Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies

For every Ferrari, there are a dozen bankrupt companies that tried, unsuccessfully, to enter the supercar game.
Photo Credit: Lotec
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies10.) Lister
Why it ruled: Anyone who played arcade games in the ‘90s remembers the Lister Storm. With a 7-liter V12 derived from one of Jaguar's Le Mans prototypes and a top speed over 200 mph, it was the fastest four-seater from the mid-90s through the mid-2000s. Lister raced it for a few years, even with Top Gear's Sultan of Slide Tiff Needel behind the wheel. They were bonkers expensive, and the company only built four road cars. Other than a few failed LMP cars, we haven't heard anything since.
Photo Credit: Dave Price

The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies9.) Cizeta-Moroder
Why it ruled: Cizeta was kind of like the mid-90s version of Pagani and it only had two things you need to know about: a transverse-mounted V16 and double pop-up headlights. It doesn't get more excessive than that.
Apparently the company, started by a bunch of guys from Lamborghini, will still build you one for a few hundred grand short of a million, but we haven't seen any proof.
Photo Credit: Cizeta/
8.) Aixam-Mega
Why it ruled: If you're getting the idea that the ‘90s was full of supercar startups, you're right. In '92 France's Aixam-Mega even thought it could make money building the Mega Track, a four-wheel drive supercar with a 394-horsepower Mercedes V12 and 8-13 inches of ride height. The most badass crossover of all time didn't exactly pan out and now Aixam is back buildingplastic microcars. Lame.
Photo Credit: Mega
7.) Dome
Why it ruled: Way before the NSX was pronounced Japan's first supercar, there was the Dome Zero. Dome got started building race cars (Dome is the company that helped Toyota get started at Le Mans back in the ‘80s), and they tried their hand at making a supercar in '78 and ‘79. The Dome Zero (and then P2) looked cooler than a Countach, but only had a 150-horsepower Datsun straight-six. The company couldn't get the car approved for road use, but licensing Dome Zero toys gave them money to go racing.
They still make race cars, at least.
Photo Credit: Dome
6.) Lotec
Why it ruled: Lotec was pretty much the king at building supercar vaporware in the ‘90s. They came from Germany, were made out of carbon fiber, and had twin-turbo Mercedes engines. Production numbers couldn't have exceeded the single digits, but they claimed 800 to 1,000 horsepower and top speeds of 268 miles an hour. Not that any of this has been verified, but damn did the Sirius and the Lotec C1000 look ugly weirdly awesome.
The company claimed to be in business in '09, but the last one we saw was one was sitting dejected in a North Carolina dealership.
Photo Credit: Lotec
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies5.) Bizzarrini
Why it ruled: Giotto Bizzarini used to be one of Ferrari's top engineers (he's the guy who designed Lambo's legendary V12), but when he tried to make his own cars, things didn't really work out for him. With big Corvette V8s in slinky Italian bodies, his cars were awesomely fast for the street, but they were slow on the race track. Without wins, nobody wanted his cars, so he went out of business.
Moral of the story: don't try to out-Ferrari Ferrari.
Photo Credit: FurLined
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies4.) De Tomaso
Why it ruled: Argentine Alejandro de Tomaso took the same idea that got Shelby famous and nearly made it work himself: cram a big American V8 in a little European chassis. De Tomaso started with the radical Vallelunga, then the flimsy-but-so-sexy Mangusta, and then the legendary Pantera. With a Ford V8, it was sold in Lincoln/Mercury dealerships, and then independently up through '92.
The company has been bought and sold a hundred times since then, most recently for a bland CUV built by a guy in jail.
Photo Credit: FurLined
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies3.) Vector
Why it ruled: Vector was good at two things: drawing cars that look like doorstops and making insane promises it couldn't keep. Want a 600-horsepower American supercar? Oops, it broke down. How about a re-bodied Diablo? Why not one with 2,000 horsepower?
Okay Vector, we're not listening anymore.
Photo Credit: Vector
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies

2.) DeLoreanWhy it ruled: So the DMC-12 wasn't exactly fast enough to be a real supercar, but DeLorean tried to make a sexy, desirable car of his own. He tried so hard he got involved in a crazy drug scam to keep his company afloat. If there's one way to completely bankrupt a car company, it's with coke.
Oh, you can still get new DMC-12s, even electric ones and ones built by
Photo Credit: FurLined
The Ten Greatest Failed Supercar Companies

1.) TVR
Why it ruled: TVR has a long history of building batshit fast sport cars. They were like the British version of the Viper, only they'd been in business for decades. The company ran out of money in the 2000s, got rebooted by a Russian tycoon, and then flopped again.
They were just too fast, too raw, and too wild to survive in today's car market.
Photo Credit: Ben_in_London
Via : Jalopnik

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