Ever since CAR magazine printed its first issue way back in 1957, proper road-testing has been an integral part of our procedure. Why? Well it provides readers with the opportunity to see what each car can do in real-world conditions (as opposed to what manufacturers claim).
The 1980s were when cars started to get seriously fast thanks to things like fuel injection and forced induction. As a result of this, the Germans were able to take over from the Americans and Aussies who dominated our two previous lists (check out the fastest cars of the '60s and '70s). Still, most of the cars on this list are slower than the Ford Capri Perana that topped our '70s list.
Below are five of the fastest accelerating production cars that we tested during this decade.
Porsche 928S: 6,9 seconds (August 1981)
The 928 was initially supposed to make use of a V10, developed from VW's EA827 five-cylinder engine, but Porsche's board of directors advised against this because they did not want their cars to be associated with a so-called lesser product. Instead, it made do with a 4,7-litre V8 that developed 221 kW and 385 N.m of torque, which is good enough to earn it a place in our top five.
Nissan 300 ZX Turbo: 6,81 seconds (May 1988)
The 300 ZX may seem like an unexpected entry to some, but this particular Fairlady marks the period when Nissan started playing with turbochargers. The 300 ZX that we tested, made use of the VG30ET 3,0-litre V6, which produced 168 kW and 326 N.m of torque.
Mercedes-Benz 560 SEC: 6,78 seconds (January 1987)
With the SEC, Mercedes-Benz decided to play it old school and cram a big V8 into the engine bay. It continued this for several decades, but the 560 SEC, with its 5,5-litre V8 delivering 220 kW to the rear wheels is the one that is often most fondly remembered. This car was 1,5 seconds faster than the relatively less powerful 5,0-litre V8 derivative.
BMW M5: 6,75 seconds (August 1987)
With the E28, BMW decided to use its modular M88 3,5-litre straight-six engine, which also found its way in the M635CSi and M1. With this, the M5 delivered 210 kW and 340 N.m of torque to the rear wheels through a dog-leg five-speed manual and could reach a top speed of 250 km/h.
Porsche 911 (930) Turbo: 6,1 seconds (January 1982)
We mentioned in the previous list that we did not have access to this borderline supercar in 1978, when it first hit the market. But we managed to lay our hands on one eventually. The result was that it would top the list of our fastest accelerating cars of the '80s thanks to its turbocharged 3,3-litre six-cylinder boxer engine, which pushed out 221 kW and 430 N.m of torque.
*Porsche 911 Carrera, 911 3,2 Cabriolet and 944 Turbo
Technically, these three cars also deserve a place on this list, but we thought we'd list them under the Porsche 911 (930) Turbo to make things more interesting. Regardless, it's safe to assume that the '80s belonged to Porsche here at CAR magazine.