You searched for: most-powerful

1981 Toyota Cressida, Most-Powerful Japanese Cars

1981 Toyota Cressida Wagon

Everything is relative. By 1981 standards, any car boasting 100 horsepower was doing pretty good. So good, in fact, that just seven Japanese-brand vehicles made that cut.

1977 Oldsmobile Toronado XSR, Most-Powerful American Cars

The Oldsmobile Toronado was the third most powerful American car of 1977. Note that the T-Top roof depicted in this brochure image never reached production.

Perhaps the easiest way to demonstrate the extent to which emissions equipment and low-octane unleaded fuel had impacted the power output of new-vehicle engines is to note the following:

1991 Firebird GTA, Most Powerful American Cars of 1991

1991 Pontiac Firebird GTA

We’ve looked at The Most-Powerful American Cars of 1980, and The Most-Powerful American Cars of 1986. Here we’ll skip ahead another half decade to 1991. Maybe we should say leap ahead. Compared to our top five 1986 cars, our 1991 most-muscular rides come in at an average 277 horsepower, a solid 58-horse bump. Credit improved fuel-injection systems, and a mighty (and seriously expensive) topline Corvette that shattered the 300-horsepower barrier.

1986 Ford Mustang SVO, Most-Powerful American Cars of 1986

With 205 horsepower on tap, the Ford Mustang SVO tied for 3rd place on our list of powerful cars.

What a difference a few years can make. We recently posted the “5 Most-Powerful American Cars of 1980,” a collection of rides boasting, on average, 199 horsepower. It’s worth noting that every vehicle on the list was carbureted. Jump ahead six model years…

2015 Jeep Cherokee, Most-Powerful Small Crossovers

With an available 271-horsepower V6, the 2015 Jeep Cherokee tops our list.

In the movie Scarface, explaining how things work in America, would-be drug kingpin Tony Montana explains, “You gotta make the money first. Then when you get the money, you get the power. Then when you get the power, you get the women.”

1980 Riviera S Type, Most-Powerful American Cars

With 185-horsepower on tap, the Buick Riviera S Type was the 3rd most-powerful American car of 1980.

American muscle got the short shrift in 1980. As a result of the Summer Olympics embargo of 1980, America’s strongest athletes didn’t compete in Moscow, leaving most of the medals to be claimed by the Russians.

2014 Volkswagen Passat V6, Most Powerful Sedans

With 280 horsepower on tap, the 2014 Volkswagen Passat V6 ranks as the 2nd-most powerful mainstream midsize sedan.

As the Sixties ended, Americans were busy stuffing huge engines into midsize cars. The result of that exercise was what we now fondly recall as the muscle-car era.

1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11, Fastest Cars of 1982

1982 Chevrolet Citation X-11

What makes a car fast? Generally, more power means more go, but back in 1982, power was hard to come by. Weight matters too, but not as much as you might think, at least for the cars tested by Consumer Guide back in 1982. Unlike previous “fastest” lists I’ve put together, I’ve included the final drive ratio for each car listed below.

Automotive Aerodynamics

1932 Rockne

Instead of fumbling with task of explaining the concept of aerodynamics myself, I will simply lift some copy from the Porsche 924 ad seen below. Per Porsche:

2004 Dodge Intrepid SXT

2004 Dodge Intrepid SXT

Cheap Wheels

by Don Sikora II

Note: The following story was excerpted from the June 2019 issue of Collectible Automobile magazine.

The 1993 Dodge Intrepid was one of Chrysler’s LH-platform front-wheel-drive large sedans that introduced trendsetting “cab-forward” styling and helped make the company one of the decade’s design leaders. A second-generation Intrepid wearing a more dramatic interpretation of the cab-forward look arrived for 1998, and a performance-flavored R/T version was added for 2000.