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Saturday, September 5, 2015

Another 10 Forgotten Supercars (Part-2)

Everyone wants to be a supercar maker, but few ever get the chance to make it big. Pagani and Koenigsegg have proved that you can come from nowhere and give the big boys a run for their money; but they're the exception that proves the rule.

There are far more that never make it though, destined for obscurity thanks to a lack of heritage, poor marketing or just plain bad engineering. Here are just a few of our favourites that fell by the wayside - some you'll have forgotten about but we suspect you've never even heard of most of them. Here are the 2nd list of another 10 forgotten supercars:

6. Nissan Mid-4
If you need proof that a car's badge can hold it back, here it is. If the Mid-4 had carried Porsche badges, the factory would have been running flat out, but sadly it wasn't to be. Nissan produced a trio of mid-engined four-wheel drive supercar proposals, the first appearing in 1985; production was promised for 1986.
1987 Nissan Mid-4. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1KoxbY5)
In 1987 a fresh prototype was shown, still powered by the 300ZX's twin-turbo 3-litre V6, but that was stillborn too. The final Mid-4 was shown in 1990; Nissan proposed taking the car upmarket with more power and a 4.5-litre V8. But the global economy went into meltdown and the project stalled.

7. Parradine 525S
John Parradine's father built a mechanized full-scale elephant robot in 1949, powered by a Ford four-cylinder. This auspicious piece of history is responsible for the new company's elephant mascot and perhaps for the fitment of a 4.6-liter 32-valve Ford V-8 in this new roadster.
2000 Parradine 525S. (Picture from:http://bit.ly/1JIF3gx)
A centrifugal supercharger boosts the Parradine 525S's output to 525 hp and 460 pound-feet of torque. Just $160,000 will buy this, er, beauty, which boasts the first production use of cameras and a monitor to replace all the rear-view mirrors -- a curious choice in a retractable hardtop roadster with such generally good visibility. 

8. Qvale Mangusta
Remember the MG SV and SVR carbon-fibre supercars? Well, that project started out as the De Tomaso Bigua, before becoming the Qvale Mangusta and then the MG X80. So that's four name tags and investment on the part of three companies, yet total production barely got into three figures.
2000 Qvale Mangusta. (Picture from:http://bit.ly/1KBooAF)
Although the branding changed along with the styling, all cars shared the same 4.6-litre quad-cam Ford-sourced V8, chucking out 320 bhp, to give a top speed of around 150 mph. It didn't take long for Qvale to see that the sums didn't add up though, quickly offloading the project to MG-Rover - and the rest is history.

9. Spiess TC522
If you're a German company best known for making industrial grade transformers - so nothing to do with cars - what do you do for an encore? Go into the supercar business it would seem.
1992 Spiess TC522. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1N6lg1x)
Or not in the case of Spiess, which unveiled a 500 bhp twin-turbo 5.7-litre V8 hypercar in 1992. There was a carbon-fibre bodyshell, a six-speed transmission and a true supercar-style cab-forward design, but Spiess suffered from the age-old problem that affects all young supercar builders; how do you get the punters to part with the readies? With the TC522 weighing in at £362,000, it's no surprise the project died before it ever got going.

10. Vector W8
There's a school of thought that says America's only proper supercar is the Corvette. However, not only is there the Saleen S7, but in the 1990s there was another contender; the Vector W8. As long ago as 1977 the Vector Aeromotive W2 debuted, its designer Gerry Wiegert being obsessed with aeronautical technology - which is why the car was priced at $450,000 when it finally went on sale in 1991.
1990 Vector W8. (Picture from: http://bit.ly/1LQ4cMK)
At the heart of the W8 was a turbocharged 600 bhp 6-litre V8, supposedly giving a 200 mph top speed. Despite the price tag, 14 were sold before the car was superseded by the WX-3 in 1992 - priced at $765,000. (Wanna see another 5 forgotten supercars). *** [EKA | FROM VARIOUS SOURCES]
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