PHOTOS: The Best Resurrected Car Models, And A Few That Disappointed
It’s always tragic when a car model becomes extinct. Luckily, some models have reappeared after being gone from the market for years, or even decades.
Resurrecting a legendary car model is the perfect way to pay homage and remind car buyers of the automakers’ past. While most of the revivals were absolute hits, a small fraction of them should have never happened.
Porsche 911 GT2
Porsche first introduced the GT2 moniker back in the early 1990s. It marked the most hardcore, track-focused variant of the Porsche 911. As if the 911 Turbo, on which the GT2 was based, wasn’t already crazy enough.
The original Porsche 911 993 GT2 featured a distinctive widebody kit, as well as an absurd rear wing. The 444-horsepower air-cooled boxer engine mounted behind the driver enabled the GT2 to complete a quarter-mile sprint in just 12.1 seconds.
Porsche 911 GT2 RS
The GT2 RS remains the ultimate high-performance variant of the Porsche 911. The latest GT2 RS, based on the 991 911, debuted for the 2018 model year. It is the most powerful homologated Porsche 911 to date.
The 991 GT2 RS quickly made headlines after it beat the world record around the infamous Nurburgring Nordschleife, completing the lap in just 6 minutes 47 seconds. The latest GT2 RS saw a short production run strictly limited to just 1000 units worldwide.
The beloved Mini Cooper is easily one of the most iconic British cars of all time. If you’re a fan of Mr. Bean, you probably remember his green ’69 Mini Cooper.
This cute automobile first hit the market in 1961 and remained in production all the way until the manufacturer filed for bankruptcy at the end of the 90s. However, the Mini Cooper was far from gone.
The all-new Mini Cooper, built by BMW, was unveiled for the 2001 model year. It is still in production to this day, though the model has changed quite a bit within the last two decades.
One of the latest Mini models is the Mini Electric, a fully electric variant of the car that shares the same drivetrain as the BMW i3.
1965 was a significant year for the Blue Oval, as it marked the debut of the automaker’s first-ever SUV. The Bronco was unlike anything Ford had made before, giving the owners a perfect mix of off-road performance and everyday practicality.
The beloved Bronco remained on the market for a little over 30 years. Five generations later, it was eventually dropped from the lineup after 1996.
More than half a century after the car’s initial debut, Ford revived the Bronco nameplate. The all-new, sixth generation Ford Bronco hit the market for the 2021 model year.
The base model makes 300 horses from its flat-four EcoBoost motor, though buyers have the option to upgrade to the 330-horsepower V6 powerplant.
The Jeep Gladiator, also known simply as the Jeep Pickup, was introduced for the ’63 model year. It was essentially a Jeep Wagoneer station wagon turned into a pickup truck.
The truck quickly became one of the most durable pickups of its era. The base model came powered by a weak flat-six, though buyers had the option to upgrade to a V8 powerplant. The model was eventually dropped from Jeep’s lineup after 1988.
Jeep recently revived the Gladiator, a durable pickup truck that has been gone from the market since 1988. The latest Jeep Gladiator debuted as a midsize four-door truck for the 2020 model year.
The all-new Gladiator comes powered by a 3.6L Pentastar V6 motor, though buyers can also opt for the turbocharged 3.0L diesel variant. Interestingly, Jeep offers this pickup truck either with an 8-speed auto or a stick-shift!
The Charger is easily one of the most legendary American muscle cars of all time. This gorgeous monstrosity was first introduced for the 1966 model year and remained in production until the late 80s, with a minor 2-year hiatus in the late 70s.
The original ’66 Charger was developed to be an upscale alternative to the Mustang. It was built on the Chrysler B-platform and shared much of its undercarriage with the Dodge Coronet.
19 years after the last Charger rolled off the production line, the iconic nameplate made a return. This time as a four-door sedan.
The Charger did stick to its muscle car roots, though. In 2021, the most powerful version of the Charger is rated at a whopping 797 horsepower. The four-door Charger also pays tribute to its legendary predecessor, thanks to distinctive styling such as its taillight design.
The Acura NSX is yet another legendary Japanese sports car that has made a comeback in the past few years. The original first-gen wasn’t too successful in terms of sales, despite its exceptional performance.
The car was designed by Ken Okuyama who worked for Pininfarina at the time. When it comes to performance, the original NSX was able to outrun most supercars that cost twice as much!
The all-new second generation of the NSX had its debut in 2016, 11 years after the last first-gen rolled off the production line. The model was brought back to life, and it is arguably better than ever before. Its 3.5L hybrid drivetrain enables the car to reach over 190 miles per hour.
Sadly, the revived NSX is not doing too well either, at least in terms of sales. US sales figures peaked in 2017 at just 581 units.
Land Rover Defender
This vehicle was first introduced in the 80s as the Land Rover 110, as its wheelbase was 110 inches long. Today, this durable SUV is simply known as the Land Rover Defender.
The SUV quickly proved to be a hit among buyers. In fact, the original Land Rover remained in production for nearly 70 years! Total production numbers surpassed two million units worldwide.
Land Rover Defender
At first, it may seem hard to believe that the Defender was out of production for just a few years. In reality, the classic-looking SUV remained on the market until 2016, with numerous updates along the way.
The all-new Defender debuted for the 2020 model year. Land Rover offers a variety of powerplants under the hood, ranging from a flat-four motor through to a powerful V8, as well as a plug-in hybrid.
Nissan Skyline GT-R
The Nissan GTR moniker first appeared on the market in 1969 as a high-performance four-door sedan inspired by the Nissan R380 race car. It turned out to be an absolute hit on the market.
The Skyline GT-R moniker remained a vital part of the Nissan lineup all the way until 2002. Nissan sold five different generations of the car throughout its lengthy production run.
After a 7-year long hiatus, the GTR reappeared for the 2009 model year. This time, the Japanese automaker decided to drop the Skyline nameplate.
The latest, R35 generation of the Nissan GT-R truly revolutionized the high-performance car market. It was– and still is– capable of beating supercars at a fraction of the cost. A 2021 Nissan GTR can accelerate to 60 miles per hour in just 2.9 seconds!
The fourth-gen Toyota Supra quickly became one of the most iconic JDM sports cars of all time. The Supra became an icon in pop culture, thanks to appearances in movies such as the Fast and Furious.
Under the hood, the Mk4 Supra packed a 2JZ motor rated at between 220 and 276 horses, depending on the version. Although the car was discontinued in 2002, the Japanese automaker recently resurrected the model.
The all-new Toyota Supra Mk. 5 shares most of its undercarriage, including the motor, with the BMW Z4. Despite its impressive performance and jaw-dropping styling, the new Supra polarized the car community.
Many die-hard JDM fans are not exactly pleased. According to them, the sports car shares too many parts with a BMW to be considered a true Toyota Supra.
The story of the Dodge Challenger is quite similar to the previously mentioned Charger. The original Challenger debuted for the ’70 model year and remained in production until the early 80s, with a 4-year hiatus between ’74 and 1978.
The variant powered by a 440-cubic inch big-block V8 is easily the most sought-after variant of the first-gen Challenger. It peaks at a whopping 390 horses!
25 years after the last Challenger rolled off the assembly line, Dodge brought the legendary nameplate back to life.
The modern Challenger was truly a modern take on the classic American muscle car, complete with a V8 beneath the hood as well as a distinctive design that paid homage to the Challenger’s predecessors.
Fiat 124 Sport Spider
Classic Italian convertibles are truly magnificent, and the 124 Sport Spider is no exception. This jaw-dropping drop-top hit the market back in the mid-60s. The car was designed by the one and only Pininfarina, the same Italian coachbuilder that makes Ferraris.
Despite a relatively low power output at around 100 horsepower, the 124 Sport Spider is an absolute joy to drive. Sadly, the model was eventually discontinued after 1985, as the demand for small convertibles continued plummeting.
Fiat Abarth 124
Fiat brought back the 124 nameplate in 2016. The sporty drop-top is an exciting alternative to the Mazda MX5.
Buyers who want more performance can choose the more powerful Abarth 124. Both cars share most of their components with the Mazda MX5. They’re even built at Mazda’s plant in Japan and then shipped over to Turin for finishing touches.
The Hummer H1 was essentially a military Humvee converted for road use. This monstrosity hit the market back in 1992, after Arnold Schwarzenegger convinced the automaker to create a roadgoing version of the Humvee.
Despite the car’s exceptional off-roading capabilities, the original Hummer wasn’t exactly a hit among consumers. In fact, sales figures peaked at just around a thousand units annually and continued dropping through the early 2000s.
GMC Hummer EV
The all-new Hummer is set to return for the 2022 model year, following General Motors’ acquisition of the now-defunct automaker. The upcoming Hummer will be quite different from its predecessors, though.
The GMC Hummer EV is a fully electric pickup truck. It will produce up to a thousand horsepower, allowing the truck to sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 3 seconds.
Chevrolet K5 Blazer
The K5 Blazer appeared for the ’69 model year and became an instant hit. It ticked all of the boxes for potential buyers. The K5 Blazer was durable and ideal for off-roading, it had a V8 beneath the hood, and the truck simply looked cool.
The model continued to be sold by GM all the way to the mid-90s, before eventually being replaced by the Chevrolet Tahoe.
In late 2018, Chevrolet unveiled the all-new Blazer crossover SUV. It could have been considered quite an awful downgrade from its iconic predecessor. However, the two vehicles are not technically related. Nonetheless, bringing the Blazer nameplate back must have happened for a reason.
The modern Chevrolet Blazer is nothing like the K5. Its off-road capabilities are non-existent. Not to mention that the vehicle is not offered with a V8.
There’s a great chance that you have never heard of this German sports car. It hit the market in the early 2000s. Despite its astonishing performance, the Apollo was a failure in terms of sales. It caused the small automaker to file for bankruptcy in 2013.
The performance figures of the Apollo are simply mind-blowing. The car can sprint to 60 miles per hour in just 3.1 seconds. In its most powerful variant, the Gumpert Apollo can reach a top speed of over 220 miles per hour!
Apollo Intensa Emozione
Apollo was brought back to life in 2019, and the Intensa Emozione is the brand’s latest creation. This aggressive supercar boasts a Ferrari V12 motor rated at a whopping 780 horsepower.
The production run is strictly limited to just 10 units worldwide, each one valued at $2.67 million dollars. All units have already been sold.
At first sight, most petrolheads would probably assume that the Alpine A110 was Italian. Afterall, the stunning design language resembles Italian berlinettas of the mid-20th century. In reality, this is one of the most significant French sports cars ever.
The A110 hit the market back in 1961. Many of its components, including the powerplants, were borrowed from Renault. The A110 quickly became known as one of the best-handling cars of its era. It saw great success in motorsport all the way until its discontinuation in 1977.
Renault dropped the original A110 from the lineup just a few years after acquiring Alpine, though the model was not gone for good. It made a return in 2017 as an homage to its legendary spiritual predecessor.
The new A110 comes powered by a Renault flat-four motor rated at around 250 horsepower for the base model. Buyers can opt for the A110S variant, which raises the power output to 288 horses.
The 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race was quite a big deal in the 60s, to say the least. By 1965, Ferrari had already been on a 5-year winning streak. Ford decided to develop a high-performance race car to beat the Italian automaker.
Ford built a little over 100 units of the GT40 race car. The hard work paid off! Ford managed to outperform Ferrari’s race cars and go on a three-year-long winning streak starting in 1966.
Half a century after the GT40 had won Le Mans, Ford released this monstrous supercar as a tribute. It debuted around a decade after the first-gen road-legal Ford GT, which too had been inspired by the legendary GT40 race car.
The car is powered by a rear-mounted 3.5L V6 motor, rated at around 650 horsepower. Production is limited to just 250 units per year.
The Countach needs no introduction. This radical supercar hit the market in the mid-70s and went on to become one of the most iconic automobiles ever built.
Despite its popularity, the Countach was far from a perfect car. Its exterior design was far from aerodynamic, the driver visibility was awful, and there was an array of other issues. However, none of that mattered. Owning a Countach was a statement, and every owner was well aware of the car’s flaws.
Earlier this year, Lamborghini unveiled a Countach re-imagined for the 21st century. It features a mix of Countach’s classic design cues paired with a modern drivetrain.
The all-new Countach is a spiritual successor to the original V12-powered supercar. The revived Countach will come powered by an 803-horsepower hybrid drivetrain. Lamborghini plans to build only 112 units in total, all of which are already sold out.
This lavish coupe was introduced back in 1989. It featured an upscale interior, a V8 motor as standard with the option to upgrade to a V12, as well an unmistakable design inside and out.
The E31 8-Series was truly innovative for its time. In fact, it was the first-ever road-legal car to come equipped with a V12 motor mated to a six-speed stick shift transmission. It was also one of the first automobiles to be fitted with a drive-by-wire throttle system.
Nearly two decades after dropping the E31 from the lineup, BMW decided to bring back the lavish 8-Series. The new 8-Series is innovative, powerful, and lavish, just like its predecessor.
This time, however, buyers can pick between a two-door and a four-door body style. Despite the 8-Series nameplate, the BMW G15 is actually a direct successor of the 6-Series. A little confusing, isn’t it?
Let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want a classic Chevrolet Impala? This gorgeous automobile first hit the market in the late 50s as an upscale two-door land yacht. The base model came with a weak flat-six, though buyers could also pick between a small-block and a big-block V8.
Chevrolet offered seven different generations of the Impala, before dropping the model from the lineup by the end of 1996 due to a continuous decrease in sales.
After a four-year hiatus, the Impala nameplate was brought back to life. Sadly, it was nowhere near as cool as its predecessors.
For some odd reason, Chevrolet decided to fit the new Impala with a front-wheel-drive drivetrain. By 2000, it was the first-ever generation of the Impala not to be offered with a V8 motor. Talk about a downgrade.
After seeing the success of the Chevrolet Corvette, Ford decided to develop the Blue Oval alternative. The Thunderbird was meant to be more upscale than the Corvette. It hit the market for the 1955 model year, two years after the Vette.
The Thunderbird was relatively successful, Ford managed to sell over 16,000 units within the first year. As the demand for luxury coupes became smaller, Ford decided to discontinue the model in 1997.
Ford must have thought that killing the Thunderbird was a bad idea, as the nameplate was resurrected just 5 years later. To be honest, the revival should have never happened.
The final, 11th-gen Thunderbird was far from perfect. Its styling, although meant to resemble the original Thunderbird, is rather questionable. The V8 powerplant sourced from Jaguar turned out to be underpowered and painfully unreliable, too.