Comment Of The Day: All The Dream Cars That Let Us Down Edition

Illustration for article titled Comment Of The Day: All The Dream Cars That Let Us Down Edition

Do you remember the Nissan IDx concept? Actually, try not to. It’s too sad.

This was going to be Nissan’s return to fun, small, affordable rear-wheel drive fun. Oh how I longed for its arrival. Oh how happy I was to see it at auto shows a few years back.

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Instead Nissan let it die and slide back into dullness.

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What always struck me as odd was how disappointed people were with the IDx’s conceptual rival that did make it into production: the Toyobaru Twins. I drove one and liked it, no matter how much people complained about its relatively low-power figure.

Many longed for a higher-power high performance version to quell their horsepower hunger. For years they have waited and Subaru’s own version offers...almost no more power:

Reader Jcarr put the fanboys feelings best:

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Well done. Now if you don’t mind I’m going to go cry about that dead Nissan.

Raphael Orlove is features editor for Jalopnik.

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DISCUSSION

Dream Cars that let us down? Okay... My “short” list from Chrysler, Ford, and GM.

First the 1981/84 Dodge M4s Turbo Interceptor. 2.2L Twin Turbo Four cylinder make 440hp and a top speed about about 196mph. Chrysler had a family of 2.2L i-4's at the time ranging from 110hp-215hp (It was the 1980s! They were WAY ahead of the curve). Chrysler’s reasoning was the public would not be willing to throw $55,000 at a Dodge at that time. Especially in 1984, especially right after Chrysler had just come off a Bankruptcy in 1978, even though they fully recovered by 1980.

This car would have literally changed everything for Chrysler, by simply planting a flag saying THIS is what we are going to do from now on. Even if Chrysler never gave up on the V8, Chrysler would have a completed arsenal of Turbo engines long before it was cool for Detroit to do that, AND had a car to show off what a Turbo engine could really do.

The M4S would have come about the same time as Mosler Consulier, and been wildly better looking even in the Mosler was designed for function first. But even so, the M4S would have made the Consulier a justifiable alternative and Mosler might still be around today.

The Dodge M4S literally would have changed everyting for Chrysler and several other companies.

The 1999 Dodge Charger RT Concept. 1999, a point in time when everyone KNEW Chrysler had a future, after watching them steadily work their way up to being great again.

This car, an evolution of the FWD LH platform cars, a exact right car that came exactly when Chrysler needed it, is RWD, V8, and potentially a car that would have moved Chrysler into its next decade, head high, and (I’m saying it again, but this time it is a LOT easier to see) would have changed everything for Chrysler.

Why would they sign on with Daimler-Benz when they had a great car like this and just a steady smart forward moving strategy. Chrysler never would have had to suffer deprivation under Daimler and the Cerberus. and what’s more, a lot of the concepts they put out would have likely gone to production.

The 300 and Charger and Challenger would have been very different cars too. Still feeling like “they can do it”, Chrysler would not be the tepid also-ran they frequently are today... Fiat might be dead and gone as well... Sorry.

The 2002 Razor. THIS would have been the absolutely credible alternative to the Miata, before the GM Kappa Cars, and the “Toyobaru” 86/BRZ. Simple, straight forward, and more agile than fast. It is named after a very popular scooter toy of the time, after all. This would have been a great car for Chrysler to grow their small cars from... being mostly RWD by default.

Imagine a next Gen Neon built with RWD systems from the Razor. A better Caliber? Imagine how Chrysler would be seen not more than couple of years after the Razor hit the market.

Yes, I remember the 2007 Dodge Demon concept. Right car, wrong division, and should be a Chrysler. Its just too nice looking. This blocky, whimsically futurist, “back to basics” sport car is the right car for Dodge.

They did the Viper. That but smaller, the Razor.

The 2007 Lincoln MKR. I WILL NEVER STOP BITCHING ABOUT LINCOLN NOT BUILDING THIS ONE. Fine the economic collapse of 2008. Okay just delay the car a few years. A gentleman’s, four-door Mustang, 4WIS, Turbo V8, and (the roof itself notwithstanding) done THIS way is exactly what Lincoln needed.

Lincoln’s “Cadillac CTS”.

It is also the first Car until the previous MKX, that actually OWED that grill, making it look better than good.

The 2007 Ford Interceptor. This^. Instead we got a FWD/AWD bloated fat-ass, trying to convince us it was what it wasn’t, 500/Taurus.

This^. At a time when Chrysler was literally slaying it with the 300 and Charger.

This^. Because Ford should have just renamed the Fusion as the Taurus. The Fusion st is the TRUE successor the Taurus SHO anyway.

THIS^.

The 1986 Chevrolet Corvette Indy. The Production prototype of the GT-R before there was the GT-R, Overkill, Rear Mid Engine, WAY ahead of its time, GM Supercar...

At $120K, that is likely what scared off the money men who were making more of the decisions than the actual execs, who liked the car so much they did it twice, the CERV 3 then the Corvette Indy. But this would have done well as GM Third Sports car, the FMR Corvette, the Pontiac Fiero, and then the C-Indy. Who says it has to sell around 40K units a year. Serious the C4 Corvette beat 40K units sold in a year.

No one would rightly complain. Most supercars at the time were not nearly as nice and would not have been as fast. And the car looks like a space ship.

At least it informed the C5 Corvette’s styling. But that Transverse RMR setup though... Fewer right angles to eat power and a shortened engine bay for more passenger space and I bet it has good sized trunk, too.

A two-fer. The Buick 2015 Avenir and the 2016 Avista.

The first application in production ofhte GM’s new Omega platform. And A Camaro in a tux. Two car could rightly, rightfully, and righteously wear the names “Park Avenue” and “Riviera”. I get the desire to call it “Grand National”. but HELL NO! The GN and GNX were not nice looking cars. it was Buick exclaiming “We can make fast cars, too!” And they did.

If you like you can have the Riviera GNX with a Turbo-6. But these car would put Buick back on the maps of people who are old enough they do get to pretend they are young anymore.

Finally, some could-have-beens...

Carbon motors. These guys wanted to make purpose-made Cop cars. Yeah that worked out real well. But what would have worked better is a Civilian version of a car that can easily become a super effective cop car. Diesel V6, built tough and that beefy broad shoulder’ed look like a 300 or Charger. It would do great in Civilian circles.

Carbon Motors would become a solid car maker and they could still make police versions having some product reputation to work with.

The 2008 Aptera 2E. THE victim of the Solyndra scandal, the DOE was completely gun shy to give Aptera the promised, having met the requirements, $300M they needed to go to production.

This car was a revolution on its own. A material’s revolution with its foam composite body that was so light one man could walk away with it. It had BEV and ICE-V versions. Batteries were small but had a range of at least 200 miles, before those huge arrays of “super” batteries were coming along to brute force the solution. The ICE-V would get upwards of 80mpgs.

And it looks like a Jetsons sky car on its landing gear. Screw Tesla! I wanted one!

Yeah lots of disappointment. this is MY list.. and this is NOT nearly half of it.