We’re not speaking about sluggish sellers right here, we’re speaking epic automobile fails, automobiles that for no matter motive — company, financial or engineering-wise — are simply plain mistaken. Here’s a rogue’s gallery of the unhealthy, the more severe and the worst.
1. The Chevrolet SSR (Tremendous Sport Roadster) – 2003 – 2006
You possibly can think about the design assembly at GM headquarters the place somebody mentioned, “What if we construct a convertible pickup truck?” That particular person ought to have been proven the door, however as a substitute, GM went on to construct the SSR, which was in line with Car and Driver, “an awkward-looking, underpowered, and overpriced manufacturing facility sizzling rod …”
The inspiration for the SSR’s retro styling was Chevrolet’s 1947 – 1955 pickup vans. Initially arriving with a V-6 engine, GM shortly upgraded it to a V-Eight, however that also wasn’t sufficient to get the Four,700-pound $42,000-plus SSR transferring. In whole, 24,150 of the automobiles have been produced, and the final automobile rolled off the manufacturing facility flooring on March 17, 2006. RIP.
2. Cadillac XLR/XLR-V 2004 – 2009
It is GM’s flip once more, and you may simply image this design assembly the place any person mentioned, “What if we make a Cadillac model of the Corvette?” Behold the Cadillac XLR, a two-seater convertible with a retractable hardtop.
The XLR boasted an adaptive suspension, which Cadillac known as Magnetic Trip Management. It controled the vertical motion of the wheels relative to the chassis, slightly than the motion being decided by the highway floor. This gave the automobile a greater trip and dealing with by holding the tires perpendicular to the highway throughout cornering, accelerating, and braking.
Granted, the XLR had some stiff competitors within the Mercedes SL, which might be why Cadillac launched the XLR-V in 2006, which had a supercharged Northstar V-Eight engine. Sadly, that automobile got here with a $110,000-plus price ticket, and it’s all the extra exceptional that Cadillac bought three,730 of the automobiles in 2005, and three,203 in 2006.
Gross sales dropped to 1,750 in 2007, and to 1,250 in 2008, and in all, solely 15,460 XLRs have been ever constructed.
three. Crysler Aspen/Dodge Durango Hybrids 2009
Car and Driver described it as “a truckish, forgettable SUV with all of the highway manners of a rudderless Queen Mary.” Gee, fellas, what do you actually assume?
When gross sales of the Durango tanked, Chrysler trotted out the Aspen, which was a Durango freighted with plastic chrome and faux wooden. Who would not like faux wooden? Then, Chrysler introduced a hybrid model of every.
The 2 hybrids have been the primary automobiles out of Chrysler’s membership within the Global Hybrid Cooperation. This was the manufacturing group behind the powertrain know-how utilized in GM’s hybrid SUV and the BMW X6.
The Aspen and Durango hybrids have been reportedly being constructed at a loss, and when the economic system tanked in 2008, Chrysler shuttered the manufacturing plant. Whereas the Durango identify has been resurrected, the Aspen identify has not been seen since.
Four. Fisker Karma 2011 – 2012
Issues ought to have gone so effectively, you had well-known automotive designer Henrik Fisker constructing one of many first plug-in hybrids. Fisker was the man who had beforehand designed the BMW Z8, the Aston Martin DB9, and the Aston Martin V8 Vantage. We’re speaking fairly automobiles right here.
Fisker was quoted as saying that “electrical automobiles could be stunning and thrilling and enjoyable to drive.” A Karma design prototype was first unveiled on the January 2008 North American International Auto Show in Detroit.
Buyers within the undertaking included actor Leonardo DiCaprio and the U.S. Department of Energy, which kicked in $192 million as a part of its Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program.
The specs for the Karma have been promising, it had a 23.5kWh battery pack, and a turbocharged 2.Zero-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine, which acted as a generator to provide 402 horsepower. However, the automobile weighed 5,297 kilos, resulting in solely 24 miles per gallon, which was 10 mpg lower than what the Chevrolet Volt was getting when the 2 went face to face in a 2012 comparability check.
Regardless of having a smaller battery pack, the Volt beat the Karma’s electric-only driving vary by two miles, which was nearly an insult contemplating the Karma’s price ticket was nearly $100,000.
In December 2011, the Karma’s battery provider A123 Systems recalled all its batteries, then filed for chapter in October 2012. After promoting 2,450 automobiles, Fisker stopped manufacturing in November 2012, and went bankrupt in late 2013. The property of Fisker Automotive have been purchased by Chinese language automotive components firm Wanxiang, they usually renamed the corporate Karma Automotive. In 2016, they renamed the Karma because the Revero.
5. GM EV1 1997 – 1999
The destiny of this automobile was raised within the 2006 documentary movie Who Killed the Electrical Automotive? Arriving in 1996, the EV1 was the primary mass-produced electrical automobile from a significant automaker, and the one automobile bought by GM and never one among its divisions.
The EV1 had a futuristic teardrop form on high of an aluminum chassis. It included three completely different batteries: a 16.5-kWh lead-acid battery, an 18.7 kWh model, and a 26.Four-kwh nickel-metal hydride battery. These offered a driving vary of 70 to 90 miles, however then required a 15-hour cost on a family outlet.
The EV1 was made out there via lease to residents of Los Angeles, California, and Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona, and later to residents of San Francisco and Sacramento, California. The automobiles weren’t out there for buy, they usually might solely be serviced at designated Saturn dealerships.
Solely 1,117 EV1s have been leased in California and Arizona earlier than GM pulled the plug. When lessors tried to purchase their leased automobiles, GM refused, citing components, service and legal responsibility points. GM then rounded up all of the remaining automobiles, typically with a police escort, they usually crushed all however 40 of the repossessed EV1s. The rest went to museums and academic establishments, nevertheless, these automobiles had their electrical powertrains deactivated in order that they could not be pushed on the highway.
The one intact EV1 was donated to the Smithsonian Institution, making it one of many rarest automobiles on Earth.
6. GMC Envoy XUV 2003 – 2005
That is one other occasion the place you would like you had been a fly on the wall on the first design assembly. What you’d have heard would have gone one thing like this: “Hey guys, what if we cut up an SUV in two, and it is like an SUV and a pickup truck?”
The XUV had a retractable rear roof part that slid ahead, creating an open load space. A “MidGate” partitioned the load space, and a two-way tailgate might both hinge sideways or drop down. The cargo space was waterproof, permitting it to be hosed down for cleansing.
The XUV was created out of an extended-wheelbase GMC Envoy, which was the identical as a Chevrolet Trailblazer. That made for a heavy chassis and depressing gasoline mileage. Then, even with the roof open, the tailgate down and the seats folded, the Envoy could not haul any greater than an unusual SUV, and it was much more costly. Sayonara.
7. Jaguar X-type 2001 – 2008
The Brtis have given us quite a bit to be glad about: Isaac Newton, the Beatles, however this Jagular just isn’t one among them. Here is what Automotive and Driver had to say about the car: “It was obnoxiously underbuilt, remarkably overpriced, and about as charming as a hernia.” Yikes!
TV collection Mad Men hilariously portrayed reliability problems with Jaguar when a personality, Lane, makes an attempt suicide by working a hose from the exhaust pipe of his Jaguar XKE into the window, presses the beginning button, and … nothing.
The X-Kind was developed in the course of the time when Jaguar was owned by Ford (1999-2010), and the automobile was marketed as a compact “govt” automobile, designed to tackle the BMW three Collection and Mercedes C-class.
The X-type mannequin names mentioned all of it, with the four-door “saloon” launching in 2001, and the five-door “property” starting in 2004, however gross sales by no means took off. U.S. gross sales dropped from 21,542 in 2004 to 10,941 in 2005, and never even Jeremy Clackson hyping the automobile on BBC’s Top Gear might save the X-type. By 2009, it was toast.
Eight. Lincoln Blackwood 2001 – 2002
You possibly can image the design assembly at Ford Motor: “Say fellas, what if a crew-cab F-150 pickup truck and a Lincoln Continental had a child?” That’s precisely what the Blackwood was, with its truck mattress lined with carpet and with faux wooden and LED lights on its sides.
The Blackwood solely got here in black (get it, “black” “wooden”?) and it rolled in at a cool $52,000, so it isn’t stunning that in its single 12 months of manufacturing, solely three,000 Blackwoods have been ever made.
9. Pontiac Aztek 2001 – 2005
This automobile’s principal declare to fame is that it was the automobile of alternative of TV collection Breaking Bad’s principal character Walter White in the course of the first 4 seasons of the present. The Aztec was one of many first crossover autos, whereas SUVs of the interval have been extra truck-like.
The again featured a swing-open Kammback, also called a “Kamm tail”, the place the rear of the automobile slopes downwards earlier than assembly a vertical floor. Named after German aerodynamicist Wunibald Kamm who got here up with the design within the 1930s when it was used on racing automobiles to enhance efficiency, the aim of a Kammback is to attenuate aerodynamic drag.
Different options of the Aztek included a rear heart console that was a detachable cooler, and an attachable tent, however none of that was sufficient to save lots of the automobile. RIP.
10. DeLorean 1981 – 1983
No listing of automobile fails could be full with out the DeLorean, manufactured by DeLorean Motor Firm, or DMC. Designed by well-known Italian designer Giorgetto Giugiaro, the automobile had brushed stainless-steel outer physique panels and gull-wing doorways.
The automobiles have been financed by celebrities equivalent to Johnny Carson and Sammy Davis Jr., they usually have been made in a manufacturing facility in Northern Eire as a result of the Industrial Improvement Board for Northern Eire (IDB) ponied up £100 million for the undertaking.
Every thing fell aside in 1982 following John DeLorean’s arrest for drug trafficking, a cost he was later discovered to be not responsible of. The corporate behind U.S. retailer Big Lots stepped in and accomplished roughly 100 partially-assembled automobiles, whereas the remaining components have been shipped to Ohio, the place they have been bought by mail order.
The automobile grew to become wildly fashionable because the time machine within the Back to the Future films, which started in 1985. In all, round 9,000 DeLoreans have been manufactured, with about 6,500 still thought to exist.
In 1995, a British entrepreneur created the “DeLorean Motor Firm” in Texas, acquired the “DMC” brand, and the remaining components stock. They’re constructing new DeLoreans out of recent previous inventory (NOS) components and reproduced components.
11. Ford Edsel 1958 – 1960
The Edsel was named after a son of firm founder Henry Ford. After a year-long teaser marketing campaign, the automobiles have been launched on what was dubbed “E Day”, which was September Four, 1957.
The automobiles provided a number of options that have been thought of progressive on the time: warning lights for low oil degree, parking brake engaged and engine overheating, a push-button transmission in the course of the steering wheel, self-adjusting brakes, seat belts, and child-proof rear door locks.
In 1958, 63,110 Edsels have been bought within the U.S. and Four,935 have been bought in Canada. By 1959, 44,891 Edsels have been bought within the U.S., and 2,505 have been bought in Canada. Ford introduced the discontinuation of the Edsel on November 19, 1959, and in all, 118,287 Edsels have been produced. Ford misplaced $350 million, or $2.Four billion in 2018 dollars on the automobile.
The Edsel is held up as a case research of what to not do. Ford had by no means test-marketed the automobiles with “actual” consumers earlier than the automobile’s growth or the creation of the seller community. Ford additionally did not establish the Edsel’s worth level or the truth that customers have been turning into extra fuel-conscious.
French French author Françoise Sagan famously as soon as mentioned, “Cash could not purchase happiness, however I would slightly cry in a Jaguar than on a bus.” I do not assume she meant an X-type.