In the era of SUVs, we want to hold onto the past for a little while longer.
Coupes seem to be the car breed that will last forever. While luxury manufacturers like BMW are introducing new ones in the form of the 8 Series, other manufacturers are canning their coupes in favor of things more practical, like crossovers and family SUVs. But there are some coupes worthy of resurrection; nameplates that deserve a second, or seventh, chance at life, that we wish would be brought back from the dead. We’ve selected ten that we desperately wish would be brought back.
It doesn’t matter how many times the engineers tell us that rotary engines are inefficient, thirsty, or don’t comply with emissions regulations. We still lust after a revival of the Mazda RX-7. The RX-8 may have been the more recent model, and the more affordable, but the RX-7 provided near supercar performance from its turbocharged 1.3-liter rotary engine. The FD generation developed a cult following, combining performance and beauty in one. Mazda keeps teasing us with its RX-Vision concept, but there’s been no commitment as yet to fully revive the nameplate.
No Mitsubishi, we don’t want a damn crossover! The Eclipse nameplate may have been revived as a freaking crossover, but the original coupe that bore its name is the model we really want back in our lives. In its latter years, the Eclipse dropped the option of all-wheel drive in favor of front-drive models only, but it still remained one of the sharpest coupes available, and it was affordable too. The Mitsubishi Eclipse is a JDM legend gone too soon, with its memory tarnished now by Mitsubishi’s greedy attempts to cash in on a crossover by the same name.
Though Alfa Romeo has only just rediscovered its mojo with the Giulia and Stelvio, not all of its previous attempts were that bad. The Brera 2+2 coupe was particularly stunning, and though it may have been heavy, it still handled brilliantly. Based on a front drive platform, all-wheel drive models were available too. The one you really wanted though – the one that combined glorious noise with beautiful looks – was the Brera V6, a 260 horsepower V6 with all-wheel drive and a top speed of 162mph. Alfa is reportedly working on a new coupe, but it’s likely to be a new 6C, leaving the Brera as a coupe likely to remain dead.
The Honda Civic Type R is currently the pinnacle of front wheel drive technology, providing proof that front-wheel drive isn’t wrong-wheel drive after all. But though the Civic Type R has always provided great thrills, the Integra defined FWD excellence. It had its own Type R variant, widely regarded as the best handling front-drive vehicle, possibly ever. Power was modest at 220 hp from a 2.0-liter K20A engine, but the chassis was magical and punched well above its weight. Though the Civic Coupe has in theory replaced the Integra, it’s not quite the same thing, and we still rue the Integra’s demise.
Toyota has an illustrious history of sports cars and coupes, from the 2000GT to the Supra – a coupe that’s soon to be revived. But one that we miss the most was the MR2. Its name stood for its mid-engine layout, rear-wheel drivetrain, and two seat configuration. Built in three generations from 1984 to 2007, the MR2 enjoyed a successful life amongst enthusiasts. Though the 3rd generation lost its edge a little as a lifestyle convertible, the original two generations make us lust after its revival, as a mid-engined sportster would offer something more than what the 86 does.
The Honda S2000 might be a convertible only, but by virtue of its 2-door nature and the fact that this is a wish list, we’ll consider it a coupe this one time. Before the Toyota 86/Scion FR-S brought us a pure driver’s machine, the Honda S2000 was already doing just that. Produced from 1999 to 2009, the S2000 was powered by a 2.0-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder engine with nearly 240hp, one of the highest specific outputs of any naturally aspirated engine ever produced, driving the rear wheels. Paired with a sky-high redline of 9000 rpm and one of the sweetest manual gearboxes ever made, the S2000 was one of the finest driving machines of its day, and arguably of its era.
There was a time when Porsche mulled the idea of replacing the 911 – imagine a world without the 911 GT3 – with the Porsche 928 set to replace it. The 928 used a more traditional front-engined, rear wheel drive layout, combining exceptional poise and handling with an ideal weight balance. But the 928 also added high levels of luxury to the mix, something Porsche thought would appeal to those who previously bought 911s. The 928 also boasted the distinction of being the first Porsche to use a V8 engine, and was the only coupe to utilize a front-mounted V8. It remained in production for nearly two decades, with more than 61,000 units made in that time. If it were to be revived, the 928 would be an exceptional GT car to rival Aston Martins and the Mercedes-Benz SL. Pity then, it’s unlikely to ever happen.
Also known as the Mitsubishi GTO, the 3000GT was sold in the USA as the Dodge Stealth. Powered by a 3.0-liter V6, either in naturally-aspirated or twin-turbo guise, the front-drive platform also offered the option of all-wheel drive on certain models. The 3000GT offered potent performance and incredible styling, but the downside was an incredible thirst that saw you spend as much time refueling as you did enjoying the drive. We can’t help but lust after a new one, though with Mitsubishi’s refusal to give us anything but crossovers, we know it won’t happen.
Cult classics don’t develop a greater following than the Nissan S-Chassis, adored globally as a pure sports coupe that’s found great use in the world of drifting. Spanning 38 years of production and 7 generations, the Silvia met its demise after the S15 ended production in 2002 – though the last model sold in the USA was the S14 240SX. Famed for its use of the SR20DET engine, the Silvia is a sports coupe the world of driving enthusiasts would love to see again, but likely never will, as even the Nissan Z-car dynasty runs the risk of being canned due to slow sales.
Though Audi offers several coupes in the forms of the TT, A5, and the V10-engined R8, the coupe we most wish they’d revive is the Quattro. Introduced to the world as an all-conquering rally-car, the Quattro defined Audi’s legacy for the next two decades after introduction in 1980. Audi has teased us numerous times with the revival of the Quattro nameplate, with no less than two concepts paying homage to the 5-cylinder machine, but none of them has come to fruition as a production model.