Ladies and gentlemen, please bow your heads and observe a moment of silence- these are 6 of the best cars that despite being loved by petrolheads and public during the years they graced showrooms, have been discontinued for the 2020 model year. Today we pay respect to those fallen models, so join me in the vigil and have a look at these motors we've lost this year..
6. Smart Fortwo (1998-2019)
Hailed as revolutionary when it was launched to the public in 1998, the Smart Fortwo was praised for its diminutive size (you could park one on the street facing onto the pavement), the Fortwo was seen as a spiritual successor to the original Mini, or perhaps the Fiat 500. It appears though that praise couldn't save the Fortwo, as Smart's parent company Mercedes have relegated the small city car to the pages of history, as there was simply no need to keep producing the car among the similar, better-selling models in Mercedes' brochure, such as the A-Class and the forthcoming compact EV's, the little Smart couldn't keep up, and while a facelifted electric version has been planned for us Europeans, it's fair to say it's lost some of the cutesy charm the Fortwo once had, with rumours circulating of the entire model to be phased out in the next few years, and it marks an untimely end to arguably one of the 21st century's most definitive cars.
5. Volkswagen Golf R (2012-2019)
Always overshadowed by its more famous and more popular brother, the Golf GTi, the Golf R arrived on the scene in 2012 with 256 horsepower from a beefy four-cylinder engine, enough to outstrip the GTi itself, and even knock on the door of sports cars from a similar time. However, the GTi was deemed to have the more enjoyable driving experience, so while the R was a capable car, it could never live up to the GTi's monumental reputation. Faced with dwindling sales and a policy of moving away from petrol-powered motors, VW confirmed the R's departure earlier this year, and made it clear that if it were to return, it would be powered by an electric motor, as VW continues to shift their focus towards electrically-powered cars.
4. Chevrolet Corvette C7 (2014-2019)
Ever since its release in 2014, the C7 Corvette brought American sports cars up onto the levels of its more sophisticated European rivals, after the brilliant Stingray saved Corvette from meeting the same ugly end that befell other GM marques such as Pontiac and Oldsmobile. It's also cemented its place in history as probably the last front-engined Corvette, as Chevrolet are set to move to a mid-engined layout more befitting of a European supercar. With the death of this model, it brings Corvette out of the pony/muscle car market and firmly into the sports/supercar category. Let's see what they can do then..
3. Mercedes AMG SL 63 (2013-2019)
Despite being facelifted only recently, it appears that Mercedes' soft top rocket has reached the end of the line, as it was taken out of production earlier this year. On being introduced in 2013, it packed a twin-turbocharged (or "biturbo") 5.5 litre V8, fiddled with by Mercedes' performance department to produce a staggering 537 horsepower, which made it blisteringly quick, with a 0-60 time of just 4.3 seconds. However, after the death of the V12-powered SL 65, it was clear that the SL 63 was alive on borrowed time, and now its time has come, however there are rumours circulating that a replacement is being planned, so let's keep our fingers crossed then..
2. Jaguar XJ (1968-2019)
After over fifty years and numerous generations, it's fair to say that the Jaguar XJ is on its ninth life. The epitome of executive saloons for half a century, the XJ was everything anyone wanted from a big, intimidating saloon, so much so that it was the choice of prime ministers, executives and bank robbers over the course of its manufacturer. However, in the modern world there's simply no place for a large petrol-gobbling saloon, so as a result, Jaguar brought production of the XJ to a halt, to make room for a new all-electric lineup, that Jaguar are planning to introduce in 2020. Onto number one then..
1. Alfa Romeo 4C (2013-2019)
The car responsible for reinstating Alfa Romeo back in the United States, and a contender for one of the best-looking cars of the past decade, the Alfa Romeo 4C has finally ceased production. In light of fast decreasing sales and decreasing demand, Alfa pulled the car from production this year, in order to make room in the brochure for cars such as the upcoming Tonale, and to focus more on their current models, such as the Stelvio and Giulia. But at least they left an incredible car behind, that could even acquire classic status in the next few years. But for now, these are the 6 best cars that have unfortunately met their end this year.
And that's a wrap! Thanks so much for reading, and I'll see you in the next article!