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Cars that died in 2017 that we’ll miss

We remember the models that went to the great garage in the sky in 2017

  1. Aston Martin V12 Vantage

    As the new, twin-turbo AMG V8 Vantage storms in, out sidles the peak of the old baby Aston range, with the naturally aspirated 5.9-litre V12 and a seven-speed manual gearbox, good for over 200mph, and requiring balls of steel to actually extract that.

    This is big-engine-in-little-car hot-rodding at its finest. But fear not, Aston won’t admit it yet, but it’s already measuring up the new Vantage’s engine bay to slot in the DB11’s turbocharged V12. That might make this goodbye a little easier to bear. 

    Chris Harris pits the V12 Vantage against the Porsche 911 R

  2. Vauxhall VXR8

    It wasn’t just the V8 Holden that 2017 claimed – it was all Australian carmaking. A sad end to the rare, mad, super-friendly Monaro and Ute muscle cars that made it over to our shores wearing the griffin badge.

    New cars like this with their enormous V8s, leaving black 11s and plumes of smoke wherever they went, are suddenly an endangered species. The world will be a quieter, but sadder place without them. Drift in peace, mates.

    We drive the final, quite mad VXR8 GTS-R

  3. Suzuki Swift Sport

    The very last nat-asp hot hatch (well, warmish at least) quietly disappeared in 2017, making way for the new 1.4-litre turbo version with similar power, more torque and less weight.

    We’re excited about the prospect of a swifter Swift, of course, but we’ll miss the infectious enthusiasm and honesty of the old car, as well as wringing its neck just to beat a headwind.

    Why we’ll miss the Suzuki Swift Sport in full

  4. Ford Fiesta ST

    2017 also called time on the best small hot hatch, full stop. The Fiesta ST was an affordable, chuckable, quick tonic. No adjustable dampers or sport modes, just set up brilliantly straight out of the box.

    Quite firm, mind, and not especially pretty, but a few minutes behind the wheel and you couldn’t care less. Will the new 3cyl, three-driving-mode one improve on an unbeatable formula? It’s not a given.

    We wave a full goodbye to the Ford Fiesta ST

  5. Land Rover Discovery 4

    The new Disco is an incredibly capable machine, but its lopsided styling, huge size and Range Rover copy/paste interior that’s left trailing by the likes of the Volvo XC90 and Audi Q7 leave us with a pang for this slab-sided old one.

    It’s objectively a worse car – heavier, thirstier, simpler electronics. And yet somehow that doesn’t matter a jot. What a character. RIP old friend.

    Why the old Land Rover Disco was so good

  6. Citroen C4 Cactus

    Citroen’s facelifted the quirky C4 Cactus. And totally ruined it. The flush nose has sprouted grilles, the roof rails are deleted, and the iconic Airbumps are mostly erased except for some afterthoughts down by the sills.

    What were you thinking Citroen? Just as your design language is starting to exude just the right amount of Gallic flair, you take a step in the wrong direction. Merde.

    Reminisce about the old C4 Cactus here

  7. Subaru WRX STI

    After a disastrous rethink of the fast Impreza into a hideous hatch, Subaru U-turned with WRX STI (no Impreza name) and gave us a boxer-engined 4x4 saloon with a big wing. It’s a formula that worked for them for so long, but sadly tastes and technology have moved on, leaving the WRX STI as a bit of a 90s relic.

    We’ll be blaming the onslaught of Golf Rs and Audi RS3s – more modern, practical takes on the four-wheel drive rocket formula - for ending the STI’s career in Europe.

    We drive Subaru’s goodbye, the WRX STI Final Edition, here

  8. Mercedes CLS Shooting Brake

    With the new CLS four-door saloon imminent, the Shooting Brake estate is not long for this world, and we’ve heard it’s unlikely to be replaced, as it only sold in decent numbers in Germany and the UK.

    This irks us. What’s not to like about a car that has a boot fit for your dog and a roofline fit for the drag strip? Oh, and the option of a massively impractical, £4,000 American cherry wood boot floor? Damn you, rise of the SUV…

    Here’s the time Merc’s Shooting Brake takes on Jaguar’s

  9. Dodge Viper

    On 31 August, the third-gen Viper, an American icon of the very highest order, was culled. Slow sales of the 8.3-litre V10 monster, despite the emergence of the spectacular ACR track-focused version, put paid to one of the most recognisable muscle cars of the past 25 years.

    Will we ever see the Viper name again? Who knows, but in the meantime we’ve got the new Corvette ZR1 to keep the American bang-for-your-buck supercar train rolling. 

    Chris Harris takes on the 645bhp Dodge Viper ACR

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