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Seven cars that should make a comeback
The McLaren F1 will be reborn as a three-seat GT,
but what other memorable cars deserve to be reincarnated?
by Autocar, July 2016

The iconic McLaren F1 is about to make a reinvented comeback, so we got thinking about what else we’d like to see return from the mists of time.

So here (with none of the business case considerations that would be required for it to actually happen) is our list of dream resurrections for the modern day.

Lancia Delta HF Integrale

Any version of the Integrale should be on the To Drive bucket list of any self-respecting petrolhead. Which is why the current Lancia line-up of Ypsilon 'fashion city cars' (their description, not ours) is enough to make us all cry. So action is needed.

Read what happened when the Lancia went head-to-head with a Ford Focus RS

Parent company Fiat has just adapted the Mazda MX-5 for the 124 Spider. Why not swipe the Mazda 3, of which there is no longer an MPS version, and add some Italian style, 300-plus bhp and an all-wheel-drive system? Voila – a legend reborn.

Lotus Esprit

Given to the world in 1976 and, five generations later, taken from us in 2004, the mid-engined Esprit was a sports car beloved by many, not least because of its submarine adventures in The Spy Who Loved Me, but also because of its sweet handling and entertaining performance.

Lotus teased a new version in 2010 to rival Ferrari’s 458 Italia, but announced four years later that it would not go ahead. Unacceptable! The 488 needs a British rival. Get on it, Hethel.

Hummer H1

In the days of social responsibility and downsizing, reviving a huge gas-guzzling piece of Americana might not seem a great idea. But 10 years after it was discontinued, we say reinvent it as an in-your-face hydrogen fuel cell-powered vehicle, emitting nothing more than water and freedom.

If Arnie can become governor of California, then his favourite ride can become a symbol of high-riding environmentalism. Who needs the Tesla Model X’s silly doors?

Ford Sierra RS Cosworth

It’s almost 25 years since the Sierra RS Cosworth was discontinued, but it still draws a large smile from any fan of Blue Oval performance. With an enviable racing pedigree and plenty of room for modifications, it’s a cult classic that deserves a successor.

The Sierra name is now adorning GMC pick up trucks in the US, so let’s take the spirit to Ford’s descendant. We want a 500bhp, rear-biased, all-wheel-drive RS Mondeo.

Maserati Birdcage

The Tipo 61 acquired its nickname for obvious reasons – a complex tubular space-frame chassis that was revolutionary in the sports car world back in 1959. Only 16 were ever made.

The MC12 of the noughties was liveried in its honour, and a concept tribute was made in 2005, but Maseratis these days are stylish machines but too focused on comfort and a nice noise. Someone at Modena needs to right that wrong and build an out-and-out, cutting-edge performance car.

BMW 507

The 507 failed as a profitable model when it launched in the late '50s. It was too expensive and too heavy to sell the thousands that BMW anticipated, and only 252 were made.

But oooh, it was pretty. So pretty that it inspired the Z3, Z4 and Z8 rather heavily. And that’s fine. But we want a new 507, one so achingly pretty that it sticks two fingers up to volume and profitability and serves as a staggeringly beautiful flagship roadster for BMW. Make 252 of them, make them unfathomably desirable and price them for millionaires.

Bugatti Royale

Ettore Bugatti himself designed the Type 41, known as the Royale, in reaction to a comment comparing his cars negatively to those of Rolls-Royce.

Bugatti today has performance nailed with the Chiron, so it’s time to show those pesky tykes at Goodwood what real luxury is all about. Like the original Royale it should be absolutely enormous, drenched in opulence, massively expensive and produced in very small numbers. Oh, and it should have at least 1500bhp.


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