It's been a wild and crazy ride, but now it's time to say goodbye.
Every year new car models come and older ones are discontinued. It’s just a natural occurrence. But there are always a precious few cars that we really hate to see go. Sometimes they changed the rules of the game, or were simply awesome for many other reasons. They don’t always have direct replacements, a factor which will make their passing all the more sad. But still, the show must go on. Here are five cars,in no specific order, that took their final bows in 2014 that we’ll particularly miss.
Ford Mustang Shelby GT500. 662 horsepower and a base price of $55,000. That, in a nutshell, is the Mustang Shelby GT500. Replaced by the Shelby GT350, we’re all going to miss this awesome piece of American muscle. Sure, the GT350 is probably a more refined machine, but the GT500 was just glorious in its own right.
McLaren 12C. Ok, so it wasn’t perfect, but the 12C (formerly MP4-12C) was the first McLaren road car since the iconic F1. In fact, the 12C was only McLaren’s second road car ever. It had its faults which were pretty evident when compared to the Ferrari 458 Italia. But the 12C was quite an accomplishment for a carmaker more familiar with track cars. Replaced by the 650S, the 12C will forever be remembered as the car that put McLaren back into the supercar business.
Jaguar XK. Jaguar managed to do an awful lot with the XK. It was everything from a GT car to a near supercar in XKR-S GT form. It looked every bit a Jag, but the XK still fell somewhat behind the competition. Jaguar was still undergoing massive improvements, especially in quality, when the second generation XK launched back in 2007. Various interior components and other things made it clear it wasn’t, say, a Mercedes-Benz SL. Replaced by the F-Type, the XK achieved a lot in its lifetime, which dates back to 1996 (the first generation). And now it rolls gracefully into Jaguar’s rich history.
Lamborghini Gallardo. Production of the Gallardo officially ended just over a year ago, but it remained on sale for much of 2014. The Gallardo will undoubtedly go down in Lamborghini history as one of its greatest models. In fact, the Gallardo became the best-selling Lambo of all time, with a grand total of 14,022 built. Yes, it shared many elements with the Audi R8, but the Italians managed to make the Gallardo truly unique. Sold as both a coupe and roadster, and with rear- or all-wheel-drive during its 10-year life, the Gallardo is the V10-powered Lamborghini that more than likely saved the brand.
Toyota FJ Cruiser. Its styling certainly didn’t appeal to everyone, but off-road enthusiasts knew a good thing when they saw it. The FJ Cruiser went on sale back in 2006, before the economic recession and surging gas prices. It initially sold quite well, but those aforementioned instances put a seriously dent in sales. Consumers became infatuated with crossovers, and the FJ Cruiser was certainly not that. It was rugged and handled like a truck (because it was one). Sure, it could have used more power than what its V6 offered, but off-road the FJ Cruiser was all fun.