The McLaren F1 will be reborn as a three-seat GT, but what other memorable cars deserve to be reincarnated?
21 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.

Phill Tromans

What cars do you think deserve a resurrection? Let us know in the comments below.

Join the debate

Comments
47

21 July 2016
Some iconic cars have simply been eclipsed by history and its hard to see how a re-invention wouldn't be utterly redundant - NSU Ro80, Citroen Traction Avant and a host of those cute, useful but a bit rubbish cars like the Anglia 1100 and Hillman Imp etc.

Would love to see a decent shooting brake - Lancia HPE or Scimitar. A Rover SD1 would be marvellous or is that just the A5 Sportback? Ditto a GTV6, Fiat Dino Spider & Coupe, the BMW 3200CS by Bertone, possibly a Toyota 2000GT (but is that simply the Supra?)

And no Subaru SVX or XT please!

22 July 2016
Sorry but I would like to see a reinvention of the Subaru SVX as I quite liked it.
But what I really want to see is the return of Alpine with something very much in the A310/GTA/A610 vein

21 July 2016
How about a 911 that weighs what they used to & doesn't have a dull turbo? Add lightness by simply not fitting most of the interior, use an atmospheric version of the 3.0 engine. End up at about 1400kg & 320 bhp of mainstream model fun. No need to call it Carrera, just plain 911 would do. Best new model they could make.

21 July 2016
Lessis More wrote:

How about a 911 that weighs what they used to & doesn't have a dull turbo? Add lightness by simply not fitting most of the interior, use an atmospheric version of the 3.0 engine. End up at about 1400kg & 320 bhp of mainstream model fun. No need to call it Carrera, just plain 911 would do. Best new model they could make.

Weighs what they used to? 1400Kg? You're a long way out there, a 1972/73 911S weighed around 1050Kg, the ST 960Kg. 1400Kg is NOT light.

Citroëniste.

23 July 2016
Lessis More wrote:

How about a 911 that weighs what they used to & doesn't have a dull turbo? Add lightness by simply not fitting most of the interior, use an atmospheric version of the 3.0 engine. End up at about 1400kg & 320 bhp of mainstream model fun. No need to call it Carrera, just plain 911 would do. Best new model they could make.

It's called a 981 Cayman S

21 July 2016
I always enjoy these speculative trips down memory lane. My suggestions are predictable perhaps, but bearing in mind the lack of anything remotely sporting in the MG catalogue, a modern interpretation of the MGB or MG Midget seems worthy of consideration. The fastback MGB GT was even dubbed "the poor man's Aston Martin" in its day, and one can't help ponder what a poor man's Aston DB11 or Vantage would be like in 2016. Cars like the original Austin Healey Sprite and MG Midget Mark I were a low cost entry into sports car ownership for many in their time; what would a modern equivalent be like today?

MG Writer

21 July 2016
OK, these were at best flawed products in their day, thanks to the best efforts of British Leyland. But the they could and should have been great (These rose tinted spectacles work a treat). The style was there, unfortunately the engineering and build quality were not. BMW have that in spades, and should dust off the Triumph badge which they own, and whatever the original brand, they have an entire new sporting/fun model line-up to sit alongside Mini with new versions of the Stag, TR6 (With a BMW in-line 6 of course), MGB GT and the Mini Moke.

A34

21 July 2016
Lotus Eclat? 4 seats, to finally provide competition to the 911...
Reliant Scimitar? Sporting estate, good enough for royalty...
Caterham 21? Killed by the Elise, but there should be room for a modern Caterham in the world to provide an MX5/124 alternative...
Land Rover Defender - oops!
etc etc

21 July 2016
Citroen 2CV.

21 July 2016
Overdrive wrote:

Citroen 2CV.

You're definitely on to something there.

Citroëniste.

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