Ferrari. Lamborghini. Porsche. These three manufacturers jointly monopolized the supercar fandom throughout the 1990s, when supercars were still very much an emerging part of automobile culture. Small supercar makers seeking to grab a piece of the pie had to develop daring designs simply to gain some attention.
One of these daring companies was the Vector Aeromotive Corporation, which added their relatively lesser-known American flavor to this mix. Founded by industry veteran Gerald Wiegert in Wilmington, California – this firm, via the manufacture of the Vector W8 Twin Turbo, would make its entry into the automotive establishment with a style that would be appropriately characterized as an “admiration and astonishment.”
With aircraft-grade build, futuristic aesthetics, and performance that was light years ahead of current exotica, the Vector W8, in particular, was ahead of its time. The wedge-shaped W8 boasted over-the-top styling, but the design went well beyond the typical extremes of the late 1980s and early 1990s. The outrageous sports car marked America’s entry into the supercar market.
Let’s take a closer look at the head-turning supercar
What Made The Vector W8 So Daring?
The two-seater supercar is a considerably more bold version of the Lamborghinis of the time, which were angular and geometric wedge-shaped. The Vector W8 Twin Turbo is the furthest thing you can get from a kit car/replica, yet sharing characteristics with those as mentioned earlier, such as a low-flat front and shorter tail.
The design of the W8 was inspired by the 1968 Alfa Romeo Carabo, which was one of the first prototypes to embrace what were then very futuristic design elements. Even with its massive rear wing, the W8 Twin Turbo produced extremely low drag thanks to a body made mostly of carbon fiber and the best aerodynamic principles available at the time.
The dashboard consisted of four screens that displayed a variety of vehicle information. The dashboard includes a switchgear, functioning boost gauge, massive 10-disc CD changer, and a stereo system mounted directly in front of the passenger.
The removal of a center console enables the driver and passenger seats to be positioned in the middle of the vehicle, providing a shared footwell and plenty of room for the transmission lever to be mounted on the driver’s extra-wide door sill. However, due to the seat location, the driver has to stretch to reach the leather seat from the door opening.
Premium leather and suede-lined most of the interior panels of the car, with the floor having wool carpeting and floor mats. The generously bolstered Recaro leather seats were electrically adjustable, and air-conditioning came standard.
Although specific features like power steering and anti-lock brakes were dropped for the sake of weight savings, the car was nevertheless ideal for city driving thanks to a lovely and overall comfortable interior.
The W8’s Handling And Chassis
A double-wishbone independent suspension with adjustable Koni shocks, concentric springs, and an anti-roll bar is fitted over the front wheels of the W8 Twin Turbo. The package is finished with a De Dion rear axle with diagonal trailing links, adjustable Koni shocks, concentric springs, and an adjustable anti-roll bar
Both the front and back of the W8 Twin Turbo are fitted with a braking system that includes 13-inch vented rotors with aluminum 4-pot Alcon calipers. Michelin XGT Plus tires (255/45/16 front, 315/40/16 rear) mounted on bespoke wheels forged to the specifications provided by the original customer when buying their vehicle allowed the car to touch the asphalt.
The Best Feature Of The The Vector W8
The best feature of the W8 is its power and performance. The power generated by the Twin Turbo engine is undoubtedly something else.
The engine is a 6.0-liter twin-turbocharged V8 with 8 pounds of boost that generates 625 hp at 5,700 rpm and 649 lb-ft of torque at 4,900 rpm. The aluminum block-and-head, fuel-injected power plant is mounted transversely in the engine compartment and is based on a 5.7-liter Chevrolet engine that has been stroked and then given forced induction.
The Garrett turbocharger boost pressure may be adjusted up to 14 psi by the driver. While the extra boost was contentious, Vector Aeromotive Corporation said it would allow the engine to generate a massive 1,200 hp and achieve a breathtaking top speed.
The rear wheels were powered by a Gleason-Torsen differential and a strengthened three-speed automatic gearbox acquired from the Oldsmobile parts catalog. With a claimed acceleration of 0-60 mph in 4.2 seconds, a quarter-mile in 12 seconds at 124 mph, and an estimated top speed of 218 mph, the Vector powertrain produced imposing performance figures at the time.
By contrast, this meant that it was quicker than a Ferrari F40, Bugatti EB 110 GT, and Jaguar XJ220 – each of which held the top speed records at one time — in these measures.
The Vector W8 Is Extremely Rare
Only 19 W8s were produced by Vector, including two prototypes. The reason for the low manufacturing quantity is because this vehicle was expensive when it was first released; the sticker price was $283,750, which was more than a Lamborghini Diablo at the time.
The vehicle, on the other hand, was a little overbuilt. Every component was selected to be long-lasting. Vector lost money despite the high sticker price and raised the vehicle’s cost to $448,000.
A collector would have to wait a long time to buy a Vector W8 today (until one of the rare cars goes up for sale). A restoration project might be purchased for as little as $200,000, and a vehicle in perfect condition would almost likely sell for over $1,000,000.
This amazing, enigmatic vehicle from the 1990s is something you cannot overlook, whether you gaze at it from the inside or the outside. It’s the most unusual and bizarre thing you’ll ever see on the road, and it gives a whole new meaning to the term “wild.”
The owner of both modern muscle cars wanted to know which one was faster.
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