Boxy is apparently in if you’re looking at some of the most recent designs to be unveiled amongst automobiles. This is part two of a series on the boxy car trend. You can read part 1 right here.
The Turbo R was a change from the Mulsanne which for many was thought to be a clone of the Rolls Royce Silver. The Turbo R enjoyed a brief run of success from 1985-1987 and was built with a 6.75-liter V8, which was the power for the Mulsanne, but the Turbo R was much stiffer in its suspension and even though it was close to 5000 pounds it brought in nearly 500 lb.-ft. of torque which helped make it one of the quickest sedans of the time.
This was a phenomenal car from Lexus from 1990-1994. The LS 400 was a reliable, boxy, and stylish car that gave owners the same type of power and precise handling they already enjoyed from the multitude of Mercedes-Benz models but at a price that was typically $10,000 less. It stunned the car world that a luxury car could cost so much less and made it obvious Toyota had put a great deal of thought and attention into this car that was not going to be considered a highly reliable vehicle to rival BMW and Mercedes-Benz.
Volvos from the 1980’s and 1990’s generally only came in two shapes. You either got a squared off sedan or a large box of a wagon. The 850 Wagon was the first front-drive Volvo in the US and was actually considered to be very modern for the times. With a run from 1993-1997, the 850 Wagon with the hot-rodded T5R was available as a wagon or sedan and packed a 240 horsepower turbocharged five-cylinder engine inside that could make the run to sixty mph in less than seven seconds.
The Sedan de Ville was huge. This long and luxurious car that was popular from 1977-1984 was known for being mistaken for a boat and taken out on the water, well, not really, but this was one of the largest sedans ever made. Powered by the huge 7.0-liter V8 the de Ville was not known to be a speed demon, but brought around 180 horsepower. The de Ville became known as the car of choice for crime families of the time.
Take a refrigerator box and slap on some wheels and you pretty much have the Vanagon. This popular Microbus from Volkswagen was popular in the 1970s as the modernized VW van which evolved from the previous models which were the rounded off versions. Amazingly the Vanagon was only a couple inches longer than the Honda Civic of today and used an air-cooled flat four-cylinder engine. The Vanagon was popular from 1980-1991 and eventually enjoyed the benefits of a 4WD system and became popular as a great camping vehicle.
Built to compete with the Blazer from Chevrolet and the Cherokee from Jeep, the Ramcharger and the Plymouth Trailduster were the answer. These big, beastly SUVs were square and upright with an engine compartment that could be filled with awesome V8 power. At 440 cubic inches in a V8 engine this big engine was powerful and helped make the Ramcharger one of the best off road machines from 1974-1993 and gave us a full lineup of awesome SUVs to take on the outdoors in big bold style.
This version of the BWM sedan became the platform of success for three decades and showed up in a variety of sedans from BWM. The 2002 enjoyed a successful run from 1968-1976 and offered the size and performance to be one of the most impressive mechanical marvels of the time. This model may not have had the most horsepower ever, but it brought forth the importance of driving performance on the road in order to be a great sports car. No longer was horsepower all you had to have, now you could enjoy some awesome fun from behind the wheel as well.
Memories of this big Land Cruiser often escape us because we are so familiar with the FJ40. This mighty off road SUV that prowled streets and trails from 1980-1990 was one of the best to get through the worst that you could find during that decade. This also showed us the beginning of a truck that would use a six-cylinder engine instead of one that was a massive V8. Made from Toyota, these big beasts have been seen topping the charts at over 300,000 miles on their odometer.
This is part 2 of a 3 part series. Stay tuned for the next installment!