It’s another blast from the past for this Car of the Week: the Vector W8.
Vector Motors, as a company, is a pretty hard thing to follow. They started out in 1971, did nothing for 8 years, and have made very few cars ever since. This week, I’m here to talk to you about their first production car: the W8.
The idea was to create a hypercar to take on the world. They certainly got the design right, the angular body and sharp edges gave the Countach a run for its money. The engine was pure American muscle: a simple OHV Oldsmobile V8. But this one had twin turbochargers and 625 hp, which gave it a top speed of over 240 mph.
Sadly, it had 3 key faults. First, that amazing engine was connected to a 3-speed automatic transmission, great when you’re making a comfortable grand tourer, not so great when you build a car to be as fast as it can. It begs the question of just how fast this could have been with a 5-speed manual.
Second, availability. The Vector was produced from 1990-1992 (Mind the 10 year gap between their first concept and this), and they made just 22. Each cost $455,000 (About $775,000 in 2009 dollars), which brings us to the third problem. The Lamborghini Diablo was cheaper, and so was the Ferrari F40. From a selling point, it was a total disaster.
Vector Motors is still running to this day, and is allegedly making a 275 mph, 1850 hp hypercar branded the WX-8. The automotive world simply doesn’t care anymore.
A forgotten car that had the recipe for success, the Vector W8 will at least have the spotlight as our Car of the Week.
Exterior: Simon Greig / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0