions of the C4 Corvette were sold that the original price of $36,785 would be too much in today’s market. You could find one of these beauties for as little as $9,000 today.
Which one of these 1990s sports cars is your favorite? Maybe you have one you love that wasn’t listed. That’s ok; it’s good to look back and think about some of the cars that have come before.
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