In the decades since Sports car The market’s popularity exploded for the first time in the mid-20th century. The market is arguably more diverse than ever, especially as electric vehicles are redefining accessibility in terms of speed and acceleration. With so much to choose from, it’s inevitable that a few cars will slip through the cracks and be largely forgotten, even though they’re great to drive or historically important.
Some of these cars are currently being sold new and some are already classics, but all of them deserve more credit than they get. Among them is the first car from one of the world’s most valuable automakers, the car that the designer of the McLaren F1 drives on a daily basis, and a stripped-down family sedan that can compete with supercars on a racetrack. They all offer something to talk about in theory, although unfortunately most enthusiasts forget about them.
The relaunch of the historic Alpine brand in 2017 initially caused a stir, but the hype has long since ebbed. Even so, the company is still producing its signature car for a small number of avid buyers. Among them are some very influential people, including Gordon Murray, the designer of the McLaren F1.
Murray received his A110 in 2018 and has since showered it with praise, even called it “the best car” [he’s] ever driven for driving and driveability. “Given that this is a man who built one of the most revered cars in the world, that’s pretty much. He reportedly uses the Alpine as his daily driver alongside a Suzuki Jimny. As great as it is, Alpine has made a decision not to bring the A110 on the market in the States since a lack of brand awareness meant that there was no viable business case.
There are many British sports cars that are not getting as much attention as they should, but few have been as criminally ignored as the Ginetta Akula. The Akula presented in 2019 is Ginetta’s first real super sports car and builds on the company’s decades of experience in racing in LMP1 and GT4.
It uses a carbon fiber tub and a self-developed V8 that mirrors the formula of another British racing manufacturer that became sports car maker McLaren. It’s good for 600hp and first deliveries started in 2020, yet most enthusiasts will never have heard of it.
When the roadster first hit the market, Tesla was just one of a wave of emerging automakers trying to turn electric vehicles into something that buyers actually wanted. Previous electric vehicles had tried not to generate market interest, but Tesla really paved the way for the electric market and made electric vehicles cool for the first time.
As the brand’s first production model, the roadster is a uniquely important piece of modern history that will likely be recognized as an important turning point for the automotive market in a few decades. At the moment, however, it has mostly receded into the background to Tesla’s newer products, such as the Model 3 and the endlessly hyped Cybertruck.
VW Corrado VR6
The Corrado name is made in the VW history books today, but in the 1990s the VR6 was the fastest Volkswagen on the market. It was designed as a replacement for the Scirocco Coupé, which was itself a replacement for the legendary Karmann Ghia.
As the name suggests, the VR6 had a 2.9 liter V6 engine and a chassis that was specially developed for optimal handling. Used VR6s are cheap to buy and cost little to run. It doesn’t have the same cult status as an old Golf GTI or a Beetle, but the VR6 is arguably one of the best bargain sports cars around.
Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm
In a world where most major automakers are focused on developing electric SUVs and crossover hybrids, the Alfa Romeo Giulia GTAm is a refreshing old school muscle sedan. Driven by a 2.9-liter V6 biturbo, which was developed in collaboration with Ferrari, the GTAm develops 533 hp and takes just 3.6 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 100 km / h.
It is supposedly a hoot to drive and it looks every bit as crazy as its $ 210,000 price tag suggests. Production is limited to 500 units and Alfa is currently taking orders. So if you want to have what is possibly the most exciting sports sedan in recent years, you should be quick and reserve one.
A little Italian sports coupe with an engine from the greatest rally car of all time should be a recipe for an iconic car, right? Well, the Fiat Coupe is all of those things, but few people recognize it as such. The coupe was designed by the influential Chris Bangle and assembled at the Pininfarina factory in Turin, Italy.
The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that launched the car was inherited from the Lancia Delta Integrale, which had won a record-breaking sixth World Rally Championship just a few years earlier. The car sold well when it was launched, but its popularity quickly waned, and today used examples can be picked up for as little as a few thousand dollars.
Another car that theoretically had the right ingredients was the Porsche 928. It was designed to be the best of both worlds, with the luxury and technology of a grand tourer but the handling and performance of a traditional sports car. It became Porsche’s flagship from 1977 to 1995, although only 61,000 units were sold during that time.
Its lack of recognition today is largely due to its older and more iconic brother, the 911. Despite attempts by Porsche to kill the 911 Over the years, its popularity has remained strong, with the result that other models have never really been in the spotlight.
Acura NSX (2nd generation)
After half a decade of lackluster sales, Acura finally announced that they would be phasing out the NSX in 2021. A final edition of the Type S will be produced for model year 2022, with only 300 units available for US buyers. Much like the previous generation NSX, the current generation car didn’t generate much fuss due to a lack of headline-making metrics or insane styling.
It’s also a hybrid that carried a stigma when the car launched in 2016 that the NSX could never shake off. Fast forward to 2021 and there are plenty of hybrid supercars out there, but it’s too late for Acura to grow its sales as the car’s fate is already sealed. Fifteen years after the first generation NSX was phased out, prices have skyrocketed as buyers realize how far ahead of its time the car was. It is entirely possible that the price of the second generation car will do the same in another fifteen years.
The enthusiastic interest in the original Lamborghini Countach peaked again when a new version of the car was just announced, but most enthusiasts still don’t remember the Jalpa that was sold alongside it. The Jalpa was supposed to be the entry-level Lambo, a car that was slightly more practical and usable than its deranged big brother.
Unfortunately, at the time, Lamborghini buyers simply weren’t interested in a decent supercar, and eventually the Jalpa was dropped with just 410 units sold. Today Jalpas are among the cheapest Lambos, because anyone who wants a classic Lambo still wants a Countach. It’s a shame because a Jalpa will still be eye-catching and fun even if it doesn’t have the same star performance.
The Chevrolet SS is a little different from most people’s idea of a traditional sports car, but that was its biggest flaw. To say the least, it’s a bit strange as this is an Australian-built performance sedan that has been modified to look like a regular family van. To be clear: this isn’t just any old sedan, but comes standard with a screeching LS3 V8 and 415 hp.
As a real sleeper, the SS never attracted much attention in the States, and those who thought about buying it were likely put off by its relatively high price point and simple appearance. The car was painted in 2017 when the Holden factory where it was made closed, and it is unlikely that there will ever be a successor. The rise of electric vehicles means there will likely never be another car like the SS, marking the end of an era for both Australian manufacturing and GM muscle sedans.
The 2000s are arguably the best decade when it comes to finding cool premium cars at rock bottom prices from almost every manufacturer.
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