Ten cars that defined the 80s, from the Delorean to the Sledgehammer.
The 1980s was a decade of great change. Mount St. Helens erupted, the Berlin Wall was torn down, and the Challenger Space Shuttle exploded in the sky. The cars of this decade were also pretty interesting - some were trying to ape the style of older classics, while others were embracing the technologies of the future.
1983 Toyota Corolla GT-S
Granted, this Japanese hatchback didn't really achieve its legendary status until a certain anime came around, but it actually came out in 1983 in North America. This little rear-wheel drive coupe may have had only 112 horsepower (83 kilowatts), but the fact it weighed next to nothing made it quite sprightly.
1988 Honda CRX Si
This was the second generation of the lightweight CRX coupe. It came with the D16 engine, VTEC, and was quick enough to embarrass sports cars that were much more expensive.
1987 Ferrari F40
The specifications of this car would be pretty impressive even today: a twin-turbo V8 that produced 471 hp (351 kW), a carbon-fiber chassis, and a mid-engine setup. Back when it was launched in 1987, it felt like it came from the future.
1988 Callaway Sledgehammer
The Callaway Sledgehammer was based on the C4 Chevrolet Corvette, but it was far from stock. Thanks to a pair of high-pressure turbochargers, this beast made 898 hp (670 kW) and reached a top speed of 255 miles per hour (410 kilometers per hour), all while being tame enough to be driven back to the Callaway shop afterward.
1985 Mazda RX-7 FC
This wasn't the first rotary-powered Mazda to hit North America, but this one had something that changed everything: a turbocharger. It made 200 hp (149 kW), which was plenty enough for the time.
1987 Buick GNX
Yes, this American car came with a V6 and not a lumpy V8 like its predecessors. Thanks to the miracle of turbocharging, though, its 3.8-liter engine made 300 hp (224 kW) and 420 pound-feet of torque (note that these are the actual figures; Buick severely underrated the GNX at 276 hp at the time).
1981 Delorean DMC-12
In 1985, a legendary movie was launched: Back To The Future. While Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd delivered pretty stunning performances, the real star of the movie was the Delorean DMC-12, an Irish sports car with an aluminum body and a Renault powertrain.
1985 BMW M3
To compete in the Group A Touring Championship, BMW needed a high-powered production vehicle. After working tirelessly, they created the E30 M3. It was stiffer, much more powerful, and wider than the 3 Series ... and the rest is history.
1986 Porsche 959
Back when the Group B rally was popular, pretty much every manufacturer was trying to join in. Porsche was one of those, and it designed an all-wheel drive, twin-turbocharged car with advanced electronics and unbelievable performance. Only 337 were ever built (plus another eight after production officially ended), and they are all worth millions of dollars today.
1980 Audi Quattro
This is the car that launched Audi's reputation as a builder of all-wheel drive vehicles. It was originally intended to dominate in Group B rally, but since the rules stated that at least 200 cars had to be sold to the public, regular people were able to taste this car's performance. After seeing just how good the Quattro system was on the rally stages, Audi decided to implement this technology in its future cars.