And what you should buy instead.
God bless the internet, where you can order pizza and visit Prague; where it’s kindof cute and socially acceptable to stalk people; where you can order awesome car parts for far cheaper than you’d get them anywhere else. But the internet has some downsides, too. And perhaps chief among them is that anybody can publish rumors at any time, and if they’re attractive enough, they become true. This is where so many car rumors surface. It’s always coming out in 3 or 4 years, it’s usually an enthusiast car, and it’s generally something that could stir up nostalgia. Here are our top 6 impossible but rumored cars, and what you should get that will be just as good or better.
The Jeep Pickup
Fans have been clamboring for a new Jeep pickup since 1996, when the producers of Twister destroyed a J10 and everybody remembered that the Comanche had been built until 1992. But Helen Hunt isn’t the only one to blame here. Jeep themselves have rekindled the collective hhhhhnnnngggg with their Nukizer, Mighty FC, and J12 concepts. There’s a fresh batch of Jeep concept cars every spring for the Easter Moab event.
Jeep could do it. Their J8 military truck, which is already based on the Wrangler, is chugging away in Egypt and Israel. The Nukizer and J12 are built around the J8. And perhaps they should do it, considering the dearth of small pickups in America.
Until they do, you can get a pickup conversion kit for your two-door JK, and it’s actually manufactured by Mopar. The JK8 Independence kit will run you about $6500 and looks pretty clean. Just not as cool as the Nukizer. Or Helen Hunt’s J10.
The New Mazda RX-7
Mazda hung up its rotary gloves with the last RX-8 in 2012, perhaps finally admitting that the rotary would never be as reliable or efficient as a piston engine, rumors of a new rotary have sailed along, bourne on Mazda’s quirky character and Initial D reruns.
But the Mazda SkyActiv system has become so prominent in the company, it’s unlikely that they’d revert to a thirstier rotary engine. It’s a shame, because there aren’t enough affordable, RWD, four-seat sports cars out there.
Instead, you should check out the 2015 Mustang EcoBoost. The 2.3 liter turbo is eccentric enough to start some conversations, and the 310 hp will best any (stock) RX on the street. It’s more of a sports car than a muscle car, anyway.
The Mid-Engine Corvette
As car legends go, this one is legendary. It all started in 1963, when Zora Arkus-Duntov developed the CERV-II concept. Since then, the GM auto show booths have been lousy with mid-engine Corvette concepts. Where the Jeep and Mazda rumors have been partially authored by fans, the Corvette rumor is almost entirely GM’s fault.
But they won’t build one, because it would alienate existing Corvette fans, who have been saving since their adolescent paper routes for a brand new Corvette; and that’s a good thing. Because once the ‘Vette goes mid-engine, it will get prohibitively expensive. Besides, what could a mid-engine Corvette do that a normal one can’t? It already dominates motorsports, and the C7 even catches stares.
So our alternative for the mid-engine Corvette you can never have: a regular C7 Corvette.
The Subaru BRZ STi
Subaru and Toyota have yet to explain why their 86 twins, the BRZ and the Scion FR-S, are only available with 200 hp. It might be like a musician trying to explain to his fans why his new album sounds good. If you don’t like it, you’re not going to like it.
They’ve released countless suspension, steering, aero, and appearance packages, but not the one package fans want most: the turbocharged STi package. It’s just not going to happen.
Instead, you can drown your sorrows in voided warranties and just turbocharge it yourself. You wouldn’t be the first. Our other recommendation is to wait until next year when the 2016 Miata hits the market. We won’t see it until next week, but it will likely be turbocharged, and power estimates are around 250.
The SSC Tuatara
Once, Shelby Super Cars claimed the rights to the world’s fastest production car, the Ultimate Aero TT. Then Bugatti took it back with the Veyron Super Sport, and the tiny California firm has been trying to claw their way back ever since. The Tuatara, their new venture, is supposed to hit 276 mph and produce 1,350 hp. And they even have one built. But we haven’t heard a thing from them in over a year.
So skip the Tuatara and get a Noble M600. It’s not nearly as fast, but will be much more challenging to drive, and much less expensive. If you are intent on straight line speed, get a Koenigsegg Agera R or a Hennessey Venom GT, both of which could likely best the best Bugatti has to offer.
The New Ford Bronco
This might be the ultimate villain in the car rumors cadre. Just this week a fake news story popped up on my Facebook feed, announcing the arrival of the new Bronco. It used that famous render of the Ford Atlas concept with a roof over the bed, and just below, one of the related articles headlined, “Fake article convinces Ford fans of Bronco’s return.”
The fact is, Ford doesn’t want to bring back the Bronco, because it will remind Ford SUV buyers that the latest Explorer is something that gets all its off-roading exercise at the bottom of the potholes in the Costco parking lot.
Ford fans can already have a capable off-roader in the Raptor Crew Cab. If you don’t want a whole truck bed behind that, too bad. Can’t have you chewing into the Explorer sales. Take some SOMA and go back to bed.
We’d like to suggest the stylish and surprisingly capable Range Rover Evoque as an alternative, but the Bronco, if it wasn’t rusted in half, was always pretty reliable. Instead, we’re going back to the beginning to suggest the Jeep Wrangler JK. It’s every bit as capable and reliable as the Bronco, and comes with the same number of doors.
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.