These Are The 10 Greatest Movie Cars Of The 1990s – HotCars

Making superstars out of seemingly ordinary machines, the ’90s movie cars often outperformed their human co-stars.
The movies have provided us with a lot of answers. They open up a window onto worlds. Give insights into scenes that most people would never see. More importantly, they open gearheads' eyes to vehicles not usually considered to be cool, making superstars out of ordinary metal, or icons out of the profound.
The 1970s and 1980s were awash with films featuring exciting (now) classic cars. From the black and gold 1977 Pontiac Trans Am in Smokey and The Bandit. To the demonic 1958 Plymouth Fury in the horror movie Christine. There was plenty of four-wheeled inspiration to choose from. The 1990s were a little different. Movies evolved, and so did their use of cars.
Now treated more like characters in their own right, movie cars aren't just there to bolster the action or prop up a weak story. In some cases, they sat center stage. Playing a pivotal role. To deliver the all-important wow factor. Looking back, these are the 10 greatest movie cars of the 1990s.
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A rollercoaster ride of a movie. Ronin has it all. Gun battles, a twisting plot, and a heap of car chases. At the center of those automotive popcorn-munching moments is an Audi. The first generation of S8, a vehicle that could be classified as the ultimate movie sleeper car.
Looking rather inconspicuous, the Audi S8 is a brute. Under the hood hides a 4.2-liter V8 churning out 335hp. This allowed it to hit 60mph in 6.3 seconds. Underpinned with Quattro AWD, it stuck to the road like glue. Outshining every other onscreen car appearance, it is a star.
The 1966 Ford Thunderbird is as vast as the country that birthed it. A hulking great exercise in luxury and style. Its impressive 7.0-liter engine made 345hp and 463lb/ft of torque. Even with this output, 60mph only appeared on the clock after 9 seconds. We'll blame the weight.
Famed for being driven off a cliff, the 1966 Ford Thunderbird would have plummeted like a meteor, thanks to its 4385lb bulk. Simply chosen to make filming easier due to it being a convertible, the 1966 Ford Thunderbird has been cemented forever in movie history.
Full of aggression, style, and fast-paced action. The Porsche 964 911 Turbo was a perfect fit for the Bad Boys movie. At the time, it was one of the best-looking performance cars on the planet. It was also one of the quickest, an attribute made clear throughout the film.
The revised Porsche 911 made 355hp from a 3.6-liter turbocharged engine. It could romp to 60mph in 4.6 seconds. Which was ballistic for the early '90s. The movie car later swapped hands a few times before being resold in 2021 for $1.3million. That's movie magic right there.
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It goes to show that even the wrong vehicle, in the right movie can create an icon. The 1976 AMC Pacer is not a great car. It may have interesting styling, but that's where the excitement ends. A 4.6-liter in-line six gave the Pacer 200hp. But, this still gave a poor performance.
Drop the throttle in a Pacer and 60mph will crawl into sight after 14 seconds. Definitely not a sports car. The AMC Pacer was pretty well-equipped for the time. It also offered plenty of interior space. Unlike the movie version, a licorice dispenser was not a factory-fitted option.
A hulking behemoth of a vehicle, the Hummer H1 was used to devastating effect in The Rock. Thrown through the streets of San Francisco it demolished everything in its path, notably a yellow Ferrari F355. Like a rampaging monster, it made for great viewing.
Ideally suited to its destructive task, the H1 Hummer is a civilian version of a military vehicle. Powered by a 6.5-liter turbocharged diesel V8, the burly truck makes just 170hp and 290lb/ft of torque. Budget runabouts can beat that these days. They can't wreck a city though.
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Messing with a film as iconic as the original Vanishing Point was never going to end well. And while the remake was decidedly average, muscle car fans praised the return of the white Challenger. The story had been rewritten. But at least the hero car stayed the same.
Simply gorgeous, the 1970 Dodge Challenger R/T 426 is also a very rapid muscle car. Its 7.0-liter Hemi V8 makes 425hp with 490 lb/ft of torque. Off the line, it hits 60mph in 5.4 seconds. An impressive machine, and one that elevated the remake to a watchable status.
Not all movie cars start life as muscle cars or style icons. Some are simply chosen because they fit the environment and setting. The Peugeot 406 in Taxi is such a vehicle. It looks cheap, because it was. And it looks home-modified, because it's meant to. That's the charm.
A typically average European sedan, the Peugeot 406 was nothing special. But the movie made viewers believe it was. Power comes from a 2.9-liter V6 with 194hp. It did 60mph in 7.7 seconds. Boldly wearing a huge front splitter and rear wing, it's a car to remember.
The Aston Martin DB5 will always be associated with James Bond. They go together like strawberries and cream. Often portrayed as having skills beyond their own abilities. The Aston Martin DB5 in Golden Eye was able to defeat a Ferrari F355 in a mountaintop race.
Off-screen, that duel would have ended rather differently. While the 4.0-liter in-line six does put out 282hp and 288lb/ft torque, the F355 would wipe the floor with the plucky Brit. The Aston only being able to hit 60mph in 8 seconds. The movie car sold for $2.6 million in 2018.
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One of the coolest movie cars to ever grace the silver screen, the DeLorean DMC-12 is as infamous as it is famous. Cobbled together from an assortment of parts. It was a woefully bad car, but one that has gained a legion of fans, creating a massive cult following.
The third appearance of the DeLorean would be the last. Initially sporting white wall tires, it is later modified to run on a railroad track. Sporting even more modifications, the iconic car takes center stage, tying the whole escapade together before finally getting destroyed.
For the Knight Rider 2000 movie, the hero would get a vehicle upgrade. The plan had been to use a Pontiac Banshee, a bold-looking concept car. Having not been able to secure one, a Dodge Stealth was modified instead, yet retaining the overall look of the Banshee.
On-screen, it appeared supersonic. In real life, it wasn't as fast but could still haul. Utilizing a 3.0-liter turbocharged V6, it got 300hp bestowing it with a 0-60mph time of 5.5 seconds. The film car had extras, like stealth mode, an onboard computer, and a fax machine.
Having cut his teeth on the UK street racing scene in the late 90’s and early 00’s RJ faded from the limelight only to return 20 years later. An avid motoring enthusiast RJ especially enjoys JDM and Italian cars, and is an experienced multi-industry writer.


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