Postscript to “Cars whose performance don’t live up to their looks”

Last week, we asked you to nominate cars whose performance don’t live up to their looks, providing the lovely MG MGB GT as our own example. Here are the ones you chose.

Triumph Spitfire and GT6:

Karmann Ghia:

Porsche 912:

DeLorean DMC-12:

Volvo 480:

Alpine A310:

AC Cobra (MkI):

Toyota Corolla GT-S (AE86):

In the end, though… live and let drive. After all, three of our most recent guest contributors are MX-5, 912, and AE86 owners respectively, so that should tell you how we approach raw numbers generally 🙂 It’s about smiles per hour – not miles per hour – and as long as the car delivers in that department, we’re happy.

~ by velofinds on April 9, 2013.

14 Responses to “Postscript to “Cars whose performance don’t live up to their looks””

  1. Totally agreed on most, but above all, the Alpine.

    The Toyota AE86 never lied about it’s humble origins, but a certain anime filled people’s minds with false promises that it was a fast car.

    And I think you guys forgot mentioning the Mustang II “Cobra II” and many other late 70s American “”muscle”” cars (only the TransAm could be considered a decent example at the time).

    • No, because the Mustang II was never anything to look at, either 😛

      • BOOM! true 😦


        PS: AC Cobra MkIs were the early 260ci one or the 289s? cos if you guys meant the (iirc) 2 liter engines, those were when they were all AC produced -they sourced an engine from another British manufacturer which I can’t recall now-. V8s only came when Shelby shipped the chassis overseas.

    • The Alpine and the DeLorean are in the same boat. Supercar looks with an emissions choked v6 born of a joint venture by then-struggling automakers. Then again that same engine was the block-base for my all-time favorite racecar, the Alfa 155 v6 Ti. Of course the only things that carried over were the bore spacing and the 90 degree configuration, but the inspiration is there. Kinda like how the Metro 6R4’s engine is really a cut down Cosworth v8.

      The 310 wasn’t a stellar successor to the 110, but what could follow that class act? The handling of a Mini Cooper 1275 with about the same power motivating the rear swing axle? Yes please.

      • The Alfa 155 V6 Ti used a thoroughly worked over version of the Alfa Romeo Arese (or Busso) V6, which had nothing to do with the PRV V6, and is widely credited as being one of the best V6s of all time. The PRV, on the other hand, is often regarded as rather lacklustre. Completely different beasts.

        • Ah, well, shows what I know. Can’t believe everything you read, thanks for setting me straight.

  2. Oh and another example, although I love it and hope I own one some day:

    Autozam/Mazda AZ-1 (AKA Suzuki Cara), among other “sporty” Kei cars

    • When you have to mount the radio vertically, you know you’re in a small car…

      • Haha, nice that you noticed! I think it all adds up to the charms of this micro car. I am very partial to it cos I love minimalist sports cars.

        Still, I’ve seen vids of some with more than a 100hp and they are a pretty serious contender on twisty and mountain roads.

        And that three cyl turbo engine at 9k, even from stock sounds like a smaller version of a racing 911 turbo at full chat… =)

  3. I fell under the spell of the ol’ Brit cars and had a slew of under performers that (at least to me) were stunners but seriously under powered. The GT6, TR7, TR6 (but that was in dire need of a tune up)…loved them all, had fun in all and in the end isn’t that what it’s all about?

  4. Malaise era corvettes were massively underpowered but still styled to look fast.

  5. GT6 have one bog slow, hard to get into, warm in winter roasting in summer but very pretty.

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