Ready to get your hands on a supercar that will make your mouth water and your palms sweat? Here’s a list of the best gems to look for at used car dealerships in Cincinnati.
1980s or Early ’90s Lotus Esprit Turbo/SE
This tried and true sports car from Lotus remained on the market for nearly three decades because of its singular design and sharp performance.
Originally created by the famous Giorgetto Giugiaro as one of his first “folded paper” designs, the signature characteristics of the Esprit were retained throughout its years of production.
But in 1987, a fresh take from designer Peter Stevens gave the Esprit rounder smoother lines and a significantly stronger body thanks to the addition of Kevlar to the car’s roof and sides.
The interior was also revised to provide more space, and the cockpit got some styling updates. In 1989, a water to air intercooler was added, resulting in the SE (Special Equipment) model.
Shoot for late ’80s or early ’90s versions of the Esprit to get something totally unique at a budget price.
1980s Porsche 911
The 911 is the model that has really galvanized Porsche’s reputation in the sports car world over the years.
Starting in the mid-’80s, the 911 Carrera received a noteworthy engine upgrade to a 200-horsepower 3.2-liter engine.
With the ability to accelerate to 60 miles per hour in 5.7 seconds, the thrilling performance of the sixth generation 911 was a big crowd pleaser.
And just to seal the deal, Porsche also added on a “Turbo Look” appearance package the enhanced the 911 Carrera with a snazzy spoiler and some other slick touches.
After a several-year hiatus, the actual Turbo also returned to the States in 1986, bringing 282 horsepower with it.
Both versions are now great finds for anyone looking for a reasonably priced sports car. For the price of a new economy sedan, you could drive one of the most iconic performance vehicles in automotive history.
1980s Bentley Turbo R
The Turbo R, took the scene by storm in the ’80s. It brought fresh life to the famous brand’s lineup and fresh excitement to the sports car scene.
The “R” in its name stood for “roadholding,” and its turbocharged engine provided quite a bit of zing for drivers.
But in 1987, the four-door Bentley got even better. Thanks to a tuning of its V8 engine, the Turbo R was able to deliver more torque, 486 lb-ft actually.
Motor Trend even called it, “the first Bentley in decades deserving of the famous name.” This little sedan is not one to pass over if you come across it.
Its looks may be deceiving, but it only takes seconds behind the wheel to realize why it’s such a revered sports car.
1981 Ferrari 308 GTSi
The 308 GTS played a big role in Ferrari’s growth as one of the top performance car makers around. The coupe went into production in 1975 and continued to be sold for ten years.
Distinct body styling and an extremely aerodynamic design gave the 308 GTS an eye-catching appearance that Ferrari has become well-known for.
The GTSi arrived in 1980 and differed from previous models because of its mechanical fuel injection which helped to decrease the car’s emissions.
Overall, a fast, fun, and unforgettable ride, the Ferrari 308 GTSi really embodies everything that defines a true supercar.
1982 Ferrari Mondial 8
The Mondial was one of Ferrari’s most successful models of all time, and it was produced in high numbers.
However, the “8” variation of the supercar received some criticism when it first arrived on the scene. There were negative responses to the break from Ferrari’s traditional naming, and there was also a pervasive misconception that the car was too mild.
It may have been because of the level of practicality that the Mondial 8 offered, something that’s a boon for buyers who come across used models now.
With 214 horsepower, seating for four, a reliable engine, and reasonable maintenance costs, this affordable sports car from Ferrari is a sweet find.
1990s TVR Cerbera
Named for the legendary Greek Cerberus, a three-headed beast who stood guard at the gates of Hell, the Cerbera is one spicy little number.
Manufactured by TVR from 1996-2003, the four-seater quickly became known for its wild amount of power and for being remarkably light weight.
The Cerbera was the first TVR to use one of the company’s own engines. Previously, they had purchased from other makers, but for the Cerbera, race engineer Al Melling specially designed an in-house V8. It was called the “Speed Eight,” and it rocked 360 ponies.
Another trait that Cerberas are well known for is their loud backfire. Initially it was an issue that TVR looked to correct, but drivers had already come to love the quirk, so it was left unchanged.
1990s Toyota Supra Turbo
The illustrious Toyota Supra will long be remembered in the history of Japanese supercars among other famed models such as the GT2000 and the MR2.
The Mark IV Supra that arrived in 1993 brought incredibly sleek styling and a choice of two new engines, one of which was a 276-horsepower twin-turbo.
The Supra Turbo could certainly fly in its factory state, but for many enthusiasts, the draw of this car was how perfect it was for tuning.
Sure to give you plenty of kick, the Supra Turbo remains a prime model for speed lovers to pick up.
1990s Acura NSX
While some people have been saving up for the last four years to get the long-promised next incarnation of the NSX, if you’re shopping on a smaller budget, an NSX from the previous generation is the perfect choice.
Developed by the famous Italian designer Pininfarina, the NSX came out of a concept car project that Honda insisted had to be able to match any of the European sports cars being produced at the time.
To meet that goal, the NSX incorporated a lot of innovative components that were focused on racing performance. For instance, it was the first production car to use an all-aluminum monocoque body, making it quite light weight.
Drivers raved about the rear-wheel drive car’s handling and balance, and even expert reviewers found the NSX to be comparable or superior to models from Porsche and Ferrari.
E39 BMW M5
BMW’s Motorsport or “M” division has built quite a reputation for turning out high performance vehicles that are both upscale and mind-blowingly fast. In fact, the BMW M1 was the fastest production sedan ever when it was released.
Why is the E39 BMW M5 so special? This model saw a hefty power increase that brought it to 394 horsepower.
Its V8 engine offered quite a bit of grit, and additional features, such as a reinforced clutch and a limited slip differential, also helped the E39 M5 perform like no other.
Plus, with seating for five, it’s a pragmatic as well as pleasing buy if you’re looking for something that can double as a family vehicle.
4200 GT Maserati Coupe/Spyder
And finally, how could the list be complete without a Maserati? The 4200 GT Coupe and Spyder were both designed as grand touring models.
They’re the ultimate when it comes to comfort and dashing good looks, and they also have an excellent surprise under the hood.
Both Maseratis are powered by the same Ferrari engine and both share mechanics specifically tailored for the track.
Whether you choose to go with a top or to go topless, these Maseratis are the height of class, and they’ll give you an unbelievably pleasurable ride.