Making a car which becomes iconic is every motor manafacturers dream, but at some stage that iconic creation has to be replaced. This means stepping out onto a stage to unveil a car which is to replace something which people have memories and emotions invested in. Not easy, but don’t make it any harder for yourself than these manafacturers did, here are the worst follow ups in automotive history:
Let’s start with the most iconic name of all; Mustang! The original swept a nation away and became synonymous, the world over as the ultimate sports car. So the second coming had a lot of live up to, along came the Mustang 2! Oh! Unfortunately the 70s weren’t a kind time for American car design, whilst the 50s and 60s had been a riot of angles and curves the 70s was a great time to be a bit square, and in the process take away all that was great from the original mustang. Such was the difficulty of replacing that iconic shape, the mustang didn’t really recover until some time in the 2000s, just look at the 1980 Sierra looking Mustang.
Keeping the 70s American theme, everyone remembers the film Bullet. Steve Mcqueen, Mustang vs Charger. The charger looking as mean as the shotgun carrying men behind the wheel. Tough act to follow, and as it proved, too tough. What came was a car so ugly that even the advertising department decided to promote driving it only at night.
Triumph always had a reputation for creating great little sports cars, and the TR label had proven greatly successful culminating in the tr6. Triumph has always had a great design balance of straight edges and curves to create the perfect masculine and feminine balance in a car, see the Triumph Stag for instance. So why they decided when replacing the tr6 to challenge themselseves to only use a ruler, and even more so to base the whole design on a piece of cheese, is anyone’s guess. The advert declared this was the shape of things to come, unfortunately for triumph that meant going bust.
The inimical Mini, so good numerous manafacturers as part of British Leyland decided to never replace it. The mini just went on and on for over 30 years, the same basic design was just tweaked and updated slightly. A car that had taken a whole country by storm and whom the whole country had taken to its heart, was now being replaced and the result was underwhelming. The Mini Metro was boxy, had none of the handling prowess of the mini and was made by the people who brought you the allegro.
The final car on the list is a contentious one (some may be thinking the others were). The XJS itself isn’t such a bad car. However it’s predecessor was so good, the fabulous E Type, the XJS just looks like a slightly awkward relative next to it, it’s the Khloe Kardashian of the car world. The XJS wasn’t helped by its largely shoddy build quality at the time, and it’s just slightly awkward looking appearance. At times you will see an XJS and think it looks quite good, then you will see another one and for some reason it just doesn’t look right. The closest I can come to explain it, is looking through someone’s Facebook and their profile picture will look fantastic, but a quick look through the rest of their pictures, makes you realise this was a once in a lifetime photo that somehow caught their best angle. It’s for this reason the XJS is the final entry on the difficult sequel list.