TopGear Top 9

Top Gear (Malaysia) - - Contents -

VAUX­HALL ADAM ROCKS

Last month, Vaux­hall an­nounced it was tak­ing the Adam Rocks off sale af­ter three years. It turned out no one wanted a ‘pre­mium’ Vaux­hall su­per­mini with ex­tra ride height and wannabe rufty-tufty­ness. Just as we thought when it was launched.

RE­NAULT VEL SATIS

Big French cars have been a sales black hole since the Eight­ies. “But maybe,” thought Re­nault, “dress­ing up an exec barge as a bizarrelook­ing hatch will fool ev­ery­one!” It didn’t. The car lasted three years in the UK, with sales just top­ping 1,000.

AS­TON MAR­TIN VI­RAGE

As­ton knew this was a DB9 with Rapide lights. So did we. But the com­pany thought that this sub-DBS, su­per-DB9 niche-filler was a ge­nius range sweet spot. Eigh­teen months later, As­ton qui­etly canned it. Hate to say we told you so...

MERCEDES R-CLASS

Merc was ahead of the SUV boom curve, with its M-Class in 1997. Drunk with suc­cess, it tried flog­ging this hideous six-seat MPV in 2006, and pre­dictably killed it off in 2013 ev­ery­where bar China. Not even the V8 AMG could re­deem it.

VAUX­HALL MERIVA VXR

Pre-point­less crossovers, Vaux­hall liked to VXR ev­ery­thing in sight, from the Zafira MPV to the of­fice lunch trol­ley. It plopped a 178bhp turbo en­gine in the Meriva OAP-mo­bile, and was re­warded with 272 sales in four years. Who’d have guessed?

MG XPOWER SV

Be­lea­guered MG’s hodge­podge of an out­dated Ital­ian chas­sis and asth­matic 4.6-litre Mus­tang V8 barely stood a chance against the might of Porsche and BMW. Only 82 were ever made. MG went bust. Not ex­actly money well spent.

LO­TUS EUROPA

In 2006 Lo­tus res­ur­rected a clas­sic name and fixed it to an Elise dressed up on a big­ger, uglier body. Car­pets and ex­tra leather were dot­ted about the cabin. Would you be­lieve it? The £33k odd­ity was dropped af­ter four years and min­i­mal sales...

CHEVRO­LET SSR

As sales bombs go, the Chevy SSR takes some beat­ing. A pickup truck with RWD, no off-road­ing abil­ity, a thirsty V6 and a fold­ing hard-top roof, it failed so hard there were fac­tory lay­offs. Chevy ad­mit­ted de­feat in 2006, just 9,000 sales up.

RE­NAULT AVANTIME

“Learn our les­son?” said Re­nault. “That’s just what they’d ex­pect us to do.” So we got the mad Avantime coupe-MPV thing, which lasted three years, and found 8,557 folks to buy it in that time. A fu­ture clas­sic – if it doesn’t break down.

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