The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

Killed by bean counters and blind executives, these are Jalopnik readers' ten cars that would have changed the world, if only they had been built.

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Photo Credit: Red Bull

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

10.) Chrysler ME Four-Twelve

Suggested By: GasGuzzler

Why it should've been: Back in the days when Daimler and Chrysler were married to each other, it seemed like the relationship would be fruitful. Chrysler could get platforms, parts, and engineering help from the people who made Mercedes, the most respected brand out there.

One car that looked like it was going to make it was the ME Four-Twelve, standing for Mid Engine, Four turbochargers, Twelve cylinders. Chrysler made some lofty claims about the stats (850 horsepower, 248 mph top speed), but the only time the car was driven hard was in video games.

Photo Credit: Chrysler

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

9.) Red Bull X2010

Suggested By: Kiwi_Commander

Why it should've been: The people who made Gran Turismo 5 asked Red Bull in 2010 what they would do if they could design a race car without any restive rules. The fantasy car was bonkers. It had a 1,483 horsepower twin-turbo V6, suction aero, and could significantly outpace a F1 car.

What people needed to do was throw money at Red Bull until the car was actually made, but instead we all played GT5 and ate chips on the couch watching our lap replays.

Photo Credit: Red Bull

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

8.) Cadillac Sixteen

Suggested By: Viperfan1

Why it should've been: Cadillac thinks that the way forward is with small-displacement, efficient engines in compact and good-handling cars. What Caddy really needs is a car that's as big and brash as their current flagship, the Escalade.

They actually built a prototype of this thing, with a working V-16 engine. It was supremely capable at cruising and generally looking like a bad guy's ride from a Batman movie, as Top Gear's James May found out. They never built it, leaving Cadillac looking like a not-quite-there-yet brand.

Photo Credit: Cadillac

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

7.) Pontiac Banshee I

Suggested By: SagarikaLumos

Why it should've been: Through the late ‘50s, Pontiac was a dowdy, middle class brand. In the early ‘60s it made one of the greatest marketing moves of all time, selling itself on affordable performance and a sporty image. Cars like the GTO played extremely well in the go-go Sixties, and a sports car would have perfectly complemented the lineup.

Pontiac actually built two of the beautiful little Banshee sports cars in 1964, but GM brass was afraid it would rival the Corvette. The buying public was denied their own affordable American sports car.

Photo Credit: Darin Schnabel/RM Auctions

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

6.) VW Microbus

Suggested By: Abe Froman

Why it should've been: VW was supposed to bring their T5 platform van to the US in 2003 with a stunning retro Microbus they showed off in ‘01. No, said Volkswagen, it's too stylish and desirable for human consumption. You Americans are quantity over quality people anyway, so have a rebadged Dodge Caravan instead.


Photo Credit: Volkswagen

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

5.) Ford Interceptor

Suggested By: mario_lion

Why it should've been: Perhaps seeing the success of the imposing Chrysler 300, in 2007 Ford took their Mustang platform and stretched out a huge rear-drive, full size car of their own and called it the Interceptor. It was badass and could have been built as a fair successor to the dead-but-not-forgotten Crown Victoria. Ford played it safe and built the huge, bland sixth-generation Taurus instead.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

4.) Ford GT90

Suggested By: dogisbadob

Why it should've been: Ford doesn't really need a new Crown Vic, and nor did they really need a new GT40 back in 1995 when they unveiled this quad-turbocharged, V12-powered concept car. Every schoolboy dreamed of one, but it was hopelessly complicated and would've never been a success. Supercars aren't about making profits, though, and you can't look at this thing and not wish it'd been built.

Photo Credit: Ford

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

3.) Mid-Engine Corvette

Suggested By: SilverBulletBoxer

Why it should've been: We love the cheap performance made possible by the Corvette's simple front-engined layout. Still, if the Vette is going to a world-class sports car, it should have the features of a modern, high performance machine. That means an engine behind the driver. There have been concepts and prototypes built since the ‘60s and they've all been beautiful and utterly desirable.

Photo Credit: Chevrolet

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

2.) Marc Newson Ford 021c

Suggested By: meccapanzer

Why it should've been: Back in 1999, Ford went to designer Marc Newson to pen a new concept car. The resulting 021c was completely panned on its debut, but it has aged spectacularly.

It looks like an honest rival to the new Mini and 500 and could be a hit with trendy young people, but timid Ford never had the guts to try building it.

Photo Credit: Dave Pinter

The Ten Greatest Cars That Were Never Built

1.) 1941 Ford Plastic Car

Suggested By: reverberocket

Why it should've been: Carmakers are all working to get away from metal construction in automobiles. As anyone knows, there's a great future in plastics, from organic composites to carbon fiber.

Back in 1941 Henry Ford himself showed some of his innovative spirit by constructing a car with a body made of soybean-fiber plastic. It was 1,000 pounds lighter than its all-steel counterpart and could have gotten the carmaking world heavily invested in more advanced materials, but we stuck with the cheap, simple steel construction that we knew.

Photo Credit: Ford Motor Company via Hemmings