Decades come and go. While some are more memorable than others, there will always be certain aspects of each decade that serve as reminders of a bygone era. Sure, the food, media and fashion sense are some of the greatest cultural symbols of any given era, but vehicles are just as telling, especially given the US’ extensive car culture. And, since the ‘90s are the decade that almost everyone is pining for these days, I figured I would walk through a list of some of the performance cars from the decade.

Alfa Romeo GTV

This performance vehicle looks like it came straight from outer space. With its strange and boxy, yet sleek design, it can’t help but seem stuck between futuristic and contemporary (for the ‘90s). It also featured front-wheel drive and a lovely V-6 engine which gave it the sound you’d love to hear from a car of this type.

Ford Taurus SHO

Believe it or not, but the Ford Taurus was the best-selling car in America for quite a few years in the late ‘90s to early 2000s. Its sensible design made it seem unassuming; however, once you dig into the internals of the car, you start to see a much different picture. Yamaha’s V-6 engine, capable of launching the car  to 7,000 rpm, is what gave this car such a unique edge. The Mazda-made five-speed manual transmission is what was used to power its front wheels.

Jeep Grand Cherokee 5.9 Limited

This SUV was widely considered the first high-performance car of its kind. A Magnum V-8 engine that propelled 245 horsepower and over 345 lb/ft of torque powered this beast. For an SUV, those are pretty impressive specs, especially in the ‘90s. And it was fast, clocking in at 60 mph in just over 6 seconds. Again, this Jeep was not to be trifled with.

These unassuming cars of the ‘90s packed some serious power under their hoods. There are plenty of other cars from the decade that offered similar, if not better specs.