Lost Cars That Deserve a Comeback
Looking back at the cars that couldn't keep up in this ever-changing automotive world.
When thinking about certain models of cars, you expect some of them to just be around forever, such as the VW Golf or the Honda Civic. Some fade into obscurity and nobody notices when they’re gone, Others are very popular among “car people”, but once a manufacturer declares they’re discontinuing it, there’s a resounding sadness and uproar. Take the Ford Focus RS for an example.
The hard truth is, it’s all about numbers and there just aren’t enough customers to buy these “cool” and “interesting” cars. Now it feels like we’re all drowning in a sea of dreary Crossovers and bloated electric SUVs, some brazenly named after the once-popular sporty coupes from the late 90s. Try not to despair too much though! A certain Japanese carmaker called Toyota has been on a bit of a roll of late, bringing us a spicy selection of attainable vehicles and showing the world it can be done!
Here’s a selection of cars we’ve sadly lost over the years, that should be returned to their former glory!
Let us stick with Toyota for just a moment, in 2012 they gave us the GT86, a modern-day equivalent of the beloved drift legend AE-86. Then in 2019, the Supra was finally back with its signature inline-six engine. If that wasn’t enough, the much anticipated GR Yaris was released, a 4WD pocket rocket. Toyota, it seems, is not afraid to give its fanbase what it wants. The MR2 was a mid-engined, rear-wheel-drive 2.0-litre sports car. You could imagine there’s no room for such a car in Toyota’s lineup. However, should you swap the 2.0-litre for an electric motor, it would have a unique selling point over the Mazda MX5, and name it the MR-E.
The Viper was one of those mad cars that we kind of took for granted, as it had been around for so long since 1991 in fact. What other car out there boasted an 8.4-litre V10 engine, it was pure excess. In that respect it was regarded as a bit of a dinosaur, there are much easier ways of getting 500bhp from an engine these days. So it stands to reason it was discontinued in 2017, that and poor sales. Rather than go extinct, it could have evolved like the Corvette C8.
Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
A total shadow of its former self, Mitsubishi has resided itself in making nothing but bland SUVs and Pick-ups, with all the charm of kitchen appliances. To their credit, they did bring back the Eclipse, yet another crossover! It’s easy to forget this was the same company that brought us the FTO, 3000GT, Galant, and most popular of all the Lancer Evo. Though not as popular as you might have thought, due to dwindling sales and a change in marketing strategy, it was discontinued in 2015. Perhaps Mitsubishi should give it another go, with its 2.0-litre turbocharged engine and all-wheel-drive system it has similarities to the modern-day VW Golf and Audi’s.
Fast becoming a modern classic, the S2000 was praised for its impressive power output of 124hp per litre! With its 2.0 litre naturally aspirated VTEC engine that revs to 9000rpm, as I’m sure you’re aware. It also benefited from a stiff chassis and 50-50 weight distribution, which sounds great, but made for slightly nervous handling. Discontinued in 2009 it’s been gone for quite a while now, maybe it’s time to bring the name back. The S2000 itself was a homage to the 1963 S500, Honda’s second production car. They should use the same design language as the Honda-e for the retro-modern look, but definitely not use the electric motor. Shame the VTEC engine is gone too.
This is still a pretty fresh kill, having been axed in 2020 due to emissions regulations and the hybridisation of the Suzuki range. The Jimny was always the ironic little 4x4 that could. It didn’t look like it, but it genuinely was a capable off-roader even with its gutless 1.3 and 1.5 engines. You could look past the lack of power and the exaggerated body roll because the looks were fresh, funky and not like anything else on the road. There’s a simple and easy way to bring the little scamp back, give it an electric motor. Job done.
What cars do you wish would return? and how do you think they should be brought back? Let me know in the comments!