Cars

The Wildest Supercar America Has Ever Designed

For some people the 1980s were all about rebelling against the establishment, employing the "greed is good" philosophy, and unashamedly doing mass quantities of cocaine. Some things never change. Definitely emblematic of at least two of those, the Vector W8 Twin Turbo was developed in the latter part of the decade with very little attention paid to what anyone not in the driver's seat would think. Fewer than 20 were ever produced, and RM has one of them at their Monterrey auction later this summer. 

The looks were as outlandish then as they are today, almost like someone drew a cartoon version of a Lamborghini Countach. But all the scoops and vents are fully functional and it's almost entirely made of carbon fiber and kevlar, making it both super-light and incredibly rigid.

It's also aerodynamically slick. Note how low the nose is—barely half the height of the front wheel. In a straight line, the Vector can top 220 mph, which when it was built (just after the Porsche 959 and Ferrari F40 respectively flirted with and broke the 200 mph barrier) was a figure basically unfathomable.

Of course, it was aided along the way by this. It's practically the same engine you'd find in a Corvette back then, with a couple of turbochargers thrown on for good measure. The amount of boost was adjustable, which meant horsepower varied from 650 to over 1400 hp if you didn't care about either the engine's, or your, longevity. 

Swing open one of the Lambo-style doors, however, and the rest of the car's craziness becomes minor eccentricy by comparison.

The entire interior was designed to resemble a fighter jet, which is why there's a screen (remember, this was designed decades before every car had one in the dash), and more buttons, switches and dials than you can safely count while driving.

The transmission is sequentially-shifted using a ratchet that's modeled after a jet's throttle control. Naturally, it's wrapped in leather.

There was enough lunacy left over for the seats, which see all their controls on the inner-most bolster, rounding off the wonderfully absurd cabin.

Not bad for a car with all the subtlety of a hammer.


Aaron Miller is the Rides editor for Supercompressor. He remembers reading about this car in glossy magazines before it came out, and consequently feels old now.