Some cars are just impossible to get over.
The ones we never forgot. The cars that seemed just right, but for one reason or another were discontinued without a worthy successor. Sure, there may have been perfectly good reasons from a business perspective to kill off these cars back in the day, but enough is enough; we want them back.
Below are the Top 10 cars we wish were still for sale, and the reasons why they should be revived.
From 1986 to 2001, the Acura Integra was one of the premiere sport compact cars. The GS-R and limited edition Type R could not be touched by many rivals in terms of driving dynamics. In 2002, it was replaced by the RSX, but that car didn’t quite capture the Integra’s magic and the subsequent ILX compact sedan is even softer.
It’s time for the Integra to make a comeback. There’s a fantastic new Civic platform that includes turbocharged engines and a coupe body style. Plus, the upcoming Civic Type R, with a more premium interior, could easily be rebadged as an Integra Type R for Acura.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Japanese Sports Cars of the ’90s
Buick Grand National
In the mid-1980s, Buick had one of the most exciting performance cars on the market – the Grand National. With a big turbocharged V6 engine unleashing ungodly amounts of torque upon the rear wheels, the Grand National was the modern interpretation of American muscle in the ’80s.
Since then, not much from Buick has got our blood pumping. For a brand in midst of a youthful reinvention, a new, stylish, high-powered, rear-drive coupe would do a lot for brand image even if it wasn’t a huge seller. Something like, oh, I don’t know, the Avista Concept maybe?
Dodge Sport Compact
Although most equate Dodge with muscle cars and the Viper, the brand has had many impressive sport compacts in its history. Vehicles like the Omni GLH, Daytona Shelby Z, Daytona IROC R/T and Neon SRT-4 all set the standards for sport compact performance in their respective days.
With the failure of the current Dart, maybe Dodge should bring back a high-performance compact car to entice potential customers. They need to build up brand image with younger drivers by taking the battle to the likes of the Focus ST, WRX STi and upcoming Civic Type R.
The Honda Prelude was a bit of an enigma during the 1980s and 1990s, and that’s what made it so cool. A front-wheel-drive coupe, the Prelude could hold its own with plenty of traditional sports cars. When it was discontinued, the Accord Coupe was said to be its replacement, but that car is more of a two-door sedan than dedicated performance coupe.
Has the world moved on from purpose-built high-performance front-wheel-drive coupes? Probably. But it would still be cool to see a modern Prelude built on the Civic Type R’s drivetrain.
Proper Compact Pickup
Remember when it was possible to wander down to a handful of dealerships and buy a legitimate compact pickup truck? The Ford Ranger, Chevrolet S10, Nissan Hardbody and Toyota Tacoma were just a few of the choices once available.
But today, the smallest pickup trucks available in North America aren’t all that small, as the Chevrolet Colorado, Nissan Frontier and Toyota Tacoma are more like mid-size pickup trucks. Will someone please give us an affordable, proper compact pickup truck?
Lincoln is a manufacturer that once oozed styled, but it has been a long, long time since that was the case. With the refreshed MKZ and all-new Continental, it looks like the American brand is poised for a return to fashionable prominence.
Maybe now is time for Lincoln to resurrect the fabled Mark nameplate and make a Mark IX – a full-size, rear-wheel-drive luxury coupe. If done right, it could really bolster the brand’s image.
This is an obvious one. Lovers of the rotary engine have been longing for another new car powered by a couple of spinning Dorito chips for some time now. Of course, Mazda is the king of the rotary, and the RX series was the pinnacle of the obscure engine.
With Mazda’s focus on fun-to-drive vehicles, a modern RX-7 would fit nicely with the Miata and Miata RF. Please make it so, Mazda.
ALSO SEE: Top 10 Best Mazdas of All Time
Not to be confused with the 180SX and 240SX, the 200SX was a front-wheel-drive sport compact offered by Nissan in the 1990s. A no frills, fun-to-drive small coupe, the 200SX was loved by enthusiasts on a budget for its driving dynamics and low curb weight.
Nissan’s current small car offerings are tepid, to say the least, and a performance variant could really add a shot of excitement to the lineup. Maybe drop the Juke’s 1.6-liter turbocharged engine into the Versa Note and create SE-R version? Heck, even in the Sentra, that engine would be an entertaining option.
Maybe an even more obvious pick than the Mazda RX for a car that needs to be revived is the Toyota Supra. The number of people who don’t want to see a modern Toyota Supra are fewer than those that purchased the Nissan Murano CrossCabriolet.
Rumor has it that Toyota is working with BMW on a new Supra, which makes a lot of sense. The Supra used an inline six-cylinder engine, a configuration no longer built by Toyota. But BMW has a whole warehouse full of turbocharged inline-six engines that would fit perfectly in a modern Supra.
In the mid-1980s, there were two affordable, mid-engine commuter cars on the market. We want those days to return. The Toyota MR2 was arguably the better executed of the mid-engine coupes and since Pontiac no longer exists, the Toyota is the only model that even has a remote chance of resurfacing.
A basic, fun-to-drive small mid-engine car like the original MR2 is all we’re asking for. So what if the Toyota 86 already exists – we want more! Plus, what car company is interested in making money anyway? Right? Right?