In the automobile industry, when a manufacturer introduces a new car to the market, they hope for one thing: It gets popular and sells like crazy. Manufacturers wish to keep their cars in production for years to come. But this is the real world. For every success, there'll always be a dud. In this more than a century-long history of the automobile industry, we have seen numerous car models come and go. Very selected few models have more than 30 years of production on their name. When it comes to sports cars, it is even more apparent. Sports car consumers are passionate people.
A person is less likely to compromise on a sports car compared to let's say a family SUV buyer. The competition is also very fierce and very global in this segment. An American can buy a sports car made in the USA, Germany, UK, Japan, and anywhere in between. In such a cutthroat business, certain models getting discontinued was inevitable.
Whether we like the model or not, if a car was going to be discontinued, it will. We are glad that some horrendous cars like the Fiero, TR7 and the Dino finally got the boot. But on the other hand, we still dearly miss cars like the E-Type, RX-7, S2000, and Delta Integrale. Let’s go through the history of automobiles and take a look at 7 cars we were happy to see go away, and 3 we want to come back.
10 We're Glad Are Gone: MG Midget
The Midget was supposed to be a top sports car when it came out. It even looked the part. But all those expectations quickly turned into disappointment when we saw the car in action. The Midget had a 1.5-Liter Inline-4 that made 50 hp. You start the car and put your foot down.
You’ll have to wait for 15 long seconds before you see the needle hit 60 mph! For a family city commuter, that’s understandable. But for a purposefully-built two-seater sports car, this is laughable and downright embarrassing.
9 We're Glad Are Gone: DeLorean DMC-12
Yes, we know it’s an icon in pop culture. There’s no denying that the car is one of the most famous in the world. But that’s got nothing to do with how the car performed. As fast and cool as the car was in Back To The Future, it’s nothing like that in real life. It came with a V6, but it only made 130 hp.
For a car that looks so futuristic and ambitious, its 0-60 time of 10 seconds let it down big time. The 110 mph top speed didn’t help either. The DMC-12 serves as the epitome of an overly ambitious car with not enough performance to back it up.
8 We're Glad Are Gone: Chevrolet SSR
Do you remember the Plymouth Prowler? It was a great concept, but the execution was poor. Well, a few years later, GM made the Chevy SSR. They must have avoided the mistakes that Chrysler did, right? Nope. The SSR was yet another case of an appealing design let down by the lackluster performance.
This time around, the engine was rather powerful, a 6.0-Liter V8 that makes nearly 400 HP. But the sports car (or truck depending on how you see it) is very heavy and not agile in any way.
7 We're Glad Are Gone: Ford Thunderbird
We’re not talking about the original Thunderbird. It’s the 2002-2005 run with the same name of the Ford Classic that we’re glad to see gone. This eleventh gen model seemed luxurious but was a catastrophic failure. Ford did give us a V8 under the hood, but it lacked power and was the only option available.
Its design, however, was polarizing at best. Ford tried to imitate the original Thunderbird design, but it didn’t work at all. That’s what happens when people think that design concepts from five decades ago would work in the modern era. Ford discontinued the eleventh gen Thunderbird after 3 years.
6 We're Glad Are Gone: Pontiac Fiero
The Fiero looked great and was popular when it came out. It also had many cool and innovative features like speakers integrated into the seats’ headrests. Yet, the production of the Fiero lasted just five years. Yeah, this one was also underperforming. But there were much bigger issues present.
It was very unreliable to maintain. But more importantly, people deemed the 1984 Fiero unsafe due to a surge of blasts that these cars underwent. 1 out of every 508 1984 Fieros either caught fire or exploded. The Fiero’s reputation burned (pun not intended, or is it?) down after that, and Pontiac called off its production.
5 We're Glad Are Gone: Triumph TR7
It may sound clichéd now, but the TR7 was barely a Triumph. They went with the ever-popular wedge-shaped design, but it didn’t work as well as they hoped. Another drawback was its transmission. The TR7 came with one of the worst three-speed transmissions ever seen in the industry.
The TR7 participated in rally events, despite the fact that it took more than 9 seconds to reach 60 mph. After learning all these things about the car, we wonder how Triumph managed to sell more than 100,000 units in the USA and UK.
4 We're Glad Are Gone: Hyundai Tiburon
It’s easy to think that the Tiburon was a flop, a lot of us haven’t even heard the name of this car. But Hyundai achieved 120,000 units in sales in the U.S. alone! That’s even more bonkers if you factor in the lack of safety features in the car.
It was noisy, forgettable, slow, and somewhat boring. At one point, it ranked 8th in cars with the most fatalities. Now that’s a car we are glad is no longer in the market.
3 We Still Miss: Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution
Who can ever forget about Mitsubishi’s magnum opus and one of the best sports cars of all time? The Lancer is also one of the most iconic rally cars of all time, so it’s gotta be hella good. No matter what generation, you were sure to get an amazing turbocharged four-cylinder engine and AWD system.
Part of what made the Lancer so great was its race to the top with a fellow Japanese sports car, the Subaru WRX. Their rivalry helped the people get access to two of the best sports cars the world has ever seen.
2 We Still Miss: Dodge Viper
If you’re a ‘90s kid, we bet you had a poster of the Dodge Viper growing up. The Dodge Viper is a car that, if you see it once, you’ll probably never stop. Whether it’s the insane power, awesome design, or that growly V10 roar, there’s something in this car or other that pleases everyone.
Yeah, it was unsafe and dangerous in the hands of an inexperienced driver, but most of us drove it, at least in Need For Speed, Gran Turismo, Test Driver, or other racing games. We would love to get a Viper before the EVs take over. Perhaps with the Hellcat engine, that would be epic.
1 We Still Miss: Shelby 427 Cobra
Perhaps one of the coolest cars of all time period. The Shelby 427 Cobra was the American automotive designer Carroll Shelby’s brainchild and one of his proudest creations. Shelby wanted to make a sports car with a small British body and a big American V8. The Cobra wasn’t as popular as it is now when it came out.
But it’s one of the most recognizable sports cars ever. Today, it may be one of the most copied cars by kit car companies and that speaks volumes about both Shelby and the Cobra 427’s status as an automotive legend.