All the ingredients were there, and yet the end results simply didn’t add up.
10.) BMW Z8
It had the running gear of the E39 M5, wrapped with a lightweight body that remains one of BMWs greatest designs ever.
The driving experience didn’t live up to the promise of that engine and body, though. It was an understeering GT that should have been a sports car.
Suggested By: sm70- why not Duesenberg?, Photo Credit: BMW
9.) Chevrolet Vega
The Vega has gone down in history as one of GM’s worst missteps, but it didn’t have to be that way. Reader Brian, The Life of can explain:
“It was a really nice looking design that was ruined in the usual GM fashion (back then): During implementation. It had an aluminum block - that was prone to overheating and burning lots and lots of oil. It had very, very attractive body lines - too bad those shitty panels began rusting immediately after leaving the factory.
Yeah, the Vega was supposed to be GM’s answer to the more efficient imports - but it ended up driving buyers to the imports, instead.”
The Cosworth Vega could have saved the Vega name, but emissions regulations strangled what should have been a great engine to just 110 hp.
Suggested By: Brian, The Life of, Photo Credit:
8.) MG XPower SV
From our own Raphael Orlove:
“Oh man, the MG XPower SV should have been so soo good. Just a carbon-bodied Qvale Mangusta with MG backing. Looked like the coolest high school notebook margin doodle ever, and MG promised huge power out of the Modular V8. K’segg certainly made that work, but MG juuuust couldn’t.”
For more reading on this British weirdo, check out this feature from Autocar.
Suggested By: Raphael Orlove, Photo Credit: MG
7.) Pontiac Solstice/Saturn Sky
A rear-drive roadster from GM to compete with the Miata? Sign us up!
It could have been the greatest parts bin special, but it just sort of fell flat. It was heavy, underpowered if you didn’t get the Turbo, didn’t drive all that great, and had poor visibility and no trunk space.
If you’re going to go up against the Miata, you’ve got to do it right.
Suggested By: Alex Murel, Photo Credit: Pontiac
6.) Mercedes-Benz C230 Coupe
This was one of the worst cars from what was Mercedes’ worst era. It was cheaply made, unrefined, and boring to drive. Why did it have to be that way?
Mercedes knew how to build a great, affordable compact (see: 190E) and they knew how to make a nice compact performance car (see: 190E 2.3-16). The C230 coupe was a small RWD hatchback from a respected marque: there was no good reason for it to be bad.
Suggested By: DerpyMcDerpington, Photo Credit: Mercedes-Benz
5.) Chevrolet Corvette (Late ‘70s C3)
Here’s the thing people forget about C3 Corvettes: they weren’t all bad. The early C3s were incredible performance cars, totally deserving of the Corvette Stingray name.
Now I know emissions regulations strangled all cars in that era, but with those Late C3s, you sort of get the impression that GM just didn’t care whatsoever. But don’t lose hope! These things are just a modern LS-swap away from greatness.
Suggested By: POD, Photo Credit: Chevrolet
4.) DeLorean DMC-12
With the DeLorean, the ingredients to make a great car were all there. Take for example, Matt Farah’s DMC-12 – it just needs a little bit of massaging to turn it into a great car.
The production cars had a stunning design, and a chassis from Lotus, but poor build quality and a disappointing motor let the car down.
3.) Lexus RC F
We had high hopes for the Lexus RC F. A sports coupe with a high revving naturally aspirated V8 from the people that gave us the sublime LFA, designed to challenge the newly turboed M3/M4.
Aaaaaaaand it was an understeering pig. Why even bother selling a performance car that weighs two tons?
Suggested By: burglar can’t heart click anything, Photo Credit: Lexus
2.) Honda CR-Z
A modern CRX! Just what Honda needed. Everyone loved the lightweight, economical commuter that was actually a zippy little riot to drive.
Honda instead gave us a cool looking car with an underpowered, overweight hybrid drivetrain that was an utter disappointment. There’s no reason they couldn’t have put in a more performance oriented hybrid drivetrain, or a K-Series motor.
Suggested By: Chris_K_F, Photo Credit: Honda
1.) Plymouth Prowler
Why did Plymouth put all the effort in to design this modern hot rod, but give it a lame V6 and an even lamer 4-speed (!) automatic?
The body wrote a check the rest of the car couldn’t cash.
Suggested By: Andrew80, Photo Credit: Plymouth
Welcome back to Answers of the Day - our daily Jalopnik feature where we take the best ten responses from the previous day’s Question of the Day and shine it up to show off. It’s by you and for you, the Jalopnik readers. Enjoy!
Top Photo Credit: Honda