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Old 17 Jan 2018, 16:21 (Ref:3793343)   #1
Mike Bell
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Cars that were too clever for their own good....

To explain that title, I read in several places recently that the BMW i3 is unlikely to be directly replaced at the end of it's model 'cycle'. Possibly the i8 also. Ignoring the fact that the former is a BEV or range extender EV, it's a very advanced car regardless, with carbon fibre 'life cell' (body), aluminium and magnesium underpinnings, a high proportion of recycled materials with futuristic design for the interior, and extremely high build quality. Both it and the i8 are assembled in a 'carbon neutral' facility, and the CF for the bodies is produced by the same company that produces it for Boeing and others, their factory being hydro-electric powered.

So why is it unlikely to be replaced with anything so clever. Must be cost? My guess is that BMW will produce a single platform that can be used for Electric, Hybrid or ICE power, and that will appear under a range of more conventional (build and looks) cars. Higher volume and lower cost....

That got me thinking about other cars that were advanced for their time but never replaced at the end of their model cycle. Audi A2 anyone? (Not the current thing!) I drove one in period, and it was so good in many ways, which is why a pristine used one is very saleable now. It pioneered the use of a full aluminium monocoque in a small mass produced car, but apparently was extremely expensive to produce. That made it relatively costly to buy and not a good profit maker (if at all). No doubt it's non conventional looks lost a few sales as well, and perhaps that is working against the i3 also....

There must be other cars that never succeeded, despite their credentials, or never 'caught on' with the buying public.......?
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 19:17 (Ref:3793390)   #2
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Graz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Citroen DS maybe?
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 19:39 (Ref:3793394)   #3
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Citroen DS maybe?
Yes and no, probably! It was replaced (after 20 yrs?) by the CX which was still pretty advanced. My choice of Citroen that gets closest to the title would be the rotary engined GS Birotor, which leads to another candidate, the NSU RO80! Still looks good today......
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 19:47 (Ref:3793397)   #4
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Citroen DS maybe?
A massively advanced car for its time - it was released before the A55 Austin Cambridge - but they did sell 1½ million of them!

I offer the Aston Martin Lagonda - complete with cathode ray tube instruments. Just 645 made (I'm slightly surprised it's that many!!)
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 21:35 (Ref:3793426)   #5
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 21:44 (Ref:3793430)   #6
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grantp should be qualifying in the top 5 on the gridgrantp should be qualifying in the top 5 on the grid
Citroen SM.
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Old 17 Jan 2018, 23:30 (Ref:3793445)   #7
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I'm not sure how advanced y'all would consider it, but the VW Phaeton comes to mind.
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 09:58 (Ref:3793530)   #8
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While neither the Citroen SM or VW Phaeton moved the game on tech wise, they were both designed to push their manufacturer into a different market, and weren’t particularly successful at doing so. Both ‘glorious failures’ in my book, but the Phaeton did begat the Bentley Continental GT, so we’ve that to be grateful for! IMHO the VW is a very handsome car, like the original Audi A8, and if in need of anything that big, would be a good used purchase....
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 12:41 (Ref:3793553)   #9
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Graz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the gridGraz should be qualifying in the top 3 on the grid
Got one - the Amphicar!!
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 13:20 (Ref:3793560)   #10
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Got one - the Amphicar!!
And it had everything going for it- gawky looks, Triumph Herald mechanicals, steel construction. I’m sure I’ve heard it described as having the worst of both worlds- poor road car and rubbish boat....... But, it did attempt to give us something no other car of the era did, so definitely too clever for its own good!

Was there ever a production ‘flying car’? I’m sure some prototypes have emerged since the 1950s, and the idea is still being mooted......
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 18:59 (Ref:3793609)   #11
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GM EV1 would have to rank up there. So I took to the Google's and Road and Track had this article


http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...of-their-time/
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 20:12 (Ref:3793625)   #12
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Á propos the Citroen DS

http://www.coys.co.uk/cars/1963-citr...let-by-chapron
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 20:57 (Ref:3793629)   #13
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GM EV1 would have to rank up there.
It certainly was well ahead of it’s time. Still looks pretty futuristic now! Some good info here- https://www.digitaltrends.com/cars/h...-of-electrics/ This also worth a read- http://www.ev1.org Politics seem to have helped the EV1s demise.....


The Road and Track article has another contender, in this case a hybrid- the original Honda Insight. Like the EV1, a two seater coupe with faired in rear wheels that has a developed a bit of a cult following now. I also remember one competing in tarmac rallying in the U.K.! Only 250 were sold here, but considerably more in the USA. Thanks to Road and Track again- http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...data-obsessed/
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 21:19 (Ref:3793632)   #14
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GM EV1 would have to rank up there. So I took to the Google's and Road and Track had this article


http://www.roadandtrack.com/car-cult...of-their-time/
There is a documentary about that called 'Who Killed the Electric Car".
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Old 18 Jan 2018, 21:22 (Ref:3793634)   #15
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OOOOoooo, I got one! The 1962-64 Chrysler Turbine.

Here's an old Jay Leno's Garage on the subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b2A5ijU3Ivs
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