’90s cars were built with raw power and sheer driving thrill in mind, but they don’t stand a chance when put against a modern electric vehicle. Today’s EVs blend cutting-edge technology with environmental consciousness, outperforming those classics in efficiency, innovation, and sustainability.
Here are 30 cars from the ’90s that, despite their once-glorious days, now pale in comparison to the prowess of contemporary electric vehicles.
The Mercedes-Benz 500E was a powerhouse of the ’90s, boasting a V8 engine and a collaboration with Porsche for its assembly. But compare it to today’s EVs, and you see a shift. Modern EVs bring not just eco-friendliness but also a level of tech sophistication that the 500E’s era couldn’t imagine. Imagine a car that charges faster than your phone and drives smoother than your favorite playlist.
Mitsubishi Eclipse GSX
The Eclipse GSX was a dream for speed lovers, with its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. But in the world of electric sports cars, speed is just the start. These EVs offer instant torque – it’s like the GSX’s turbo boost on steroids, plus the eco-friendly bonus. Plus, their designs are something right out of a futuristic movie set.
The Porsche 968 was celebrated for its balance and handling, thanks to its front-engine, rear-wheel-drive layout. But modern EVs are redefining balance with their low center of gravity, thanks to battery placement. They combine the 968’s love for smooth handling with zero emissions and an elegance that’s both classic and futuristic.
Nissan Sunny GTI-R
The Nissan Sunny GTI-R was a fun ride, known for its rally heritage and peppy turbocharged engine. Fast forward to today, and EVs offer a different kind of thrill. They blend the GTI-R’s spirit of adventure with luxurious interiors and whisper-quiet operation, making every ride feel like a first-class journey.
Dodge Neon R/T
The Dodge Neon R/T was the bad boy of its time with a sporty edge. It was affordable yet fun, with a peppy engine and a spirited drive. Today’s EVs take this spirit and amplify it with cost-effective running, silent and smooth operation, and a tech-forward approach that makes the Neon R/T look like a charming relic.
The Volvo 850R was kind of like a secret superstar – it didn’t look flashy, but it was really powerful thanks to its turbocharged engine, and it was super comfy to ride in. But nowadays, modern EVs are changing the game. They give you a quiet ride without any shaky vibrations, and they can speed up fast.
The Volkswagen Corrado, especially with its active rear spoiler, was a marvel of its time. It was sporty and ahead of its time in aerodynamics. Today’s EVs take this aero-efficiency to new heights with designs optimized for reducing drag and increasing range, all while maintaining a sleek aesthetic and eco-friendly approach.
Vauxhall Corsa B GSI
The Vauxhall Corsa B GSI was a little firecracker, known for its spirited drive and nimble handling. In contrast, modern EVs blend this agility with advanced technology and efficiency. They offer a driving experience that’s as thrilling as the GSI, but with the cool, calm demeanor of a secret agent’s car.
The Nissan 100NX, known for its cool Targa-style roof, really stood out back in the day. It combined style and fun, catching the eye of a special group of car lovers. However, today’s EVs are reaching even more people. They have a great mix of stylish looks, being good for the environment, and using the latest technology. This makes them super appealing in ways the 100NX started, but couldn’t completely achieve.
Lincoln Mark VIII
The Lincoln Mark VIII, in its heyday, epitomized luxury on wheels, renowned for its plush interiors and powerful V8 engine, a true symbol of automotive opulence. However, modern EVs have redefined this luxury, elevating it to an unprecedented level of serenity and tranquility. They offer an unmatched quietness and smoothness in their ride, creating a driving experience that makes the Mark VIII feel like a noisy relic from a bygone era.
The Ford/Mercury Cougar, back in its day, was celebrated for its stylish design and its status as an affordable entry into the sports coupe segment, appealing to a wide range of car enthusiasts. Today, electric vehicles have gracefully taken the baton, elevating these qualities to new heights. They not only offer style and affordability, much like the Cougar, but also come with the added benefits of being environmentally friendly and cost-effective in the long run.
The Suzuki X-90 was quite the oddball, standing out with its quirky design and unconventional two-seater SUV style. Today’s modern EVs channel some of this uniqueness but in a more polished, sophisticated, and technologically advanced package. They offer a compelling blend of style, efficiency, and innovation, surpassing the imagination of what the X-90 could only dream of.
Mitsubishi Galant VR-4
The Mitsubishi Galant VR-4 was a sleeper performance car, often underestimated but packed with a punch thanks to its turbocharged engine and all-wheel drive. In stark contrast, modern EVs, with their innovative designs, offer performance in a more refined, sophisticated package. They deliver power and speed in an eco-friendly, instantaneous manner, something the VR-4’s traditional setup couldn’t quite match.
Lotus Elan M100
The Lotus Elan M100 was unique for its front-wheel drive in a sea of rear-wheel sports cars. Today’s EVs take uniqueness a step further. They combine groundbreaking electric performance with sleek designs, offering a driving experience that’s thrilling yet sustainable. Where the Elan M100 broke norms with its layout, modern EVs are shattering expectations with their eco-friendly prowess and lightning-quick acceleration.
Honda Del Sol
The Honda Del Sol, with its innovative TransTop, was a fun and stylish ride in the ’90s. Now, modern EVs bring a different kind of innovation to the table. They’re not just about sunroofs or removable tops; they’re about integrating technology that makes driving an experience. Think autopilot features, over-the-air updates, and energy efficiency – a far leap from the Del Sol’s more straightforward charm.
Citroen AX GTI
The Citroen AX GTI was a hot hatch favorite, known for its lightweight and zippy performance. Modern EVs have taken this concept and electrified it. They offer the same nimbleness but with zero emissions. The AX GTI was all about fun driving; EVs maintain this but add in the bonus of being environmentally friendly.
The Mercury Capri, especially in its convertible form, was about enjoying the open road. Today’s EVs offer a similar enjoyment but with a modern twist. They provide a quiet, smooth ride, allowing you to enjoy the environment you’re driving through without the guilt of emissions – a thought that was just beginning to emerge in the Capri’s era.
The Mazda MX-3 was a compact sports coupe known for its V6 engine – a rarity in cars of its size. Modern EVs, however, are redefining what’s possible in compact cars. They combine efficiency with a punch of power and a design that’s as sleek as it is futuristic, showing how far we’ve come since the days of the MX-3.
The Mitsubishi 3000GT was really advanced for its time. It had cool tech like active aerodynamics, which means parts of the car would adjust to improve driving, and all-wheel steering for better control. Today’s EVs are taking these innovative ideas even further. They’re not just about going fast and having high-tech features; they also focus on being good for the environment. So, when you drive one of these modern EVs, you get a super exciting driving experience, but you’re also helping the planet.
Alfa Romeo 164
The Alfa Romeo 164 was famous for its beautiful design and choice of different engines. Now, modern EVs are taking this idea further. They combine the same kind of elegance with simple, electric engines. This makes driving smooth, luxurious, and good for the environment. It’s like the Alfa Romeo 164’s style, but with today’s technology and a focus on keeping the planet green.
The Audi S4 of the ’90s, with its turbocharged engines and quattro all-wheel-drive, was about performance and control. Today’s EVs take these elements and enhance them with electric precision. They offer a level of control and responsiveness that the S4’s petrol engines could only aspire to, all while pushing the boundaries of eco-friendly technology.
The Mitsouka Viewt was a unique blend of retro style and modern engineering. Modern EVs, on the other hand, are redefining the automotive landscape by combining nostalgic design cues with futuristic technology. They offer a glimpse into a future where cars are not just modes of transport but statements of environmental responsibility.
The Toyota Celica, especially in its GT-Four incarnation, was revered for its rally-bred performance and versatility. Today’s EVs bring a different kind of versatility – one that’s not just about performance or trim levels but about integrating life with technology. They offer a seamless experience where your car is an extension of your digital life, something the Celica paved the way for in its time.
Mercedes C36 AMG
The Mercedes C36 AMG was a blend of luxury and performance, with its hand-built engine and refined interiors. Modern EVs take this concept into the future, offering unparalleled luxury that’s quiet, smooth, and environmentally responsible. It’s like going from a luxury watch to a smartwatch – both premium, but one offers a bit more connectivity to the world.
The Subaru SVX was known for its futuristic design and unique window-in-window feature. Modern EVs have adopted this forward-thinking approach as well, pushing the boundaries of car design with sleek, aerodynamic shapes and innovative features that make the SVX’s attempts look, well, quaint. Still, their efforts were commendable and we give them an A for effort.
The Lexus SC combined luxury and performance with its smooth V8 engines and elegant design. Modern EVs, however, are redefining luxury mobility. They offer whisper-quiet rides, instant acceleration, and interiors that are more akin to a high-tech lounge than a car’s cabin, presenting a new paradigm in luxury that the SC hinted at decades ago.
The Isuzu VehiCROSS was an off-road-capable vehicle with a distinct appearance, known for its ruggedness and unique style. Modern EVs translate this rugged individualism into a sustainable format. They offer the ability to tackle various terrains while being gentle on the environment, a concept that was just a distant thought in the VehiCROSS era.
Aston Martin Vantage V550
The Aston Martin Vantage V550 was about exclusivity and power, with its twin-supercharged V8 engine. Today’s EVs offer a new kind of exclusivity – one that’s not just about power but also about being part of the sustainable elite. They provide performance that’s exhilarating yet responsible, a balance the V550 approached from a purely performance standpoint.
The Maserati Shamal, with its biturbo V8 engine, was a statement of luxury and power. Modern EVs, in contrast, make a statement of power paired with innovation. They’re not just about the thrill of driving; they’re all about pushing what is possible in automotive technology while also respecting the environment.
The Ferrari 456 was a symbol of prestige and performance, known for its V12 engine and grand touring capabilities. Modern EVs have taken this grandeur and infused it with sustainability. They offer a blend of luxury, performance, and environmental consciousness, presenting a new way to experience prestige on the road.
MTX Tatra V8
The MTX Tatra V8, although not as famous as some of its contemporaries, was a remarkable vehicle that combined raw power with a distinctive design. In contrast, today’s EVs capture this essence of individuality, but with an added emphasis on efficiency and environmental sustainability. These modern EVs mark the dawn of an exciting new era in the automotive world, where high performance doesn’t come at the expense of the planet.
The Vector W8 was an American attempt at a supercar, known for its angular design and turbocharged V8 engine. Modern EVs have taken the supercar concept and revolutionized it. They offer blistering performance without the environmental footprint, blending the W8’s desire for speed with the needs of our planet. Talk about a win-win!
Honda Accord Type-R
The Honda Accord Type-R was a balance of practicality and performance, offering a sporty ride in a family-friendly package. Modern EVs take this balanced approach to a new level. They provide practicality, performance, and environmental stewardship, offering a complete package that the Accord Type-R could only hint at in its time.