30 years of AutoWeek: this was number 39 in 1990

Techzle has been in existence for 30 years, which is why we look back every week on this week’s edition in 1990. Techzle 39 will be in the shops from today, but what exactly was number 39 thirty years ago?


With some small news about a new Seat action model for the Marbella (the ‘Colors’), a collaboration between Tobo and Skoda for tow bars and a spoiler set for the Mazda MX-5, it doesn’t seem like a busy week at the end of September. Further in the magazine we see spy images of the so-called ‘Hyundai J-car’. The latest mid-range car at Hyundai was caught with some camouflage material on its nose and butt, but what is that ‘J-car’? We don’t know yet that this would be the harbinger of the Lantra. At the beginning of the 1990s, Hyundai expertly positions it between the Excel and the spacious Sonata. The Lantra, which you can now consider as a somewhat hefty ancestor of the i30, eventually appears on Dutch roads in 1991. After a facelift in 1993, the second generation followed in 1995. It looks remarkably more modern with its rounder shapes and is also available as a station wagon. At the beginning of this century, Hyundai sticks an ‘E’ in front of the name. That Elantra will remain on the market until 2006, after which the i30 chapter begins.

Techzle 1990


In Japan we drive two cars that are very different from each other, but under the skin are exactly the same: the Mitsubishi’s Sigma and Starion. The latter was better known elsewhere in the world as GTO or 3000GT. In the test specimens we find in both cases a 3.0-liter, good for 210 hp in the Sigma and even 300 hp in the Starion. The Sigma also ended up on the road in the Netherlands as a station wagon.

In this Techzle, this duo must recognize its superior in the opponents in the trio test. A super trio shines in it: the Corvette ZR1, Lamborghini Diablo and Porsche 959. These trio compete against each other on the Monza circuit. Thirty years later, still a childhood dream for many! With 390, 493 and 450 hp, they are cars with “techniques to beat you to”.

Techzle 1990


In addition to some major articles about accidents with rental cars (and the financial consequences) and a story about car credit, a Donkervoort S8AT breaks the magazine in half as a poster story. Dutch technology with a hefty price tag.

In addition, Eindhoven was turned upside down on 2 September 1990 by the Historical Automobile Festival. About 140 classics drove right through the center of the city of light. Alfa Romeo predominated, because that was the theme brand of the event in 1990.

Techzle 1990

In the section with used cars, like every week, an occasion is highlighted with all the comments and remarks. This week we learn everything about a used Ford Escort. Apparently a lot is asked for this, but it is also maintenance sensitive. One of the biggest problems, how could it be otherwise, is rust!

Techzle 1990


“What power, what style, what a car!” Probably not everyone immediately makes the association with a Fiat Uno, but the Italian brand does advertise with these superlatives to bring the direct competitor of the Peugeot 205 to the man (or woman). Not without reason, by the way, because the Uno – on the market since 1983 – has just undergone a major facelift.

Techzle 1990

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