May
04
1984 Plymouth Horizon

Perhaps surprisingly, the Plymouth Horizon was the eighth-fastest accelerating car tested by Consumer Guide in 1984.

We’ve been using the word fastest to describe the best-performing rides tested by Consumer Guide in the past. The word we really should be using is quickest. Technically, a fast car has an impressive top speed, and without a test track, and situated in the Chicago suburbs, top speed was never a metric CG attempted to measure.

Quick or fast, the most impressive performing rides of 1984 were doing okay. Most of the vehicles that made our list reached 60 mph from a stop in less than ten seconds, and all of them came in under 11 sec.

We’re reporting on 12 cars here because we had a three-way tie for tenth place—and three more different vehicles you will rarely find grouped together. One is a pricey German convertible, one an American personal-luxury coupe, and one a lightweight sport sedan.

As always, these are the fastest (or quickest) cars evaluated by Consumer Guide in 1984, hence the asterisk. There are certainly higher-performing vehicles that slipped through our fingers, and we regret not being able to report on them here. (And we suspect the editors at the time regret not having been able to drive them.)

As always, we invite you to share any experiences you might have had with the cars on this list. The place to leave your thoughts is below the last vehicle.

The 10 Fastest Cars of 1980*

 

Chevrolet Corvette: 7.3 Seconds

1984 Chevrolet Corvette

1984 Chevrolet Corvette

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 3117

Engine: 205-horsepower 5.7-liter V8

Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.07:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 15.2:1

 

Chevrolet Camaro Z28: 7.8 Seconds

1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

1984 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 3195

Engine: 190-horsepower 5.0-liter V8

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.73:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 16.8:1

 

Ford Mustang SVO: 8.2 Seconds

1984 Mustang SVO

1984 Mustang SVO

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 2987

Engine: 175-horsepower turbocharged 2.3-liter four

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.45:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 17.1:1

 

Jaguar XJS: 9.0 Seconds

1984 Jaguar XJS

1984 Jaguar XJS

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 3980

Engine: 262-horsepower 5.3-liter V12

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.88:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 15.2:1

 

Nissan 300ZX: 9.0 Seconds

1984 Nissan 300ZX

1984 Nissan 300ZX

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 3016

Engine: 160-horsepower 3.0-liter V6

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.70:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 18.9:1

The 12 Slowest Cars of 1983*

 

Porsche 944: 9.2 Seconds

1984 Porsche 944

1984 Porsche 944

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 2778

Engine: 143-horsepower 2.5-liter four

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.89:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 19.4:1

 

Mazda RX-7: 9.4 Seconds

1984 Mazda RX-7

1984 Mazda RX-7

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 2390

Engine: 100-horsepower 1.1-liter rotary

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.91:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 23.9:1

 

Plymouth Horizon: 9.7 Seconds

1984 Plymouth Horizon

1984 Plymouth Horizon

Body Type Tested: 4-door hatchback

Curb Weight: 2175

Engine: 96-horsepower 2.2-liter four

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 2.20:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 22.7:1

 

Chrysler Laser: 9.7 Seconds

1984 Chrysler Laser

1984 Chrysler Laser

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 2550

Engine: 142-horsepower 2.2-liter four

Transmission: 3-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.02:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 17.8:1

 

BMW 318i: 10.2 Seconds

1984 BMW 318i

1984 BMW 318i

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 2360

Engine: 101-horsepower 1.8-liter four

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Axle Ratio: 3.64:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 23.4:1

 

1984 Ford Thunderbird: 10.2 Seconds

1984 Ford Thunderbird

1984 Ford Thunderbird

Body Type Tested: 2-door coupe

Curb Weight: 3191

Engine: 140-horsepower 5.0-liter V8

Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 3.08:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 22.8:1

 

1984 Mercedes-Benz SL380

1984 Mercedes-Benz SL380

1984 Mercedes-Benz SL380

Body Type Tested: 2-door convertible

Curb Weight: 3640

Engine: 155-horsepower 3.8-liter V8

Transmission: 4-speed automatic

Axle Ratio: 2.47:1

Power-to-Weight Radio: 23.5:1

The 12 Fastest Cars of 1983*

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