Order of Magnitude – Top 5 car reincarnations
With the announcement that Lamborghini is remaking one of their most iconic vehicles – the Countach – we thought we’d take a look at our top 5 reincarnated vehicles.
5. Kimera Evo37
A fearsome name on the circuit, Lancia was once one of the biggest names in rallying, but for the last three decades the Italian manufacturer has gone quiet, having not competed in the World Rally Championship since 1992.
Kimera was founded by former WRC driver Luca Betti in 2018, where he spent the subsequent years gaining backing and funding the Kimera Evo37, a homage to Betti’s love for the Lancia Rally 037. The 037 was the final RWD car to win the top flight of the WRC – and there was also a Stradale (street) version of this Group B monster.
With 498bhp from a turbocharged four-cylinder unit, this is significantly more powerful than the original competition car but it’s the design that really deserves all the plaudits. Kimera has stayed true to the original design, but with modern-day tweaks that have turned an off-road rally car, into a road-legal work of art. The result? Well, take a look for yourself.
4. Mazda MX-5 (2013)
Launched in 1989, the MX-5 wasn’t a reincarnation of a previous version of the MX-5 or any other Mazda. The MX-5 was largely inspired by two affordable British roadsters – the sporting Lotus Elan of the sixties and seventies (which was itself reincarnated in 1989), and the popular, mass-market MGB.
The resemblance is clear to see, with Mazda taking inspiration with a number of features from both, including the sporty pop-up headlights from the Elan.
The RWD MX-5 was an instant hit, and in 2017 Mazda produced their one-millionth unit of the modest sporty roadster. It is the world’s the best selling two-seat convertible sports car, according to Guinness and has seen four different generations over the years
In 2019 Mazda launched their 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine, with 181bhp and a 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds. That’s some way from the MX-5 launched in 1989, which hosted a 1.6-litre engine producing 116bhp. A combination of affordability, cute looks and fun handling has ensured the MX-5 is a massive hit, and it looks like it’s not going anywhere soon.
3. Land Rover Defender
When Land Rover unveiled the all-new Defender in 2019, much like the Lamborghini Countach, opinions were divided. How could they improve on arguably the world’s most iconic automotive design?
The new Land Rover Defender is – in our opinion – a masterful reimagining of an absolute classic. Purposeful and bold, it’s clearly a Landie, and clearly one for the 21st century.
2. Mini Cooper
Sir Alec Issigonis’ Mini is a vehicle with more history than most could ever dream of.
Gracing movie screens in one of the most iconic car-chases ever filmed, the tiny motor had a hugely successful run from its inauguration in 1959 until the final cars rolled off the Longbridge production line in 2000. Four years were to pass before BMW introduced us to the reincarnation of the Mini Cooper, and one thing was glaringly different – it wasn’t so mini anymore…
The 2004 Mini did not come remotely close to the original Mini in size, quite the opposite in fact. But in hindsight, BMW clearly knew what they were doing, even if they did start off by potentially offending a generation of fans as 2021 saw the sale of the millionth new Mini in the UK. That’s an average of one Mini for every 66 people!
Whether you’re a fan or whether it’s ‘not so mini’ after all, the figures speak for themselves, making the Mini Cooper one of the greatest reincarnations of all time.
1. Ford GT/ GT40
Could it really have been anything else?
The Ford GT40 was Ford’s answer to Ferrari who were dominating sports car endurance racing, having won every 24 Hours of Le Mans between 1960 and 1965. With production starting in 1964, the GT40 had broken Ferrari’s winning streak by 1966 and wrote itself into motoring legend.
Only 109 GT40s were produced, with just 31 being road-legal.
When Ford announced the return of the Ford GT in 2004, a new road-legal reincarnation of the famous sports car, demand greatly outpaced the supply, which instantly drove prices and lust for the vehicle through the roof.
The 2005 Model Year (MY) Ford GT looked very similar to the GT40, had a stonking supercharged V8 and was available with a manual transmission only. The press loved it, as did Ford’s customers and stock ran out fast, even though they eventually produced over 4000 of them. The GT’s popularity spoke for itself, and 10 years on Ford unveiled a second-generation GT, now with a turbocharged V6 engine and dual-clutch gearbox . Those hoping for exclusivity were to be disappointed, however as plans to produce just a few quickly evaporated as demand surged.
We’re three years away from the 60th anniversary of the Ford GT, and whether we’ll be treated to something special remains to be seen. For now though, we’re more than content with the double reincarnation of one of the greatest racing cars to ever exist.
If you’re considering any of the above – or maybe something else – make sure you check out our finance calculator. Alternatively, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team who have a range of finance products available for you.