REVIVING CARS... GOOD OR BAD?
A small collection of iconic vehicles, relaunched by manufacturers who, in my opinion, could've done better.
1. 2019- TOYOTA SUPRA
I'll keep it quick, as I'm aware that a lot of people like the MKV Supra. I think it looks quite sharp, but its dimensions, as an update to the MKiV, don't make a lot of sense. The MKiV Supra was technically a mid-size/full-size sports coupe (to rival the likes of the R34 GTR etc.); the MKV is now, is a compact sports coupe (to rival the likes of the 718 Cayman etc.) That's the first mistake which Toyota made. Furthermore, they've built the Supra on the platform of a Z4, a great car, but it's a convertible. A convertible is heavy. They need more chassis strengthening that a typical coupe, as they have no permanent connection around the upper frame of the car; which means the Supra is heavier than it needs to be. Also, the interior is a bit simple for a car with a circa £50,000 price tag and such a powerful motor. To sum up, Toyota has gained a Midlands' mindset; they've taken a Z4, put a different body on it, and said, "that'll do".
2. 2018- TOYOTA CAMRY (UK VERSION)
What a coincidence! Two consecutive cars from Toyota. The UK hasn't had the Camry for many years, probably due to relatively low sales for the old old Camry's. To punish the UK for its low historic sales figures, Toyota has given us a fairly terrible version. It has, like the GR Supra, a mundane interior without any of the mod-cons you'd find on the European competitors; no nice soft-touch materials, a microscopic 7" infotainment system, no digital shifter, no nothing. What's more, the exterior looks a bit bland too. It does have LED lights and a fish-esque front grille design (like the Supra), but overall it seems to be a bit last week. It seems as though Toyota wanted to be the new go-to for cement companies looking to give rubbish salesmen a new company car. The car has a 2.5 litre hybrid-petrol inline-4, which doesn't sound all that bad; but it only has 218 horsepower. 218? From a 2.5 litre engine? And front-wheel drive? It explains why the car takes 8.3 seconds to get to the national speed limit. It's like Toyota have made a car to make people feel cross.
Image: AutoExpress // Don't be fooled, it wasn't going this fast. I've heard they have some pretty decent photo editors at AutoExpress.
3. 2020- Aston Martin Vanquish "25" by CALLUM
Now, I like the Vanquish. Yes it wasn't as good as the DB9, but overall it was acceptable for a company which was then, and still is, on the brink of bankruptcy. I also like a lot of Ian Callum's work. I think he's made some brilliant designs over the years. Naturally, that brings me to the "25". Essentially, it's a resto-mod package for a 2001 Vanquish. I 100% believe that Ian and his team have spent lots of time fiddling with the Vanquish and working out how they can make it half a second faster around a bend, and how they can make the rear quarter of the car look more modern or better in some way...I'm rambling. - The point is, is that it costs £550,000. Not £55,000. £550,000. And if you want to have them restomod your own Vanquish, it's £450,000. WHAT? That makes the half of me which is a Yorkshireman infuriated. Because, if you were to ask me, that seems a little steep for a 2nd hand car. In theory, you could buy a Vanquish, strip it apart, add some nicer bits to it, from a DB9 or even a DBS, and respray it a sharp colour and then you'd arrive at what is, essentially, the same thing. For a lot less. Come on Ian! Make it cheaper!
Image: TheScottishSun // I will admit, the updated exterior looks stunning... But for half a mil?
4. 2019- Ford Puma
This is here for one major reason. I'm not honestly bothered by the fact that the Puma is a crossover. I'm really not surprised; Ford wants to jump onto the SUV bandwagon as much as their rival and new best friend VW. What I'm unhappy about is the styling. The front, quite literally, looks like a Fiesta which has had some raw opium and then been given some of those boots with a million eyelets, to give the impression that it has off-road ability. What's more, the 20-year old B3-platform is shared with everything which Ford more or less makes; the Transit Courier, terrible, the EcoSport, ugly, the Ka, pointless (why not just work harder and get the Fiesta). So the new Puma is a bit of a red herring. It's built for a market which already has too many options, and has no real USP as even the engine is the same dismal 1.0 litre unit found in C-Max. The less said about that car, the better. Why don't Ford make a new Sierra Cosworth or an Escort? Imagine a modern Escort RS Cosworth ripping down a gravel track, with that fabulous sounding 2L i4 turbo engine! It would actually give WRC some viewership.
Image: The Independent // As James May once said, "a bit goppy."