Supercars are something special. They present the best performance, design; everything a car can offer. The moment you see a supercar parked on the street is a special one. They have power to immediately brighten up your day. Every automobile enthusiast loves talking about those cars even if most will never afford one. Even today, in the digital age, you can find people hanging pictures of supercars on their walls.
Supercars are usually exclusive, low-production vehicles. There are also those from a huge number of small automakers. It's no surprise that some of their exclusive, sometimes one-off supercars didn't have much marketing success. Therefore, it's hardly a surprise most of them lost their place in history, forgotten by everyone but the biggest car nuts. Of course, today, thanks to the internet, even most obscure new supercars become well known. Even before they arrive at the car scene, we know their design features, specs, and price. But in the dark pre-internet era, it was easy to miss them. And some of them were fantastic cars. All the cars on this list have an interesting story about them, including the reason why they're forgotten. If you've ever wondered about those cars, I made a list to help you to get to know them better. This could also be a good opportunity to buy a cheap supercar—if you can find one of them first.
25 Isdera Imperator 108i
Isdera is a small manufacturer of exclusive and low-production supercars based in Germany. It was founded in 1969 by Eberhard Schultz. He's an ex Mercedes engineer, and because of this, the two companies have a great working relationship. Isdera's car models have many Mercedes parts and engines. The Imperator 108i was introduced in 1984. Around 30 cars were made until production stopped in 1993.
The Isdera Imperator 108i is recognizable for its space-frame construction and gullwing doors, a typical '80s supercar look that many car enthusiasts love.
A Mercedes-produced 5.0-liter V8 engine was placed in the back. Through the years, new Mercedes engines with 5.6 and 6.0 liters of displacement were installed. The performance was good at the time, with acceleration from zero to 60 mph in 5 seconds. Imperator's top speed was 170 mph. Despite the great looks and the good performance, the Imperator 108i couldn't compete with the more famous supercars of the time.
24 Vector W8
American Vector Aeromotive Corporation presented this monster in 1990. They used aeronautical technology and materials in the desire to create the most advanced and powerful supercar in the world. Vector had a space-frame chassis and body made from Kevlar. Under the hood was a Chevrolet twin-turbocharged small-block V8 engine.
This 6.0-liter engine could produce 625 horsepower and, with twin turbo, boasts a fantastic 1,200 horsepower.
Of course, drivers could use full boost for only a short period until 1993, when Vector Aeromotive Company produced only 22 Vector W8 models. They put a lot of money in marketing and promotion. The Vector W8 appeared in many movies and TV shows. The game ''Need For Speed'' also featured the Vector W8 in its car roster. Still, the Vector W8 didn't get much attention, and its price of $450,000 was too big.
23 Venturi 400 GT
Venturi was a small French car company operating in the '90s. When it comes to performance, the 400 GT is one of the best French cars ever made.
Venturi is the first car in the world that used carbon brakes as standard equipment.
The Venturi Company produced bodies and chassis. Everything else, they took from other automakers. The Venturi 400 GT is made to resemble a Ferrari F40; it also had a twin-turbocharged engine. It was a 3.0-liter V6 engine taken from Peugeot. This engine is capable of producing 400 horsepower in the street version and 600 horsepower in the racing version. The 400 GT can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 4.6 seconds. Venturi's top speed is 180 mph, and it was one of the fastest cars of its time. Venturi was a part of many racing series and had its own championship. Because of financial problems, the company closed down in 2000.
22 TVR Speed 12
The TVR Speed 12 is one of the rarest and fastest supercars ever made. TVR based it on their Cerbera coupe model from the mid-'90s. The TVR-made Speed 12 is an engineering exercise to test the limits of production cars' performance. TVR had a successful racing programme, and they put all the experience in Speed 12. Because Speed 12 should've been their next racing star, the car specs followed FIA regulations. Under the hood was a 7.7-liter V12 engine that could produce around 1,000 horsepower. This magnificent car could speed up from zero to 60 mph in less than 3 seconds. The Speed 12 has a top speed of over 200 mph. The Speed 12 has a racing body with lightweight chassis and active aero package. Sadly, TVR had to cancel further production, as FIA changed the requirements for the GT1 class. In addition, TVR's management believed that their car would be too fast and dangerous for a public road.
21 Jaguar XJR-15
Jaguar is a famous brand, and their cars are usually well known. During the late '80s and the early '90s, Jaguar was successful in endurance championships around the world. To celebrate their victory on Le Mans, Jaguar decided to make a special model. The XJR-15 is a limited special car that aimed to bring racing performance to the streets. This fabulous car had a 6.0-liter 60° V12 engine.
This racing engine could produce 450 horsepower and 420 lb-ft of torque.
The XJR-15 can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds. The Jaguar XJR-15's body is made out of carbon fiber and Kevlar composite construction monocoque chassis. Jaguar started production in 1990 and ended in 1992. They made 53 XJR-15 models with a selling price of $1 million each. Although mostly forgotten, this car is an important part of Jaguar history.
20 Dauer 962
The Dauer 962 is a limited-number sports car and civilized road car. Street-legal versions of their 962 version were made to celebrate their 1994 racing victory at LeMans. Porsche based the Dauer on the original 956/962 cars. A completely new carbon-fiber/kevlar body, along with the leather interior, was added. Dauer 962 had the Le Mans prototype look with pneumatic doors, hydraulic suspension, and a rear-engine cover. Porsche used the same engine from the racecar: a 2,994 cc water-cooled, flat-six engine. It was capable of making 730 horsepower with a top speed of 251 mph (404.6 kph). Although the vehicle was 180 kg heavier than the racing version, its power-to-weight ratio was better than that of the McLaren F1. So, it's no surprise that Dauer 962 speeds up from zero to 60 mph in 2.6 seconds. Only 13 cars have been made in total, and Dauer is still taking orders. The Dauer 962 is a unique opportunity to own a street-legal Le Mans race car.
19 Nissan R390 GT1
Like the Dauer 962, the Nissan R390 GT1 was a Le Mans racecar. It competed in the P1 category in the 1997-98 seasons. The Nissan R390 wasn't as successful as the Dauer 962.
Nissan made only two street-legal versions of the R390. They were originally offered for a price of $1,000,000 but were never actually intended for sale.
One was sold privately through auction and registered for road use. The other is stored at Nissan's Zama warehouse (factory museum). Under the bonnet is a 3.5-liter twin-turbocharged V8 engine that produces 550 horsepower at 6,800 rpm and 470 lb-ft at 4,400 rpm. The street-legal Nissan R390 GT1 is capable of running from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and to 100 mph in 6.5 seconds. Its top speed is 220 mph. This makes the R390 GT1 the fastest Nissan ever made.
18 Iso Rivolta Grifo 90
Iso Grifo was a limited-production GT car produced by Iso Autoveicoli S.p.A. Company. They made the Iso Grifo between 1965 and 1974. Then, Piero Rivolta decided to introduce a new version of the car in the late '80s. He asked the famous Dallara automaker to create a chassis and a powertrain for his Iso Rivolta Grifo 90. Marcello Gandini was responsible for the new design. It was inspired by the new '90s supercar look, hence the number 90 in the name. The limited series production of the Iso Rivolta Grifo 90 was meant to start in 1994. However, due to financial difficulties, production never started. Multi-material producer "Mako Shark" found the original wooden model and started producing this car in 2007. The car was based on the C5 Z06 Corvette. Mako used Callaway's V8 ZR1 aluminum monobloc engine. It produces 490 horsepower and is capable of launching this car from 0-60 mph in 3.6 seconds. A total of 12 Iso Grifo 90 cars were made.
17 Mosler Consulier GTP
Mosler Consulier GTP is made by Consulier Industries. You probably heard about their Mosler MT900S. But this is the first car they made. Mosler Consulier GTP was produced between 1985 and 1993. There was a similar car between 1993 and 2000 with names "Intruder" or "Raptor." Consulier Industries put Chrysler turbo II and III 4-cylinder engines in Consulier GTP.
They're not very powerful engines, producing only 175 and 190 horsepower.
Later, those Intruders and Raptors got a Corvette V8 engine. It's interesting that those low numbers didn't stop Consulier Industries from promoting Consulier GTP as the fastest American car, even offering a reward if any car beats their records. And Mosler Consulier GTP was incredibly successful in IMSA racing. They were even thrown out for being too fast. Good racing results couldn't compensate for lack of supercar power, though. As a result, the Consulier GTP ended up being forgotten.
16 Aixam Mega Track
Don't let the name fool you. This isn't a truck; it’s a supercar. The company is called "Mega," and their car is called "Truck." This car is made by a strange French company, Aksum. They usually made small subcompact electric vehicles you could drive without a license. The Aixam Mega Track has a beautiful early-'90s style. It reminds you of the Lamborgini Diablo and the Venturi. Production started in 1992 and ended in 1995, with at least five units being made. Mega Track is a mid-engine, all-wheel-drive, four-seater car. Under the hood is a 6-liter V12 engine from Mercedes. It produces 400 horsepower with a top speed of 160 mph. This car has an adjustable suspension height, which spanned from 8 to 13 inches. Therefore, it's as big as a Hammer with a length of the Mercedes S-class. The Aixam Mega Track is a unique car that can do off-road, rally, or anything you want.
15 Zender Vision 3
Hans-Albert Zender is the German engineer that created six visions of this car. He was crafting car parts, but later he became a legend of the German aftermarket and tuning industry. Of course, he had a dream of creating his own car. The Vision 1S debuted in 1993, and two years later, the Vision 2 was made. The final and the best version was the Vision 3C roadster.
The Zender Vision 3 was presented in 1986 at the Geneva Motor Show. Mercedes-Benz produced the 5.6-liter, 5,547 cc V8 DOHC engine.
This engine was capable of delivering 300 horsepower at 5,000 rpm. The Zender Vision 3 can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 6 seconds. Its top speed was 282 km/h (175 mph). All this power is controlled by a five-speed manual gearbox. Its price at the time was £250,000. Zender had another obscure model, Fact, in 1999.
14 Cizeta-Moroder V16T
The Cizeta-Moroder V16T is an Italian supercar that was produced between 1991 and 1995. This car was a joint venture of automotive engineer Claudio Zampolli, music composer Giorgio Moroder, and designer Marcello Gandini. It was the only car Cizeta Company ever made. Around 20 Moroder V16T models rolled off the assembly line. Most of Cizeta Company consisted of ex-Lamborghini employees. This car was actually the original design of Lamborghini Diablo. Chrysler wasn't happy with it, though, so Diablo got a different design. The Moroder V16T is powered by dual Lamborghini V8 engines. Moroder can speed up from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds, with the top speed 204 mph. Production resumed through special order in 2006. Therefore, you can still buy this car for $649,000 in the base and $849,000 in Spyder TTJ form.
13 Isdera Commendatore 112i
This is the second Isdera Company car on the list. Apparently, Isdera specializes in obscure supercars. However, those cars are fantastic, so they deserve to be known by more people. The Commendatore 112i was introduced in 1993 after six years in development. The end result was fantastic. Mercedes-Benz made a 6.0-liter V12 engine that delivered 408 horsepower.
The Commendatore 112i speeds up from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds and has a top speed of 213 mph.
Isdera soon went bankrupt, so they sold “Knight Commander,” (translation from Italian) to a Swiss investor group. The new Isdera Commendatore 112i Silver Arrow appeared in 1999. Under its hood is a 6.9-liter V12 engine that produces 611 horsepower. Its top speed became 230 mph. New owners tried everything, even selling the car on eBay for $3 million in 2005. Not a single person bought it, though.
12 Schuppan 962CR
Vern Schuppan won 24 Hours of Le Mans in 1983 while onboard a Porsche 956. Schuppan, like many former racing drivers, stayed in the business by building his own car. Sadly, most of them only managed to create an obscure supercar that never brought them any profit or glory. He managed to make Schuppan 962CR with help from some Japanese investors in 1994. He was famous in Japan by winning the All Japan Sports Prototype Championship in 1983. Only six Schuppan 962CR cars were made. They had a Porsche’s 3.3-liter twin-turbo flat-six engine that generated 600 horsepower. Although mostly unknown today, the Schuppan 962CR was a financial success. All six cars were sold for around $1.5 million. Sadly, two Japanese customers failed to meet the payment deadlines, and this forced Schuppan to declare bankruptcy.
11 Hofstetter Turbo
The Hofstetter Turbo was made by Mario Richard Hofstetter in 1980. He based his car on Gandini’s Alfa Romeo Carabo. After four more years of production starting in 1984, it ended with a total of 18 manufactured units. The first engine was handmade in Brazil, and it was pretty weak.
A 1.8-liter 4-cylinder was good enough for about 140 horsepower. In 1988, Hofstetter put in more supercar-worthy Volkswagen engines.
A 2.0-liter Garrett turbocharged 4-cylinder engine delivered 210 horsepower. In later years, a variety of different Volkswagen engines were offered. The Hofstetter Turbo still lacks the power necessary for a supercar. However, Hofstetter Turbo had everything else—a classical '80s supercar shape, gullwing doors, an interior stacked with suede leather, a digital dashboard, a mid-engine setup and rear-wheel drive. You can still find one if you're willing to import it from Brazil.
10 MCA Centenaire
The Centenaire was made to celebrate the 100th-year anniversary of the Automobile Club of Monaco. Famous Formula 1 designer Guglielmo Bellasi helped with the project. Only 5 units were made from 1990-92. This project was taken over by a wealthy Georgian businessman who wanted to make a racing car out of the Centenaire. He changed the name to "MIG [Migrelia & Georgia] M100." The MIG M100 was part of qualifications for Le Mans, but it didn't succeed in qualifying. The company, we already covered, Aixam-Mega, bought the project and changed the name to "Monte Carlo." Originally, the Centenaire had a Lamborghini V12 engine, but Mega replaced it with a Mercedes-Benz 6-liter V12 engine. It can develop 495 horsepower with a top speed of 300 km/h. Aixam-Mega also unsuccessfully tried to compete in Le Mans. The production of the Centenaire ended in 1999.
9 Lotec Sirius
The Lotec Company was established way back in 1962, but they made their first production vehicle (Sirius) in 2004. They redesigned Sirius in 2009, and they're still making this car. Under the hood is a Mercedes-Benz 6.0-liter V12 engine. The same engine can be found in the Pagani Zonda. Two KKK turbochargers on this engine can deliver 850 horsepower.
Today, Lotec Sirius delivers 1,000 horsepower, but with turbo boost, it has 1,200 horsepower.
The top speed of the Sirius is 249 mph. With a performance like that, the Sirius can compete with all the modern supercars. So, why is Sirius among the obscure supercars? It's hard to say. Lotec doesn't put much money or efforts into marketing. Maybe it's because the name "Lotec" sounds similar to "low tech." Lotec made a slogan out of it, though: “High tech from Lotec.”
8 Cizeta V16T
The Cizeta V16T was made by renowned music producer Giorgio Moroder in 1988. This wedge-shaped supercar was designed by Claudio Zampolli (Ferrari) and Marcello Gandini (Lamborghini Countach). This car was also a part of a development concept for the Lamborghini Diablo. You can see that in its looks, and I love the quad popup headlights. Under the hood is the mighty 16-cylinder engine. It speeds up the Cizeta from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds. Its top speed is 328 km/h (204 mph). Internal problems are one of the reasons you probably never heard about this car. Moroder had a falling out with Zampolli even before the production started. The music business's novelty artist went into obscurity after four years. Zampolli built 19 vehicles until 1995. Afterwards, Cizeta V16T became a special-order car until the early 2000s.
7 Dome Zero
The Dome was a new project of race-car constructor Minoru Hayashi. The project began in Kyoto, Japan in 1995. Hayashi used his racing experiences and contacts to gather a team of engineers for the project. The Dome Zero has a steel monocoque chassis and a body made from Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic. The Dome has a menacing appearance, retractable headlights, and gullwing doors. The Dome is set very low to the ground.
The engine placed in the middle is a 2.8-liter V6 from Nissan's L28.
It's capable of producing 143 horsepower and 226 Nm /166 lb-ft of torque. These numbers may seem small, but the Dome weighs only 920 kg (2,028 lbs). Transmission is managed through a five-speed manual gearbox. The Dome didn't get a domestic homologation in Japan, so Hayashi went to the US. He had to create the Dome Zero P2 to comply with US regulations.
6 BMW 850Csi
The BMW 8 Series is coming back this year. It all started in September of 1989 at the Frankfurt Motor Show. The E31 850i was the first version. In 1992, two new versions appeared: the 840Ci and the BMW M-modified 850CSi. The 850CSi become the rarest version with only 1,510 units sold in total. This is a slick, beautiful car that resembles today's 6 Series Coupe. The 850CSi version had a large S70B56 5.6-liter V-12 engine. It's capable of delivering 375 horsepower with a torque of 420 lb-ft. This engine got the “S” designation code, a sign that it's a true BMW Motorsport product. It was even used as a platform for the V12 in the McLaren F1. The transmission is Getrag's long-throw six-speed manual. The BMW 850CSi speeds up from zero to 60 mph in less than 6 seconds. Its unique shape, rarity, technological prowess, and performance make the BMW 850CSi a great classic.
5 Kodiak F1
Speed & Sports is a German company specializing in the mechanisms and the roofs for convertibles. In the early '80s, S&S Owner Mladen Mitrovic set the task of producing a supercar. They used the Mercedes-Benz C111 as a concept. With the help of University of Munich's first CAD software, the Kodiak F1 was finished in 1993. The body has a tubular frame, and the chassis was made of composite materials. Mitrovic took the engine from Chevrolet Corvette. It was a 5.7-liter V8 engine that developed 320 horsepower. The Kodiak F1 also has Brembo brakes, Pirelli tires, Koni shock absorbers, and a ZF 5-speed gearbox. Despite its fantastic looks and various qualities, Mitrovic couldn't sell his Kodiak F1. Mitrovic tried the more patriotic 5.0-liter Mercedes V8 engine from AGM. They tuned it to produce 380 horsepower. The price dropped from $117,000 to $48,000. He finally gave up in 1989. It's interesting that the first prototype appeared for sale on eBay in 2009.
4 Jiotto Caspita
The Jiotto Caspita is a prototype supercar designed and manufactured by Dome for the Jiotto Company. Jiotto's chief designer, Kunihisa Ito, made the original design. The Jiotto Caspita was presented to the world in 1988 at the Tokyo Motor Show. It had a flat-12 engine powered by a Motori Moderni. This was a detuned Formula One engine that was replaced in 1990 with the Judd V10. With a longitudinally mounted Judd engine, Caspita had 577 horsepower (430 kW) at 10,750 rpm and 283 lb0ft (284 Nm) of torque at 10,500 rpm. This power and the low weight of 2,734 lb (1240 kg) allowed the Caspita to speed up from zero to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. The Caspita's top speed was 199 miles per hour (320 km/h). Its power was controlled by a six-speed gearbox made by Weismann. However, due to financial problems, production stopped in 1993.
3 Spectre R42
The Spectre R42 was made by Ray Christopher. He's a co-founder of the GT Developments Company. GT Developments made around 300 recreations of the Ford GT40. In 1991, they decided to use that experience to make a supercar of their own. Its proportions were similar to the GT40, and its V8 engine was taken from Ford as well. Even the name "R42" refers to the GT40's height from the ground to the roof. The Spectre R42 was officially revealed at the London Motor Show in October 1993.
The Spectre R42 350 horsepower at 5,900 rpm with 335 lb-ft of torque at 4,850 rpm. It can accelerate from zero to 60 mph in 4 seconds with a top speed of 175 mph.
In 1995, a Scandinavian businessman, Anders Hildebrand, bought rights to the Spectre R42. He tried many marketing tricks and publicity stunts, from persuading Derek Bell to become the president of his company to ensuring Spectre's appearance in the GoldenEye movie. None of it made the Spectre more popular.
2 Volkswagen W12 Nardo
Volkswagen introduced a spectacular W12 concept at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2001. The most interesting thing about this car is the engine—a powerful 6-liter V12 that has its cylinders arranged in three-cylinder banks to make a letter "W." This engine was already used in the Phaeton, but it was completely transformed for the W12. The power this engine is able to deliver is 591 horsepower at 7,000 rpm and 457.6 ft-lb of torque at 5,800 rpm. Thanks to it, the W12 accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.48 seconds, and the top speed is 200 mph. The W12 Coupe has such a cool and graceful styling. Famous Giorgetto Giugiaro from Italdesign combined classic Italian exotic car lines and a serious German nature. Of course, there are supercar-essential gullwing doors as well. Sadly, Volkswagen never brought the W12 Concept into production.
1 Laraki Fulgura
This is the third car on this list that's based on the Lamborghini Diablo. This car was made by Laraki Design from Casablanca and was introduced in 2002 at the Geneva Auto Show. The name ''Fulgura'' means "lightning" in Roman. Under the hood of the Fulgura is a 6-liter V12 engine that produces 720 horsepower and torque of 600 Nm at 6,500 rpm. The Fulgura weighs only 1,150 kg, and its top speed is 398 mph. The Fulgura accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds. The Laraki Fulgura design reminds me of the Ferrari 360 Modena, although, it's a bit more innovative and aggressive in shape. It's interesting that a Conceptual artist, Eric Van Hove, made a sculpture of the Laraki engine that's displayed in the Hood Museum of Art. In addition, in 2013 Laraki announced the new model, Epitome. It will have a V8 engine from the C6 Corvette with 1,200 horsepower. Laraki has plans to make nine models.