From a variety of racetracks to the famous James Bond movies, the Lotus Esprit was one of the best sports cars of the late â70s and â80s. Colin Chapman conceived the Esprit in the mid-70s as the most ambitious Lotus project up to that date. With new construction, an Italian designed body, and low weight, consumers praised the Lotus Esprit for its handling and performance. Since it was a British-built car, it had a few problems with reliability.
But once drivers got it moving, they forgot about the dodgy electronics, rust, and disintegrating interior panels. Powered by a small 2.2-liter turbocharged engine, the Esprit eventually moved to V8 engines in the late â80s. The production eventually stopped in 1996 and the Lotus has been without a replacement since. There were a few concepts for a 21st century Esprit, but nothing seemed to materialize in production-ready form. Car fans want to see the Esprit back since there is a space in the overcrowded sports car market for a legendary British brand with a unique way of building cars.
Back in the mid-80s, the U.S. Military started using the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), which they affectionately called the Humvee. This was a big, heavy military truck capable of running over anything and surviving landmines. Even though they made the Humvee for the military, constant requests for a street-legal version got AM General thinking about entering the lucrative civilian market. Finally, in 1992, they introduced the civilian Hummer H1. It looked the same as the military version with similar technology and engines. The power came from a 6.2-liter diesel V8 with just 165 HP and loads of torque. Basically, the only real difference between the military and civilian Hummer was the interior.
The street-legal model had a plush interior with air conditioning, leather upholstery, and a premium audio system. The Hummer H1 was expensive, huge, and difficult to drive, making it impractical for most drivers. However, it was extremely popular with customers who wanted something different and opulent. So, for those who didn’t care about practicality or fuel economy, the Hummer H1 was a perfect choice. Besides, the H1 was as pure as it gets, making it oddly popular in the first place.
One of the most compact and affordable sports cars that car fans want back is the Toyota MR2. Toyota introduced it in 1984 and sold it until 2007 in three generations. The MR2 was always a great handling and lively performing two-seater model with great driving dynamics.
Toyota invested in the GT86 sports model in recent years. But many car enthusiasts think what they should do instead is to remake the MR2. They feel that it would have a better impact on the market than the GT 86, which is not the global bestseller Toyota hoped it would be.
Even though the 2004 to 2006 GTO wasn’t a successful model, it was a good and powerful muscle car with great features. But it did miss the mark, so Pontiac enthusiasts all over the world deserve another model. However, this time it should be a proper muscle car and an instant classic.
GM has several components and advanced platforms like the Alpha that could be the basis for a modern-day GTO. And the power is no problem since GM has one of the best lineups of performance V8s in the world. Many car fans would be delighted to see a modern-day GTO hit the streets and racetracks.
With a 6.2-liter V8, 412 HP, precise steering, and neutral handling, the Chevrolet SS rival Europe’s finest sports sedans. But what most people don’t know is that they rebadged Holden from Australia as a Chevrolet and fine-tuned it for U.S. customers. The performance numbers are respectable since a 0 to 60 mph sprint is possible in just 4.7 seconds.
The top speed is over 150 mph. So, the Chevrolet SS is for people who need a practical sedan but who want a sports car. So, although they discontinued the SS, most people would love to see it come back.
The Fleetwood name was in use from 1934 to 1992 on various models. But it’s been decades since Cadillac used the Fleetwood name as a designation for its flagship model. So, car fans all over the world feel this legendary brand needs to dust off this famous nameplate.
They could use it on a new prestigious model that could battle their foreign competitors. Even though the new CT6 model is a truly amazing luxury car, Cadillac can do better. In fact, they need to present an over the top sedan with all the best features and big power.
In 1963, they unveiled the Buick Riviera. Almost immediately, it became one of the most interesting cars on the American market. The combination of sleek and elegant styling, a modern interior, and the powerful Buick Nailhead engine made the Riviera an instant bestseller.
Also, it was the first real competitor to the famous Ford Thunderbird. The Riviera stayed in production until 1993. But the first three generations, especially the GS, remained the most desirable luxury muscle cars Detroit ever produced.
The Grand Wagoneer is one of the cars most car enthusiasts want to see again. Happily, Chrysler will introduce the 21st-century version of the legendary Wagoneer in 2019 as the 2020 model. All anyone knows so far is that they will build the new Grand Wagoneer on a modified Cherokee chassis.
Also, it will feature more luxurious features, powerful engines, and possibly a cool Woodgrain panel option. Car enthusiasts and collectors alike would love to see the Wagoneer make a comeback. It brought something special to the car market and could still do so today.
One of the best news from Ford is the return of the legendary Bronco for the 2020/2021 model year. In the sea of shapeless modern SUVs, the return of a classic boxy Bronco with a powerful engine and true off-road usability is refreshing. It would be more than a welcomed addition to the lineup.
Although there isn’t much information on the car, it will look something like the Bronco Concept Ford introduced in the early 2000s. They will definitely use Eco Boost turbo engine, but Bronco fans are hoping they will feature a good old naturally-aspirated V8 under the hood.
One of the most interesting compact and affordable cars is the legendary Honda CRX. They built it from 1983 to 1991, basing it on the Civic. However, it came with a lower and sportier body and only two seats. Since it was light, nimble, and had precise steering, the CRX was a true sports car except with front-wheel drive and up to 140 HP.
But the biggest selling points of this model were the extremely light body of just 1,800 pounds and the high revving four-cylinder engine. Honda never repeated the success of the CRX and most of their fans feel their lineup can use a car like this.
They conceived the idea for the Subaru BRAT or “Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter” in the late `70s. In fact, Subaru designed it to take advantage of the popularity of compact trucks in America. However, there were steep import taxes for foreign trucks that would kill all of Subaru’s profits.
So the company thought of a genius way of selling the truck as a passenger car by installing two seats in the back. The BRAT became popular and legendary in its own right. So, today’s Subaru could use some of that charm and uniqueness to revive its magic.
Today, the Lincoln brand struggles with recognition and its future is unclear. Divided between the production of old-fashioned sedans and modern upscale SUV models, Lincoln needs a signature car, something that will remind its customers what this brand is all about. So, how about a cool, luxury coupe like the legendary Mark III?
Lincoln introduced the Mark III in late 1968, building it on a Thunderbird chassis using the new, powerful 460 V8 engine. The front was dominated by a big chrome grille, reminiscent of Rolls Royce models. The hideaway headlights were an interesting touch and the trunk had a cool-looking spare wheel hump with Continental lettering. In combination with the vinyl top, all that made the Mark III design unique and special.
Toyota might have the GT86 as its entry-level sports car. But somehow, this model lacks the coolness and appeal of the original Celica. Built on a standard Toyota Carina basis, the Celica was one step above the popular Corolla in terms of size, technology, and engine power.
Toyota presented the new Celica to their American buyers in 1970 with two body styles, a regular two-door coupe, and a hardtop fastback. The Celica proved to be popular, so by the end of 1977, they sold more than 200,000 of them. The best versions were with the 2.0 and 2.2-liter engines. They delivered a solid performance and satisfying driving dynamics at a modest price.
The Scout was a small and usable off-road SUV with choices of engines ranging from the 2.5-liter straight four to the 4.4-liter V8. They introduced it in 1961 and produced it until 1980. The International Harvester company still exists today, so it has the capacity to produce a new-age Scout.
Unfortunately, there aren’t any rumors of this happening anytime soon. But, there is an army of classic SUV fans who are craving a small, compact, and attractive SUV with an unmistakable design and off-road capabilities.
There’s no need to explain this one in too much detail. The Viper is the quintessential American sports car with tons of power, a fantastic design, and thrilling performance. And as such, its demise truly affected Viper enthusiasts globally. Everyone knows that Chrysler can produce it again. They just need to find a financially stable model because the car industry without the Viper is a boring mess.
These are the 25 discontinued cars we would love to see back. While that is a possibility for some of them, others will never see the light of day again. If you happen to see one of them, be sure to snap it up while it is still available.