Best Cars of 1988

cars of 1988

One of the most significant developments in the automotive industry in 1988 was Toyota’s introduction of their luxury brand, Lexus. With the launch of the LS 400 in 1989, Toyota aimed to compete with the likes of the BMW 7 Series and Mercedes-Benz S-Class, offering a luxury car powered by a 4.0 V8 engine.

Volkswagen also made waves in 1988 with the release of the Passat. Available as a saloon and estate, the Passat featured 1.6 petrol engines and a 1.9 turbo-diesel. Interestingly, this was the first time in the Passat’s 15-year history that there was no hatchback version. Volkswagen’s other notable launch of 1988 was the Corrado, a coupe designed to replace the Scirocco. It boasted a 2.0 petrol engine sourced from the Passat saloon.

Audi joined the fray with the introduction of a new Coupe model, which coexisted with the original version from 1980. The Coupe utilized the same engines and transmission as its 80 saloon counterpart, with the option of Quattro four-wheel drive available at the higher end of the range.

Our Favorite Cars for the 1988 Model Year

Best Cars of 1988

Here are some of our favorite cars from the 1988 model year:

1. Lamborghini Countach 25th Anniversary: The 25th Anniversary Countach, designed by Horacio Pagani, was the most aggressive iteration of the iconic supercar. With input from World Rally Driving Champion Sandro Munari, it featured a redesigned exterior and an updated chassis. This Countach is a true automotive legend. Learn more…

2. BMW M3 Evolution II: Representing one of the finest touring machines, the M3 Evolution II was the closest road-going model to the Group A race car in 1988. To comply with DTM homologation rules, BMW had to produce 500 M3 Evolutions per year, each retaining all the aerodynamic devices of the race car. This resulted in a car that prioritized function over form. Learn more…

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3. Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG “Hammer”: The “Hammer” was a specially equipped 300E tuned by AMG with the drivetrain and suspension upgrades from the 560 SEC. Deemed a “4-door that runs like a Ferrari Testarossa” by Road & Track, the Hammer was the epitome of performance and luxury in 1988. Learn more…

4. Porsche 944 Turbo S: The Porsche 944 Turbo S was a stunning coupe with a turbocharged 2.5-liter engine that delivered exceptional performance. With 247 bhp, this rear-wheel-drive powerhouse could reach a top speed of 162 mph. The 944 Turbo S perfectly captured the spirit of Porsche’s racing heritage. Learn more…

5. Aston Martin Virage: The second generation of Aston Martin’s V8 model, the Virage, made its debut in 1988. This limited-production model featured a hand-formed aluminum body, luxurious interior materials, and a 330-horsepower 5.3-liter engine. The Virage exemplified the elegance and power synonymous with Aston Martin. Learn more…


Q: Are these cars still available to purchase?
A: While these cars may not be available as new vehicles, they can often be found on the used car market or through specialty car dealerships.

Q: How much do these cars typically cost?
A: The prices for these cars can vary greatly depending on factors such as condition, mileage, and rarity. It is recommended to consult with automotive experts or do thorough research to get an accurate estimate.

Q: Are these cars reliable for everyday use?
A: Some of these cars may require additional maintenance and care due to their age and unique features. It is advisable to consult with a qualified mechanic and consider the specific needs and requirements of each vehicle before using them as daily drivers.

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The cars of 1988 showcased the continuous evolution of the automotive industry, with luxury brands like Lexus making their mark and iconic sports cars capturing the hearts of enthusiasts. These vehicles represent the pinnacle of design, performance, and engineering of their time. Whether you admire the timeless beauty of the Lamborghini Countach or the raw power of the Mercedes-Benz 300E AMG “Hammer,” these cars will forever hold a special place in automotive history.

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