When you think of a supercar, certain obvious thoughts come to mind: Speed, luxury, class, a timeless design and, ultimately, the thought that when you have one, you’re part of an elite level of individuals who appreciate the finer things life has to offer. Owning an exotic car means you’re a part of history.
It’s hard to pinpoint which cars are truly the best in this segment and that’s part of the reason why it’s so amazing to spend time pouring over these works of art. But, there have been exceptional failures when it comes to these pricey, speedy and eye-catching vehicles. We scoured the history books and polled some of our friends, experts and noted auto reviewers to bring you the biggest fails of the supercar world. Enjoy!
10 Ultimate Super Car Fails of All Time:
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1. Audi Sport QuattroFeaturing a powerful turbocharged five-cylinder alloy-block engine that had four valves per cylinder, Germany's Audi Sport Quattro was first produced in 1983. This car had a voice synthesizer on the dashboard that allowed the driver to know potential problems. It has a rich rallying history, but Audi only built 224 of them. It was significantly shorter than the standard Quattro, and its steel monologue shell featured numerous GRP and carbon-Kevlar panels to cut down its weight. The engine displacement also required a reduction to meet the FIA regulations. Audi developed this model following the stiff competition the original Quattro faced from all-wheel-drive Group B rally cars. This prompted the automaker to reduce the wheelbase by 12.6 inches, creating a nose-heavy monster that had a tendency to under steer. Unfortunately, this version was not very successful even though Audi added a heavy front spoiler. Most of the produced models were only sold to select customers through specialized dealers. We consider this one of the biggest fails Audi ever produced and, if you look at how the car is remembered, we aren’t alone.
2. Gumpert ApolloThe Gumpert Apollo is basically a racecar modified for the road. This car was designed by Roland Gumpert and produced by German automaker Gumpert Sportwagenmanufaktur GmbH. Roland Gumpert was the head of Audi’s motorsports initiatives until the mid 1980s when his relationship with then R&D boss, Ferdinand Piëch, soured. He was moved into another position and held the job until 2004 when he called it quits to design his own dream car alongside MTM’s Roland Mayer. It was not long before Roland Mayer abandoned the project, leaving Gumpert to work on his track-focused car alone. This sports car featured a twin-turbocharged Audi V-8 engine and came with different racing technologies, such as a sequential six-speed transmission, a twin clutch system and an inboard suspension set up. At one point, the Gumpert Apollo surprisingly held the Nürburgring lap record for a production car. However, this car had exceptionally poor assembly quality and huge panel gaps. In addition, the automaker whipped up the interior with a random assemblage of generic parts. As of 2015, the minimum price for the Apollo is $550,000, which is a price you’d be a fool to spend on a car like this.
3. Mercedes-Benz SLR McLarenThe Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren is the product of collaboration between an auto giant and one of the most popular Formula 1 teams in the world. In most cases, such partnerships tend to result in misunderstandings, disagreements and an unexpected series of events, leading to a poor quality product. The SLR McLaren is no exception. It came with a half-million dollar price tag, but boasted a top speed of up to 200 mph in 4 seconds. The doors also swung forward and up for anyone needing something obnoxious to add to the equation. The interior featured a carbon-fiber and aluminum trim, a surround-sound stereo with a six-CD changer and the seats were covered with supple leather. But lack of demand squashed this collaboration in 2009. Why did it ultimately get discontinued? This supercar surpassed its weight target by a mile, making it too large to enjoy a road trip on twisty country roads. Moreover, the designer was not content with the addition of the F1-inspired nose to the superficial body of this car. Any supercar enthusiast can conclude that the outcome of such a collaboration means that Mercedes-Benz and McLaren may never team up for another vehicle. If this was the best they could do together, that’s really okay.
4. Ferrari 612 ScagliettiFor decades, Ferrari has built a stellar reputation as one of the most successful supercar automakers. Let’s be blunt: The 612 Scaglietti was probably the worst driving Ferrari ever made. This supercar was produced between 2005 and 2011. Before 2008, all the models featured a traditional six-speed transmission, but new models had an upgraded transmission to improve reaction. There were a lot of problems with this car. It featured a 116.1-inch wheelbase, which is three inches shorter than the 2014 Chevy Colorado’s base. It also had a 5.7-liter V12 engine, producing up to 532 horsepower and 434 pounds of torque. If you could forgive any of that, you're lucky because there's more. The front end was also a clutter of intersecting lines, the sides seemed to have a sagging appearance and the rear end was characterless. Even though the models after 2008 had an upgraded transmission, this car was jerky at slow speeds and it had a tendency of smoking its clutch when starting on hills. Bottom line: Stay away from this car at any price tag.
5. Mosler Consulier GTPFollowing his tremendous success in bond trading, Warren Mosler decided to develop the fastest street-legal track car on the market: The Mosler Consulier GTP. The Consulier GTP had a monocoque design featuring components from a Chrysler minivan and other vehicles not becoming of a supercar. This resulted in a fiberglass-bodied supercar that had an outstanding power-to-weight ratio, powered by a coarse 2.2-liter turbocharged four-cylinder, which was also used in the Pentastar K-car. One of the faults of this car is its appearance, which didn’t improve even though the car stayed on the market for years with other changes being made. They all looked to be duplicates of the original model. It is considered one of the ugliest cars ever, resembling something from an East German kit-car company. Apart from the poor exterior, the interior is also not one that you would want to look at twice. Most of the remaining models of this car were sold in 2014. The only perk it offers is that it has overwhelming speed. Even still, it was banned from racing, so it really can’t be legally used for anything practical, assuming you don't just want to have something ugly and expensive to park on your driveway. Needless to say, it is not a smart investment in our opinion.
6. Lamborghini EgoistaMost people would probably find it unbelievable and quite fascinating to learn that only one Lamborghini Egoista exists. Produced in 2013, the Egoista was a birthday present Lamborghini awarded itself during its 50th anniversary. This project was the idea of Volkswagen Group Chief Designer, Walter de Silva. It featured a 447kW V10, and the design was intended to resemble a jet fighter. Being a birthday gift, you would expect it to be a top-end product, uniquely designed to suit the occasion. However, that’s not the case. The Egoista had its own faults, earning it a place on this list. Aside from looking more like a Hot Wheels toy, the designer of the car tried to emulate the nose to a Formula 1 vehicle, which did not complement the car’s overall look. Some reviewers have remarked that the air vents and design lines on this car are terrible. The harshest critics branded it gruesome and some said that they would ask Lamborghini to add an ejector seat to the car should they have bought it. Luckily, you won’t face the dilemma of buying this one since there’s only one on the planet and we’re sure Lamborghini will keep it that way.
7. Vector W2Jerry Wiegert’s Vector W2 surprised the automotive world with its 1970s Star Trek inspired style. Nothing like the W2 has ever been made before and if you have seen it, count yourself lucky. The W2 was developed in 1980 and boasted a top speed of 230 mph, a time when the fastest Lamborghini could almost manage 200 mph. Sadly, the W2 failed to reach its claimed speed of 230 mph due to the very reasons that earn it a spot on this list. Ideally, its chiselled and dated style hides a pedestrian GM small-block V-8, Turbo Hydra-Matic three-speed automatic. It features a simple power train, but you would have to be an automotive tech pro to understand the W2’s dashboard, which had every imaginable vehicle data such as transmission oil pressure and fuel pressure. Wiegert struggled to update the single model he designed amidst battles with his business partners and spending too much time trying to win investors. It took nine years for Wiegert to develop another model, the W8—another car that could live on this list.
8. Qvale MangustaOne would argue that the Mangusta, valued at up to $117,000, isn’t really a sports car. The story surrounding this sports car is rather awkward. Marcello Gandini, the automotive designer of Lancia Stratos and the Lamborghini Miura, designed a Ford Mustang-based Targa. Initially, it was known as the De Tomaso Biguà, but it lost that name. From there, it was later renamed Mangusta, after the project ran out of funds and was financed and taken over by Kjell Qvale, a California-based business executive. Following three years of negative reviews and substandard sales, MG Rover bought the rights to the Mangusta. There, it was transformed into the bulky MG XPower SV, a sports car that failed to attain its advertised figures. Additionally, its carbon-fiber panels had excess resin, making its weight completely unsafe to drive. The automotive market offers several Mustang-based derivatives, but the Qvale Mangusta is one that you shouldn’t even consider thinking about. With several misfortunes right from its development, this supercar is really an epic fail.
9. Panther 6The designer and founder of Panther Westwinds, Robert Jankel, produced the Panther 6 in 1977. It featured a Cadillac-sourced 500-cubic-inch V-8, which allowed the car to hold a 200 mph top speed. The most interesting thing is that it had six wheels, taking the inspiration from the contemporary six-wheeled Tyrrell P34 F1 racecar. The original Panther was designed in 1971, but, by the time the Panther 6 appeared at the London Motorfair, it still was not production ready. The Panther 6 allegedly had 600 horses under the hood with a three speed automatic transmission. It had a showy drop top along with other 1970s concept-car gimmicks such as a TV, a phone and digital instrumentation. Unfortunately, it was a complete failure and the automaker only sold two units. Unsurprisingly, the finances of the company ran dry and the Panther 6 didn’t make it to production.
10. Jaguar XJ220Jaguar introduced the XJ220 in 1988 as an all-wheel-drive, V-12-powered concept. This prompted Jaguar enthusiasts to immediately take notice and make deposits on the promised model. Unfortunately, these people ended up getting cars that were exceptionally different from the concept. This supercar is not just any V12, but a substantial redevelopment of a decades-old engine designed for racing. The XJ220 had a displacement of 6.2 liters, with four valves per cylinder and two overhead cams. It topped out at 213 mph, becoming the fastest production car of its time. Four years after the concept’s debut, the XJ220 hit the streets equipped with a more superficial power train that featured a turbocharged V-6 and rear-wheel drive. In the midst of the XJ220’s development, the engineering team announced the development of another expensive supercar, the XJR-15. This edition came with the V-12, which the XJ220 lacked. This led to many customers cancelling their contracts. It was not just the absence of the V-12 that messed up the XJ220, but a process characterized by misunderstandings and poor planning. There are claims that one Jaguar XJ220 was left to rot in the Qatari desert.
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