If you have heard of all five, then you are a true enthusiast.
In the world of supercars, there are many success stories. The likes of Pagani and Koenigsegg that spring up and challenge the establishment. However, these small upstarts do not always succeed. In fact, sometimes even the big names in the industry are unsuccessful in the supercar space. People want supercars to feel special, and brand perception is a big part of that. Perhaps that is why these five supercars have been forgotten by all but those with extremely obscure car knowledge.
Ask any 12-year old what their favorite car is and they will probably answer with a Bugatti of some kind. The Veyron took the world by storm thanks to backing from Volkswagen. The Bugatti name has now risen back to the top of automotive royalty, but it wasn't always this way. Back in 1987, an Italian Ferrari dealer decided to revive the Bugatti name in time for the brand's 110th birthday. The result was the Bugatti EB110, which came powered by a quad-turbocharged V12 engine with 550-603 hp. This SS version could hit 60 mph in 3.2 seconds and reach 216 mph, but the McLaren F1 came a long and blew the EB110 out of the water. The company went bankrupt and was eventually purchased by Volkswagen.
For the children of the '80s and '90s, Vector Motors holds a special place in their hearts as Pagani does for the children of today. Vector Motors was a small supercar maker based in California. It built several odd models including the M12 pictured above. The M12 was the last model that the company. Just 18 units left the factory, four of which were pre-production models. The car was based on a Lamborghini Diablo, and was powered by the same 5.7-liter V12 engine. Lamborghini was never payed for the engines that it supplied to Vector, so it took one of Vector's W8 models as payment. That W8 is still owned by Volkswagen today.
Many people forget that Jaguar once tried to build a supercar. The XJ220 was first unveiled as a concept at the 1988 British Motor Show. Production of the car ended in 1994 and only 275 were built. The car could hit 213 mph, which made it the fastest car in the world in 1992 and 1993. It was later defeated by the Bugatti EB110 and the McLaren F1. The XJ220 developed 542hp and 475 lb-ft of torque from a twin-turbo V6 engine. Potential buyers of the car were put off by its lack of an exotic V12 engine that Jaguar originally promised. This actually reminds us a lot of the new Ford GT. We'll see if the Ford GT also gets forgotten quickly.
People who play Forza games may be the only ones who recognize the car pictured above. Believe it or not, this car is actually a Nissan called the R390. The Nissan R390 GT1 was a race car that competed in Le Mans. Because it was in the Grand Tourer class, Nissan had to build a road going version before the car was allowed to compete. Only one road going version was ever built and it is stored in a Nissan facility. The car was powered by a twin-turbo 3.5-liter V8 which produced 550 hp. This is sent to the rear wheels through a six-speed manual transmission. The car could do 0-60 mph in 3.9 seconds and complete the quarter-mile in 11.9 seconds. It was claimed to hit 220 mph, although this was never tested.
Jaguar really won out by having not one, but two forgotten supercars on this list. In addition to the XJ220, Jaguar also built the XJR-15. The car was based on the Le Mans-winning XJR-9 and only 53 were built. They were sold from 1990 to 1992 for a whopping $960,165. Only 27 of the cars were road-legal, one of which we've seen go up for auction. The XJR-15 used a 6.0-liter V12 engine which produced 450 hp and 420 lb-ft of torque. Gordon Murray actually worked on this car before designing the McLaren F1, which made everything else in the 1990s forgettable.