It was great to grow up in the 1990’s and a major highlight was spending many hours playing car games on the PC and early PlayStation’s. Games like Need for Speed 2 SE (1997) and Gran Turismo 2 (1999) were a personal highlight and although the quality of car racing games has improved dramatically in the last 20 years, these games featured some very rare supercars worth mentioning. The following four are my personal favourites, featuring a V6 from France, V8 from the US, V10 from Italy and a V12 from Germany:
Venturi Atlantique 400GT (1995)
The Venturi 400GT is a rare supercar featured in Gran Turismo 2 for Playstation. This beautiful mid-engined French car is extremely rare with only 13 built and competed with the best offerings of the time from Ferrari and Lamborghini. The Venturi has a 3.0 litre twin-turbo V6 with 302kW of power and an impressive 520Nm of torque, enabling the 1150kg car to reach 100km/h in around five seconds and onto a top speed of 290km/h. It was also the first car in the world to have carbon brakes as standard. Other race car technology included the use of carbon fibre body panels. It was also a real driver’s car with no ABS, ESP, power steering or brake assist and it had a five speed manual gearbox. The 400GT had exceptional handling with front wishbone and rear multi-link suspension, and power was put through rear 295/35 profile tyres. Interestingly, the PRV V6 engine found in the Venturi was also used in different configurations in cars such as the iconic DeLorean DMC-12 and Alpine A610.
Photo from topcarrating.com
Wiegert Vector W8 (1992)
This rare supercar made by Vector also made an appearance in Gran Turismo 2 for Playstation. Only 22 of these were made by Gerald Wiegert and his team, with the car built in the USA. The majority of the body was made out of carbon fibre and under the boot sits a General Motors 6.0 litre twin-turbo V8 with 484kW of power and a whopping 880Nm of torque with drive sent to the rear wheels. The 1500kg W8 could accelerate from rest to 100km/h in around four seconds and achieve a top speed of 354km/h. Interesting features of the car include an aircraft like gauge setup and a three speed automatic gearbox with the gear selector mounted to the left of the driver. There are double A-arms up front with a De Dion tube in the rear with Koni adjustable shocks all round. Vented discs of 330mm diameter were used with Alcon aluminium 4 piston calipers. A step inside the cabin reveals a lot of surfaces covered with leather and electrically adjustable Recaro seats. All of this technology meant an incredibly expensive car and the Vector W8 unfortunately went out of production after only a few years.
Photo from Autofreaks.com
Italdesign/Lamborghini Cala (1995)
The Cala was featured in Need for Speed 2 SE for PC and was a very rare supercar. Only one prototype was built and it was designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro for Italdesign, with the project being a great collaboration between Italdesign and Lamborghini in Italy. The beautiful Cala had a 4.0 litre naturally aspirated V10 mounted in the middle with power and torque outputs of 300kW and 390Nm respectively. Drive was put through the rear wheels and the light weight all-aluminium chassis helped the 1290kg Cala to accelerate to 100km/h in around five seconds and reach 296km/h. Interesting design features included two small clear glass parts on the roof to let additional light into the car. The interior had a combination of leather and suede with a lovely chromed, open gate gearshift for the six speed manual. There were also Recaro seats and a driver and passenger airbag. The car was almost ready for production but financial problems and the Audi takeover caused an end to the project. The ‘baby Lambo’ concept however was not lost to Lamborghini and they went onto produce the Gallardo and more recently the Huracan. The surviving Cala resides at Italdesign’s museum.
Photo from evo.co.uk
Isdera Commendatore 112i (1993)
The Isdera was also featured in Need For Speed 2 SE for PC and is another rare supercar. The sleek, rear wheel drive coupe has a 6.0 litre DOHC naturally aspirated Mercedes-Benz V12 with power and torque figures of 300kW and 580Nm respectively. It was quite heavy at 1480kg but still managed to reach a top speed of 342km/h, not bad for the early 1990’s! There was only one prototype built from the privately run car maker based in Germany. The car is the product of ex-Porsche designer Eberhard Schulz and the idea was to create the car as a limited series. Unfortunately, Isdera went bankrupt leaving only the sole prototype vehicle. The concept was packed full of new technology including an active rear airbrake and automatically adjustable ride height. There are many Porsche styling traits and the car has the suspension, brakes and anti-lock systems from the 928 GTS and the headlights from the 968. The 6 speed manual was also borrowed from the 911 turbo. The car is known for its gullwing doors, low drag body and flat underfloor.
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