1. De Tomaso Pantera
What do you get when you combine an Italian sports car built by an ex-racer and a Yankee Ford V8? The Pantera (and, if you’re Elvis, a new target for shooting).
De Tomaso and Ford teamed up in the early 1970s to produce a mid-engine sports car that was affordable. The project seemed like a good idea—Italian styling and American power? It could work. When the Pantera debuted, it caused a sensation; however, it soon became apparent that the product of this union was extremely unreliable.
Elvis’ Pantera refused to start one day. He shot it…
The Pantera was plagued by shoddy construction, an over-heating engine, complicated wiring, and expensive repairs. It also had a penchant for drinking oil… Ultimately, the ailing Italian-American monster was killed by the gas crisis. Ford stopped importing the car in 1975.
2. 1980 Ferrari Mondial 8
When you think of Ferrari, you think of an elegant car with luscious lines inside and out and an intimidating, throaty growl. This wasn’t reality with the Mondial 8.Sporting a lower price tag, the Mondial 8 was designed to appeal to a larger swath of buyers. However, it seems that in conjunction with decreasing the price, Ferrari also lowered some of its standards. Although the Mondial 8 enjoyed great popularity, it was a bit lacking in the style and performance departments and was a poor specimen for a supercar. The engine wasn’t anything to write home about—in fact in only produced 214 horsepower–and the body was well, meh. Frankly, it was forgettable and uninspiring.
3. 1991 DeLorean DMC-12
Produced: 1981-1983 (original run)
Does this car really need an introduction? The DeLorean DMC-12 is famous for its silver screen portrayal of the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future, equipped with a magical flux capacitor and spacey gull-wing doors.
Unfortunately, the real-life DeLorean was a lot less stellar compared to the movie version. Obviously, it couldn’t fly and the flux capacitor didn’t power the car, but DeLorean didn’t do itself any favors by stocking the real-life DMC-12 with a tame V6 capable of a disappointing 130 horsepower (U.S. emissions regulations are partly to blame). The DMC-12’s handling and performance were also lackluster and the price tag a bit too steep. Sales were slow. Eventually, DeLorean went bankrupt.
4. Lambo Egoista
Produced: Only 1 in 2013 (thank goodness)
This Lamborghini monstrosity was actually a concept car that Lambo gifted to itself (good, we don’t want it) on its 50th anniversary. The design of the car is largely inspired by fighter jets and charging bulls. The car exterior is made up of aerodynamic panels that move and adjust to optimize stability and downforce (think moving panels on planes). Much of the car is made of antiradar material. In staying with its logo, the profile of the car is meant to resemble a “bull ready to charge.” Okay, sure.Although equipped with some serious power, like a 5.2L V10 engine capable of 600 horsepower, this crazy Lamborghini should stay off the road. Uncontrollable bouts of laughter and confusion could cause accidents.
5. 1992 Jaguar XJ220
Although a flop, at least the mission behind this supercar was noble: to create a modern version of the infamous Jaguars that raced at the 24 Hours of Le Mans during the 1950s and 1960s. The XJ220 concept car debuted in 1988—and would-be buyers were ecstatic. Slated to have a V12 engine and 4-wheel drive, many a deposit was taken on the future street cat.
Unfortunately, the Jaguar XJ220 that was finally produced for consumers performed more like a cub than a rabid Jaguar. The V12 was knocked down to a turbo-charged V6 and the planned four-wheel drive changed to rear-wheel drive. Oh, did I mention there was a recession?
Some buyers panicked and attempted to cancel their orders. In the end, only a few hundred were ever built.
6. Vector W2
The Vector W2 was a concept car created by Vector Motors in the early 1980s. The spacey design made the automotive world ooh and ahh, but the claim that the car could reach 230 mph (besting some of the fastest cars of the time) really made jaws drop. The W2 logged thousands of miles in testing, was frequently covered by the top automotive magazines, and even appeared on Top Gear; however the show was not allowed to perform a speed test to check if the car really was capable of 230 mph. Fishy?
The W2 project never got off the ground. Only one was ever made.
7. Panther Westwinds Panther 6
Yes, my convertible needs six wheels. What of it?
The innovative Panther 6 was produced for only two years—and only two were made. (I wonder why…) Inspired by the Tyrrell P34, a six-wheeled Formula One car that raced in the late 1970s, the Panther 6 also pushed the boundaries of design. In addition to its six wheels, the Panther 6 also came equipped with a TV, phone, and an automative fire extinguisher. Perhaps the latter was in case the Panther 6 got into a drag race with the Vector W2 and crashed?
Panther Westwinds claimed that the Panther 6’s 500-cubic-inch V8 (allegedly capable of 600 horsepower) could reach a top speed of 200mph. This would have been pretty impressive for a boat-like convertible. The Panther 6’s speed claims were never officially confirmed.
8. Covini C6W
(Not surprisingly) the Covini C6W was also inspired by the Tyrrell P34. Like the Panther 6, the Covini project began in the mid-1970s but was abandoned soon after. Plans for the Italian six-wheeler sat untouched for years until they were revived in the early 2000s. The C6W debuted as a concept car in 2004 and went into limited production in 2005. Although the Covini packed a punch — a 4.2L V8 engine and a top speed of 186mph — it failed to take off. Less than ten are made each year.Some things are just meant to be left alone. I’m looking at you, Tyrrell P34.
9. Vector W8
Vector’s second chance at supercar-dom came in the form of the W8. It gets more points than its father, the W2, because it did actually make it to production and proved itself to be wicked fast. The W8 had an estimated top speed of 220mph, but is said to have passed a whopping 240 mph in actual testing. Impressive.
Despite its speed, the W8 lands on this list because of its unreliability. All-star tennis player Andre Agassi purchased a W8 but upon taking delivery, the new car failed and required repairs. The bad press mounted.
Only nineteen W8s were produced before the project collapsed.
10. Ferrari FXX
I have no beef with the Ferrari FXX in the style or capabilities departments; it is interesting to look at and is very fast. However, this member of the Ferrari stable is on this list because it has “special requirements.” Wanna-be owners can “buy” the car but are only allowed to drive it when Ferrari says they can. Oh, and it can only be driven on a track.
The words “supercar” and “rules” just don’t go together. Not super.