The automotive world is constantly evolving and advancing in relation to technological advances and consumer preference, so it is not uncommon for automakers to routinely kill existing models to accommodate new offerings. Unfortunately, for most exhibitors, their book shuts down completely once you pull the plug, while for others, the gap is just a chapter that sees them complete and sidelined for years. Once considered a rare phenomenon, resurrection has become increasingly common in the past two decades.
Since current market strategies focus on maximizing profits, manufacturers sometimes bring in epic cars to take advantage of enthusiasts’ penchant for nostalgia for all things. The return involves bringing in an ancient name and making a contemporary interpretation that usually retains the previous design language, essence, spirit and character. However, this does not always guarantee the success of the project. Other times, reincarnations have been a hit, so here’s our list of the ten best revived car models.
10 Alpine A110
The rally-proven high-performance Alpine A110 Berlinetta made its debut in 1961, featuring a unique design forged by automobile design legend Giovanni Michelotti. Although it took nearly six decades for the two-door, rear-engine A110 to make a comeback, the modern version took on the skin of the predecessor, ensuring that the old exterior remains remarkably consistent.
The Alpine A110’s hallmark lies in its performance, featuring a turbocharged 1.8-liter four – four mated to a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. With a desirable light weight of 2,500 pounds, the Alpine A110 sprints from 0 to 60 mph in 4.3 seconds and achieves a top speed of over 160 mph.
9 Fiat 124 Spyder
American designer Tom Tjarda was responsible for designing the original 1966 Fiat 124 Spider during his time at Pininfarina, echoing his work on the Ferrari 275, Ferrari 330 GTS, and the Chevrolet Corvette Ronden Concept. By the end of production in 1985, Fiat had sold more than 198,000 cars of the affordable 124 Spider Roadster.
The Fiat 124 Spider is back in 2016, while the performance-oriented 124 Spider Abarth debuted in 2017, both made by Mazda for Fiat-Chrysler Automobiles along with the MX-5 Miata roadster. Sharing the platform, interior, trim and other parts with the MX-5, it features a 1.4-liter FCA turbocharged Multiair engine, a unique exterior design, tuned shock absorbers, increased payload capacity and increased length.
8 Nissan GT-R
From the 1960s Hakosuka to the R32 Godzilla and the Nürburgring-slaying R33, the Nissan GT-R is without a doubt one of the most respected and sought-after Japanese sports cars since the classic JDM years. Regarded as the emperor of tuners and a symbol of ingenuity in Japanese automobile engineering, the GT-R saw its first hiatus in 1973 for 16 years and five years shorter than in 2002.
Nissan has dropped the Skyline brand and revived the modern GT-R line for its sixth generation, aimed exclusively at ultra-savvy enthusiasts who crave premium performance. The R35 was a killer beast for Ferrari for a fraction of the price, featuring a twin-turbo 3.8-liter V-6 that produced 565 horsepower and 476 pound-feet of torque, enough to clear 0-60 mph in 2.9 seconds.
7 Chevrolet Camaro
The 2000s saw many American manufacturers honor some of the most iconic cars of the 1960s, with the Chevrolet Camaro taking advantage of the emergence. Chevrolet carried the Camaro through three and a half decades of production before being discontinued in 2002, only to revive it as a fifth-generation model for 2010.
The retro and futuristic design language ensured the new style’s return to the muscle car of the 1960s, but with an exciting modern twist. In the spirit of its predecessor, the modern Camaro retains its sporty character and affordability as a tough every man, ranging from $25,000 to high-spec models with up to 650 horsepower.
6 Dodge Challenger
The flex Challenger is back twice in its life since it was introduced as the 1970 model. After a successful launch, Dodge lowered the Challenger rating from 1972 until the first generation model was introduced on pastures in 1974. Unknown to the majority, it was later introduced in 1978 for the second generation as a car Refurbished Mitsubishi Galant Lambda.
After a 25-year hiatus, Dodge revived the Challenger in 2008, rocking a fresh, modern design and packing a powerful V8 HEMI engine that stayed true to the original. Based on an old Mercedes E-Class platform, the current Dodge Challenger remains, for the most part, unchanged since its revival with occasional facelifts.
5 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
As if the Mustang wasn’t impressive enough, Carroll Shelby massively massaged the engine, adding several track-level components to create the ultimate Mustang, the Shelby GT500. First revived in 2007, the SVT team of Ford and Carroll collaborated Shelby to build supercharged Shelby GT500s through 2014.
After six short years on the sidelines, the modernized version of the Shelby GT500 is still a masterpiece in terms of capability, grip with its corners and tow bar. Loaded with improved aerodynamics, race-proven Ford Performance technology and a powerful 760-hp Crossplan V-8 Supercharged 5.2-liter engine, the current Shelby GT500 is the most powerful and most affordable Mustang of all time.
4 Tesla Roadster
With Tesla’s impressive lineup, it’s easy to forget the Roadster that debuted in 2006, perhaps because only 2,500 models were built before production ended in 2012. Unlike the Model S, Model Y, Model X, and Model 3 that Tesla designed From the ground up, the original Roadster was a massively re-engineered Lotus Elise and modified with an electric powertrain.
Tesla plans to revive the Roadster, with the second-generation model featuring a four-seat configuration and all-wheel drive. Tesla claims the Roadster will go from a standstill to 60 mph in 1.9 seconds, making it one of the fastest street-legal production cars once it goes into production.
3 GMC Hummer EV
Re-engineered from the battlefield to run on the city streets, the mighty Hummer was a status symbol that celebrities stood alongside Lamborghini and Bentley. Unfortunately, the Hummer has become a controversial symbol of every global warming campaign, described as an irresponsible, gas-guzzling machine.
The new lease of the Hummer has seen it return as a completely different vehicle, with massive advances in EV powertrain technology allowing for an insanely battery-powered electric truck. The first deliveries of the Hummer EV pickup truck began in December 2021, but we’ll have to wait a little longer for the SUV version with current production schedules.
2 Ford Bronco
The first iteration of the Bronco debuted in 1966, a utilitarian two-door with all-wheel drive that Ford offered in Roadster, Wagon, and Pickup body styles. Although the Bronco has gone through different generations and facelifts, the original model set the standard for modern SUVs that boast an adventurous lifestyle with its off-road capabilities.
The new Bronco introduced in 2020 was heavily inspired by the design of the first generation model, with modern styling produced in six trim levels: Base, Big Bend, Black Diamond, Outer Banks, Badlands and Wildtrak. For 2022, Ford has revealed two special editions of the Bronco models, the high-speed off-road Bronco Raptor and the Bronco Everglades, which include many factory-installed accessories.
1 Ford GT
One of the most epic recreations is Ford’s revival of the Le Mans legend that beat Ferrari, the high-performance GT-40. Introduced in 2005 after a 40-year hiatus, the GT looked exactly like its predecessor, except for a supercharged V8 in the middle of the engine.
The Ford GT was one of the first American cars to use a modern, futuristic design, and eventually dropped the No. 40 because the modern iteration was longer than 40 inches. The Ford GT rose from the ashes to haunt its foes once again, outsmarting the Ferrari 360 and 430 on the streets in 2006 and beating the Ferrari 488 at Le Mans 2016, this last time with a turbocharged V6 EcoBoost.
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