QOTD: What's Your Favorite German Car From the 1990s?
Ah the Nineties. Lots of cylinders, reliable new technology, and wide-track styling. But enough about Pontiac and the 3800 V6, because we’re talking today about German cars from the era.
Which German vehicles from the best decade really caught your eye?
For your author, German cars of this decade stood out from a styling standpoint most of all. Refined metal kept the same basic shapes from the 1980s, but with increased attention paid to aerodynamics. Consumers demanded larger vehicles to match their growing bank accounts; most vehicles grew when they were restyled from their 80s form into their 90s one. Time for Exhibit A.
Mercedes-Benz SL (R129) 1990-2002
Hitting the scene in 1990, the fourth-generation Mercedes SL replaced the R107, which was long in the tooth after a run from 1972 to 1989. Wider, and with a much more modern shape, the R129 is peak SL for me. And the peak of peak SL is the SL 73 AMG. Just 85 were made, and all used a 7.3-liter V12 engine which would go on to power the Pagani Zonda. 525 horsepower lies underneath the still-unassuming body.
Mercedes-Benz S-Class W140 (1991-1998)
I’ll probably be accused of bias in the comments, but my other 90s German favorite is also a Mercedes. A more controversial restyling than the SL, the W140 S-Class was taller and wider than the world-renowned W126 model that carried the S-Class name since 1979. The W140 was a technological tour de force for the brand, and development costs were estimated at over $1 billion. Commonly known as the last Mercedes model to be “over-engineered,” it was also the first S-Class bestowed with an optional V12. There was an S 73 AMG with the same engine as the SL above, but most V12 models had a 6.0-liter engine producing 389 horsepower — enough to power the large sedan to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds.
My selections were probably a bit obvious, so perhaps the B&B might be able to go a bit more obscure in their selections. What are your picks?
[Images: Mercedes-Benz, Porsche]
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