Some of them are very successful, but others prove to be a complete failure
Cars are sophisticated machines, but some of them, in an attempt penetration of the market, are on a new level. Sometimes it turns out to be a successful move, but another time – not so much. There are models that are not only very sophisticated but also offer great design. With the help of Autocar, we present you a selection, with cars sorted in chronological order.
Ford Fairlane 500 Skyliner (1957)
If you want to know who is the first coupe-convertible, here’s the answer. Over 45,000 units have been sold from this model, and it is also an innovator in terms of the roof, which is the first one with more than one section. This is what makes it very complicated from mechanisms. It requires 7 reversing mechanisms, 4 rollers, 10 solenoids, 10 stops, and 4 locking mechanisms. The cables in the car have a length of 185 meters, which further complicates this model and makes it difficult to put it on the market.
Rover P6 (1963)
Rover was known for its simple and sturdy cars, but that changed precisely P6. The model is targeted at young managers, offering superior management and high safety. This is also due to the design of the bodywork, which has been designed to easily change the various details. The same can not be said about the suspension, however, which has a complicated construction. The distance between the wheels (sideways) is increased so that a GM’s 3.5-liter V6 engine can be fitted, changing due to the large turbine.
Mercedes-Benz 600 (1964)
Undoubtedly, this is one of the most sophisticated technical cars ever produced. It features pneumatic suspension, double heating system and vacuum pumps for the operation of electric windows and central locking. To this is added the system of fuel injection from Bosch. The model became very popular thanks to the high quality of the production, becoming the main choice of a number of world leaders until its suspension in 1981. Currently, the well-maintained Mercedes-Benz 600 in the Pullman version can be sold up to 80,000 pounds.
Citroën SM (1970)
SM is the result of the purchase of Maserati in 1968. The Citroen uses the 2.7-liter V6 of the Italian company, but also the company’s hydro-pneumatic suspension and braking system. The system of headlights, steering, and instrumentation is quite complex. In general, the SM is as modern and complex as it is easily fragile. This means regular and expensive maintenance – both the engine and the suspension. After all, Citroën quickly gives up this “too smart”, as the media at that time calls it.
Aston Martin Lagonda (1976)
Aston Martin relies on the best technology to create Lagonda more than 40 years ago. At that time, the average price in the UK was 13,000 pounds, but this car costs nearly 2 times more – 24,570 pounds. It has touch-sensitive panels instead of buttons and a digital display instead of analogue. Many rich clients want that, but the problem is that all of these technologies are not that reliable. They are quickly spoiled, and their repair is quite expensive. This made Aston Martin simplify Lagonda’s interior, but that did not help. Only 645 units have been sold out of the model.
Mitsubishi 3000GT (1990)
This coupe has a four-wheel drive controlled by electronic suspension and active aerodynamics, and Mitsubishi’s idea is to create and sell a successful competitor to the Porsche 944 and Toyota Supra. Under its lid is a 3.0-liter V6 engine that offers an excellent 300-horsepower performance. Overall, however, there are too many technologies here, which leads to a decline in quality. Problems appear with the elements of active aerodynamics. Curiously, today’s car enjoys good demand in the secondary market.
Subaru SVX (1991)
The Subaru tries to offset the decline in XT sales with a new model – SVX. The idea is to place the new car in the Nissan 300ZX and Toyota Supra, and the model is equipped with a 3.3-liter 6-cylinder engine with 230 hp and a four-wheel drive system. Customers are cautious, however, because the car is quite expensive and there are a lot of problems for both the engine and the transmission, as well as the windows. After all, the complicated and expensive SVX is quickly forgotten after the Impreza Turbo.
Jaguar XJ220 (1992)
The differences between the concept and the reality of the Jaguar XJ220 are well documented and it all comes down to complexity. The original prototype has a V12 engine and four-wheel drive, but turning it into reality is becoming a problem, all the more so that the company has no experience with 4×4 systems. The V12 is too large to be placed in the middle and replaced with V6. This necessitates changes in almost all systems, leading to complex technical solutions. The produced cars prove to be quite difficult to maintain, although they are actually much simpler than the concept.
Porsche 911 Targa (1996)
The Targa version has always been interesting because of the decision to breathe fresh air while driving a car that is not the traditional roof cabriolet. In the early versions, the roof mechanism is simplified, but then the company begins to put a glass ceiling that slides. This creates serious problems for most of the car owners who frankly complain about the roof of their car.
Peugeot 206 CC (2000)
The Mercedes SLK was the first model to make the coupe-cabriolet look attractive, but it was the Peugeot 206 CC since 2000 that it was made in the form of a mass car. For 15,500 euros you can enjoy the silence and comfort of the cabin or just a push of a button you can breathe fresh air as the roof disappears. Peugeot sells more than 360,000 units, but the problem here is the roof construction, produced by Heuliez. Because of faulty locks, it sometimes does not come back. Damage to the device switches when lifting or lowering. The roof itself is also a problem because it misses the rain.
Volkswagen Phaeton (2002)
Volkswagen set a very ambitious target with the launch of Phaeton, and the car had to be able to move at a speed of 186 km / h (115mph) at an ambient temperature of 50 degrees Celsius while maintaining a cool cabin. This is a great result, but it was achieved thanks to the 6.0-liter W12 engine, which was later also put on the Bentley Continental GT. The sedan has a further adjustable hitch, special automatic gearbox switches and a center console display that is now widespread, but at that time it’s hardly seen on other models. Ultimately, however, buyers were clearly afraid of these high technologies, as they were put on a VW model and turned to other premium brands.
Bugatti Veyron (2005)
It’s hardly surprising that the Bugatti Veyron is an extremely sophisticated machine whose main goal is to develop 420 km / h (260 mph). This is done with the help of an 8.0-liter W16 engine with 4 turbines, which develops 1184 hp. It is coupled with a 7-speed gearbox with two clutches, a four-wheel drive system and a rear spoiler acting as an air brake. This whole system generates enormous heat and must, therefore, be connected to a large number of radiator coolers. As a result, the car has 3 engine radiators plus others for the transmission. There are also oil coolers of the transmission and the oil in the engine. No wonder the engine service costs about $ 20,000.
Lexus LFA (2010)
LFA is one of the most exciting cars ever made. It is powered by a 4.8-liter naturally aspirated V10 with 553 hp power that is developed with Yamaha. This engine rotates so fast that the digital rev counter cannot handle it (at least so in Lexus). Only 500 units have been made and the parent company Toyota has announced that the LFA will serve as a starting point for future sports models over the next 25 years. This also explains the very complex construction of the radiators mounted behind the rear wheels and the turbines that pull the hot air from the braking system.