10 Highly Anticipated Cars That Were Complete Let-Downs
There’s a saying in the auto industry that “every new idea is a good idea.” There’s a kernel of truth in that because the best and most popular cars are all born from ideas. But there’s a flip side to that saying, too. Just because every new idea is a good idea, it doesn’t mean that these good ideas end up as good products. Time and again, we’ve seen automakers take a promising concept and lose the plot completely when the production version comes out. Every company has experienced something along these lines, but we’ve singled out ten vehicles that serve as the best examples of highly anticipated cars that turned out to be let-downs. Granted, some of these vehicles had their moments in the sun, but those moments were fleeting. In the end, we all remember them for what they could’ve been. They’re not necessarily lemons, but they still leave a sour taste in our mouths.
Awesome Alternatives To the Mercedes-AMG A45
The Mercedes AMG A45S is currently the hottest hatchback you can buy. We already covered how it stretches the definition of a hot hatchback. In fact, the AMG A45S is more of a super hatchback than anything else. Although its 421 horsepower, combined with all-wheel-drive and a quick-shifting DCT makes for a 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in 3.7 seconds, you can’t neglect the steep price tag of $72,752. This begs the question, what are the alternatives? Luckily there are some, and here they are.
2021 Cadillac Escalade - Driven
The Escalade hasn’t had an easy life. It started as a ripped-off GMC Yukon back in the 90s, but was soon spun off as a standalone SUV. That didn’t change its fortunes either. It was never perceived as a strong contender in the market despite having its own set of advantages. This went on for three generations but GM didn’t give up on the moniker. For the 2021 model, the automaker decided to up the ante and how. For the fifth-gen, Cadillac turned the Escalade into a big, attention-seeking SUV with oodles of space inside and a tech-savvy cabin. Stuff like a 38-inch screen, 36-speaker setup, and Super Cruise technology, are only some of its accolades. Can fifth time be the charm for Cadillac and the Escalade?
Toyota Celica SS III - The Forgotten Rival to the Integra Type-R
JDM cars have one of the largest cult followings of all cars and for a good reason. In particular, the cars from the 1990s seem to have the most substantial fan base. That said, for one reason or another, some cars have are more iconic than others that have similar performance. When we talk about front-wheel-drive cars, one of the most iconic models is the Honda Integra Type-R. However, many have forgotten that Toyota had a similar car that has been largely overlooked – the Celica SS III – and there are many reasons why it’s as good as the Type-R.
Mercedes Created An Entirely New Segment With the AMG A45
The automotive industry has come a long way and we have gotten plenty of great cars, over the years. The competitive nature of the industry usually means that the first one to come up with something has a competitive edge. Tesla is a good example, as the brand pioneered high-performance EVs. When it comes to performance, whoever has the quickest car gets the bragging rights. This competition, based on performance is what caused “the Horsepower wars” and, with their AMG A45S, Mercedes may have created an entirely new segment, without even realizing it.
GMC Syclone - The 90s’ Performance Truck That We Need Today!
Pickup trucks were always bareboned and were meant to be used as work vehicles. We saw a lot of performance, off-road trucks now, but there weren’t a lot of such options back in the day. Many automakers gave this a shot and no matter how good they were, they never made it big. One of the most prominent performance trucks from back in the day is the GMC Syclone.
The Syclone hit the automotive scene in 1991 and took everyone by surprise. Not a lot of people could fathom a truck that could take on, or probably even take down some of the most beloved supercars from that era. With performance specs that are impressive even three decades later, the GMC Syclone is the truck that the world needs today.
Are Automakers Using V-8 Engines As An Emotional Bait?
The world is moving towards electrification faster than we can digest. While many of us are looking forward to clean mobility, some enthusiasts and purists are dreading it and want to enjoy internal combustion engines while they last. Automakers have been reducing the number of cylinders under the hood in the name of “efficiency” for a long time now, but that didn’t mean V-8s weren’t in demand. But, with major strides being done in electrification technology lately, the demise of V-8s will be sooner than expected.
However, many vehicles are being offered now with V-8 engine options. This is pretty much against the tide, but very welcoming, to say the least. So, the question here is, are automakers trying to use V-8s as an emotional bait to lure in customers and build a loyal base heading into the future, or is this the last hurrah before V-8s finally slip into oblivion?
2021 Hyundai Sonata N-Line - Driven
Outside of the likes of BMW, Mercedes, and a few others, the concept of sporty and quick sedans is slowly dying off as people look to either bigger, similarly quick, vehicles or smaller two-door sports cars. Then you’ve got brands like Hyundai that seems to either not care or wants to keep the thrill of driving alive, and this is where the Hyundai Sonata N-Line comes in. It’s based on your typical midsized family sedan but is injected with enough sporty DNA that it stands out both visually and in terms of performance. Of course, we’re not talking Porsche Panamera or Dodge Challenger levels of performance, but affordable performance – something that, arguably, gives you a bigger bang for your buck. Here’s what you need to know about the Sonata N-Line and why you should consider it for your next daily driver.
2021 Dodge Durango SRT Hellcat - Driven
Until 2020, the Dodge Durango was a family SUV with a sporty side to it. It came with a V-8 engine that churned out enough power to fulfill the adrenaline rush while also serving as a practical utility vehicle. For the 2021 model, however, Dodge upped the ante. As part of its process to plonk in the Hellcat engine in every product in its portfolio, the automaker transformed the Durango into a beast incarnate that just can’t be tamed. On paper, the Durango SRT Hellcat is now the most powerful production SUV. It can sprint to 60 mph from a standstill in 3.5 seconds. Isn’t that a wonderful and frightening sight at the same time?
2021 BMW M4 - Driven
The new BMW 4 Series, which was based on the BMW Concept 4, has been the victim of heavy criticism for some time now, and the M4 has fallen victim to the same big glass of hateraid. But, what sits behind that big, bulky, look-at-me nose is a humble powerhouse of performance that’s just as thrilling to drive as any other BMW on the market. After spending a week with the 2021 BMW M4 we can tell you that ugliness only runs skin deep, and you certainly shouldn’t judge a car by its face – this is our story with the new M4.
In the ’60s, No Road Car Could Match the Ford GT40
The Ford GT40 is arguably one of the most famous racing cars ever. Four times a winner of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the GT40, in its various iterations, changed the racing world forever moving the goalposts further than ever before. In the shadow of the brash, unadulterated racer, however, FoMoCo concocted something Dearborn thought could work as a Sunday driver - a road-legal version of the GT40.
The HCD-1 Should Have Been Hyundai’s First American Car
108,549 cars. That’s how many Hyundai was able to sell Stateside in the year 1992 when it was offering just three cars for sale with the Elantra being the new kid on the block. Something was needed to boost sales and fix the company’s dimming public image. That something was a swooping speedster named HCD-1 that stole the headlines at the Detroit Auto Show. It was the breath of fresh air that the Korean maker dearly needed.