1994 Porsche 928 GTS Cropped (1)

10 Times Carmakers Built Awesome Sports Cars That Failed Miserably

Companies in the automotive industry allocate significant resources to come up with vehicles that sell like hot cakes. The funds invested in the design phase vary drastically from one car to another, but some of the most revered modern sports often cost a couple of hundreds of millions of dollars to become actual functioning vehicles. However, not all cars are created equal.



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There are times when outstanding vehicles fail despite all the efforts put forth by car companies. These sports cars had the recipe for success, but no one bought them. Whether it is due to a lack of effective marketing campaigns or to the fact that the competition entered the market at an earlier time with a similar vehicle, some truly remarkable sports cars have had the same fate as expired bread on a store’s shelf.

8 1957 BMW 507

The Bavarian automaker has always been among the most respected car companies in Europe. After testing some game-changing technologies on the battlefield in both the first and Second World War, BMW refocused on manufacturing passenger cars that only true connoisseurs would not mind sacrificing their children’s college funds on. Back in the late ’50s, BMW came with one of its most significant sports cars.

The BMW 507 is one of those classic European sports car gearheads would give a fortune for. Being one of the rarest BMW ever made with only 253 units, the 507 is worth close to $2 million. Being slapped with a high price tag is not new. Back in the ’50s, BMW marketed the 507 in the United States for close to $10,000, which is roughly $100,000 in 2022 Dollars adjusted for inflation. The production of the 507 not only stalled, it nearly bankrupted BMW.

7 1988 Lamborghini Jalpa

Founded in 1963 by Ferruccio Lamborghini, Lamborghini’s eponymous sports car company hit the nail right on its head from the start. With cars such as the 350 GT and the Miura, Lamborghini showed that it was going for Ferrari’s jugular. Until today, whenever supercars are being discussed, the rivalry between the two Italian high-end carmakers comes up.

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The Lamborghini Jalpa is far from being unattractive. With a more fluid physique than the Countach, the Jalpa comes with a 3.5L V8 that makes 255 hp at 7,000 rpm and 225 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. Unfortunately, the Jalpa was manufactured between 1981 and 1988, which was a period when the Countach was setting the stage for Lamborghini’s domination.

6 1994 Porsche 928 GTS

There are times when a carmaker’s most successful vehicle can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. At Porsche, the iconic 911 and its flat-six engine have been the hallmark of Porsche’s ingenuity and workmanship. While the 911 was annihilating its competition on and off the track, Porsche was already working on the next hit sports car. Sometimes the company succeeded but sometimes failed to a point of no return.

When first introduced in 1978, Porsche fans could not wrap their minds around the fact that the 928 came with a V8. As time went on, Porsche offered several trim levels including the GTS. Equipped with a 5.4L V8 that develops 345 hp at 5,700 rpm and 369 lb-ft of torque at 4,250 rpm, the GTS meant business. Unfortunately, by the time the 928 GTS landed in America, its price tag had reached a little over $100,000. Needless to say, it did not fare well with potential buyers.

5 2001 Chevrolet Camaro Z28

When it comes to American sports cars on steroids, the first two names that usually pop up are the Mustang and Camaro. For well over four decades, the two pony cars have been duking it out. Even if the Mustang came out victorious as far as sales are concerned, the Camaro remained an excellent sports car. When Chevrolet released its fourth generation Camaro, it offered a car that piston heads would not necessarily find appealing.

The 2001 Chevrolet Camaro Z8 may end up being one of the Camaros that will be worth a fortune soon. Despite not being the top-of-the-line Camaro that year, the Z28 remains a decently powered muscle car. The 5.7L LS1 V8 makes 310 hp at 5,200 rpm and 340 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. The main issue with the 2001 Z28 is the fact that it belonged to the worst generation of Camaros. Chevrolet would eventually retire the Camaro for almost a decade after this failure.

4 2006 Pontiac GTO

First sold in 1964, the Pontiac GTO is an American icon that needs absolutely no introduction. Compared to the Ferrari 250 GTO because of its name, the Pontiac GTO was put to the test in real life and fared decently. However, as decades went on, John Delorean’s baby ended up losing its appeal. The last GTO ever made proved that American carmakers can still make a decent muscle car.

The last generation GTO was unlike its predecessors. Its physique is quite bland and is reminiscent of the fourth-generation Camaro. Things drastically improve in the power department. The 6.0L V8 churns out 400 hp at 5,200 rpm and 400 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. With an MSRP of $31,290, the GTO was cheaper than the $31,840 Mustang GT of the same year. The GTO is also 100 hp more powerful than the Mustang GT.

3 2009 Pontiac G8 GXP

Defunct carmaker Pontiac manufactured several outstanding vehicles before its demise. The last Pontiac GTO, the Grand Prix GXP, and the G8 GXP were amazing cars that muscle heads should have fallen in love with. They were all decently powered and had enough potential to be turned into beasts from the seventh layer of hell. Unfortunately, not even the G8 GXP helped Pontiac stay afloat.

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Back in 2009, the brutal 6.1L Hemi V8 found on the 300 and Charger SRT-8 was wreaking havoc. While it is fair to say that it is a tremendous engine, other outstanding muscle sedans ended up being completely overshadowed. The amazing Pontiac G8 GXP comes with a 6.2L LS3 V8 that makes 415 hp at 5,900 rpm and 415 lb-ft of torque at 4,600 rpm. However, this was not enough to dethrone the once hated Dodge Charger.

2 2012 Aston Martin Virage

The British automotive landscape is insane. From carmakers such as Rolls-Royce which focus more on luxury and comfort to others such as McLaren which are essentially interested in performance, a well-off gearhead can find about everything in the United Kingdom. Aston Martin decided to find a middle ground by providing both luxury and sportiness. The Virage was born.

Aston Martin actively tried to diversify its lineup back in the 2010s. The Aston Martin Rapide was the first sedan ever made by the British carmaker for example. Wanting to generate more revenue, Aston Martin kept mixing luxury and sportiness. The Virage was born. Unfortunately, the Virage did not perform well as it was not luxurious enough for people wanting to shine, and not sporty enough for serious gearheads.

1 2012 Lexus LFA

Since its introduction to the American market, Lexus has shown that it could easily combine luxury, comfort, and power. However, as time went on, Lexus showed that it wanted to offer more than just snazzy sedans. In 1992, Lexus presented the V8-powered SC400. In 2008, the ludicrous IS F and its 416 hp were made available to the public. It was only a matter of time before the Japanese carmaker would come up with its own version of the Acura NSX.

There are several reasons why the Lexus LFA is worth every penny. First, it is the very first supercar made by Lexus. Second, it comes with a solid 4.8L V10 that cranks out a cool 552 hp at 8,700 rpm and 354 lb-ft of torque at 6,800 rpm. Going from zero to 60 mph in 3.2 seconds, the LFA is up there with some of the most revered sports cars in the industry. Sadly, the $350,000 price tag was simply too much for potential buyers.

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