The 1990s generally wasn’t a great era for American carmakers, but they did actually make some great-looking cars.
American cars are not the most subtle offerings and more often than not, critics claim that one has to turn to European models for breathtaking and timeless designs. This maxim was further exacerbated during the 90s which was quite a radical time. The 1990s was a time when grunge was in fashion, and it was fashionable to disrupt progress narratives and voice your frustration.
Surprisingly, it was also the decade when the American automotive industry introduced many sports car models that have aged gracefully over the years. We’ve compiled a list of American cars with styling that still appeals to enthusiasts around the world.
10 Cadillac Seville
Cadillac Seville is one of the most attractive offerings the American luxury car manufacturer ever produced. The nameplate’s fourth-generation snagged several awards when it was introduced in 1992 and even made its onscreen debut alongside Christian Bale in the 2002 sci-fi action film Equilibrium.
The 92 Cadillac Seville was inspired by the luxury automaker’s 88 Voyage concept car and was offered with a wide range of engine options. In its most capable spec, the 4.9 liter V8 produced 200 HP of maximum power.
9 Mercury Cougar
The eighth and final generation of Mercury’s Cougar nameplate was introduced just before the turn of the millennium. This was the first time that the Blue Oval brand used its CDW 27 “World Car” platform and the company’s New Edge design.
The design language offered a balance between concave creases which were found in the lower areas and organic lines of the upper body. The Mercury badges were swapped for Cougar motifs. Mercury Cougar was one of the most attractive versions of the nameplate but unfortunately, this glorious coupe somehow got lost in obscurity.
8 Corvette ZR1
The all-new C8 Corvette is quite an impressive sports car but with its all-new mid-engine architecture, the Bowling Green offering has strayed far from its blue-collar origins. The 2020 model year is not the first time Chevrolet introduced a breathtaking sports car. In 1990, the Bow Tie brand introduced the C4 ZR1 Corvette.
The 4th-generation ‘Vette was even offered in a Grand Sport convertible variant, which marked the end of production for this iconic American sports car. The car sported an Admiral Blue color scheme which was contrasted by a white racing stripe.
7 Dodge Stealth R/T
When it was introduced, Dodge Stealth offered an impressive combination of Japanese engineering and ostentatious American styling. The sports car was a badge-engineered version of the Mitsubishi 3000 GT and came equipped with different versions of transverse-mounted 3-liter V6 motors.
The sports car was available in hardtop and spyder body types. The most powerful version of Dodge Stealth came equipped with a 320 HP motor which produced 315 lb-ft of torque thanks to a Twin-Turbocharged powertrain which bestowed it with plenty of propulsion.
6 Plymouth Prowler
The Plymouth Prowler was a radical product by Daimler Chrysler and even today, it is one of the most sought after sports cars in the world. The Prowler was designed as a retro-modern hot rod and was equipped with its 3.5-liter V6 engine which came mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The car only weighed 2800 lbs and its rear-wheel-drive configuration made it quite a lot of fun to drive. The Prowler’s retro-roadster styling differentiated it from all the other offerings on the road and the 24 valve motor produced 214 HP. This meant there was plenty of power to back the sports car’s fierce aesthetics.
5 Dodge Viper GTS
The Viper nameplate has produced many badass models over the years since its introduction back in 1991. Even though the first-gen Viper was quite impressive, Dodge managed to up the ante with the SR2 Viper which was introduced in ‘96.
In the same year, the company introduced its highly coveted GTS models which featured a double-bubble roof and were powered by a gigantic 8-liter V10 motor. The powerplant was re-tuned to produce 450 HP of power. The ‘96 Viper GTS was offered in striking color schemes and sported vivid racing stripes.
4 Callaway C12 Corvette
Callaway is one of the most renowned Corvette tuners in the world and the company is responsible for producing some of the most powerful and beautifully modified ‘Vettes of all time. Back in 1997, Callaway cars introduced the beautiful C12 sports car which was designed to compete in the GT 2 class of the grueling 24 hours of Le Mans championship.
The car’s body design sported a styling that looked almost European. The Calvary C12 Corvette was offered with the option of either a retuned 5.7-liter LS1 motor or a much larger 6.2-liter V8 engine.
3 Guldstrand Corvette GS 90
The Guldstrand GS-90 is one of the most beautiful reproductions of the C4 Corvette ever produced. The car was modified by Dick Guldstrand and was introduced in the mid-1990s. The GS 90 was produced in limited numbers which makes it one of the most exclusive American sports cars of that era.
The company only built 9 units of the GS 90 which included 3 convertible models. The car was powered by a modified LT5 engine which churned out 475 HP in the coupe and 420 HP in the convertible variants.
2 Roush Mustang
Shelby and Ford have a longstanding association, but many performance enthusiasts consider the Roush Mustang as the ultimate track day car. The first-generation Roush Mustang was introduced back in 1999 and in addition to performance upgrades, the company also made certain styling tweaks to the iconic sports car.
Even though the overall redesign was understated, the company managed to enhance the curb appeal of the fourth-generation Mustang with its stylish body-kit. The company offered three packages for the SN95 V8 motor and the top-of-the-line Stage 3 package included a supercharger system.
1 Vector W8
The Vector W8 is one of the most striking and gorgeous American sports cars from the ‘90s. The mid-engine supercar was powered by a Corvette-sourced 6-liter V8 motor, which was twin-turbocharged by the automaker and produced 625 HP of maximum power.
The powerful engine was mated to General Motors 3-speed automatic transmission and according to Vector, the W8 could accelerate from 0 to 60 MPH in 3.9 seconds. The car was designed and styled to rival European thoroughbred models from companies like Ferrari and Lamborghini.
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