Deep down, we all like to believe that the people way at the top of car companies who make all the big decisions are hopeful, optimistic people that greenlight only the best cars they can produce. But that's not always true. Very occasionally, they make something unworthy of the badge.
This is doubly true for enthusiast car companies. When Honda made an underperforming Civic, it didn't exactly make anyone question their worldview, but maybe it wasn't living up to the Honda name. That's not what I'm talking about. I'm talking about something so completely antithetical to what a company stands for that every last example should be rounded up and put into a giant salt cavern somewhere, never to be seen again.
Ferrari has actually made a few cars that aren't exactly hot stuff, but none more so than the Ferrari 208 GTB/GTS. Based on the 308 but with a 2.0 liter V8 producing only 155 horsepower when new, the smaller engine made the already underwhelming 308 downright slow. That's just peachy if you're making econoboxes, but this is the Prancing Horse, this is the Italian Stallion, this is Ferrari. And Ferrari does not make econoboxes.
Perhaps even worse was the cynicism reflected in the very fact of the 208's existence. It wasn't dreamt up because one day Enzo Ferrari awoke to realize he had never truly experienced an engine that makes grown men cry. No, it was created to evade Italian taxes on engine sizes above two liters. That begs the question though – what person in the market for a brand new Ferrari is worried that much about the tax bill?
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Image via Wikicommons