8: Lotus Elan
Sold in the same ranks as the elite British sports cars that came before it, there was a lot of potential for the Elan. The main problem laid with the styling of the car. It was bland and awkward simultaneously, sort of like the designers didn’t know what direction to go in. The 1.6L turbocharged engine pushed 162hp, which isn’t considerable by performance standards (via Motor Trend).
The styling of the Elan was the worst part of the car and it turned a lot of drivers off. It was during this period that Lotus had trouble gaining market share. With a car that looked like the Elan, it’s easy to see why. The unimaginative design had to go up against cars that were much cheaper and offered more personality. Why go out and sport an Elan when you could get a Miata that is twice as fun?