There’s no doubt that 2015 was a huge year for car buyers and enthusiasts alike, with a seemingly never-ending stream of exciting new designs making their way from design sketchpads to showrooms and customers’ driveways.
We’ve already covered our favourite cars of 2015, so it’s time to take a moment to reflect on the cars that died this year. These are the motors that quietly disappeared from dealers’ ordering systems, leaving a hole in the chocolate biscuit assortment box of the car buying world. May every car on this list rest in peace – and hopefully we’ll see some exciting replacements for these fallen heroes over the next few years. Check out our list of the best new cars coming out in 2016 to see what’s on the horizon.
The RCZ caused a bit of a stir when the first concept was unveiled back in 2009 as the 308 RCZ concept – and when it went into production a year later almost unchanged the motoring world was convinced that Peugeot was back on form. Its swooping metal roof arches were machined in Gloucester, and formed a huge part of the car’s quirky charm. It was even fun to drive, and the later RCZ-R models gave it an amusing turn of pace thanks to a 270hp 1.6-litre engine. The UK’s car showrooms will be a duller place without it.
If you just read the name of this car and muttered “the Hyundai what?” then you’re probably justifying Hyundai’s removal of this quirky small car from sale. The Veloster was a brave attempt by the Korean brand to build a VW Golf-sized car with two doors on one side and one on the other. It was designed to be a sporty little hatchback, and the range-topping Veloster Turbo packed 186hp and sprinted the oddity from 0 to 62mph in 8.4 seconds. Those figures aren’t ground-breaking, and it wouldn’t put a smile on your face in the corners either, but we should recognise Hyundai’s bold attempt to create a cheap hot hatch. Just give us two doors on both sides next time, eh?
In many ways (OK, one) the McLaren P1 was just like the Hyundai Veloster. It took the hypercar rulebook and threw it out the window. Much like its Porsche 918 and Ferrar La Ferrari competitors, it used a hybrid system combined with a powerful petrol engine to warp the space-time continuum. Where the P1 set itself apart is the fact it could be put into hardcore track mode, which would drop the car to the ground for maximum cornering speed. McLaren stopped production of the P1 in late 2015, having built just 375 examples.
There’s no more fitting epitaph to the P1’s prowess than Chris Harris’s already-legendary laps of Portimao circuit in Portugal. Watch the speedo to see just how quickly the P1 rips out of corners and demolishes each straight in no time at all.
Audi RS4 Avant
If you’re after an incredibly fast V8-powered estate car then your choice got a little smaller in 2015. As the all-new version of the A4 Avant launched, the German chaps quietly dropped the old-style RS4 rocketship from their lineup. We’ll miss its non-turbocharged, high-revving V8 engine (stolen from the previous generation R8 supercar), but the truth is the old RS4 just didn’t feel that quick compared to turbocharged rivals such as the Mercedes-AMG C63 estate or even the RS4’s punchier brother, the RS6 Avant.
We expect to see a turbocharged V6 engine in the next-gen RS4 when it appears in 2016, and it’ll get the latest A4’s gorgeous interior. Fingers crossed it’ll give buyers another great choice if they need to carry lots of luggage at very high speeds.
Nissan GT-R LM Nismo
We’ll hold our hands up – this was never going to be a car that you’d cruising through a village on a sunny Sunday afternoon, or even hammering out laps of a British racetrack. But Nissan entered the 2015 Le Mans 24 hour race with a hugely ambitious racecar that flew in the face of common racecar design – and it’s just been killed off, without a chance to redeem its dismal 2015 performance next year.
It was brave because it used an unconventional front-wheel-drive setup to put the power from the 550hp engine to the road, whereas modern Le Mans rivals from the likes of Audi use four-wheel-drive systems to help them punch out of corners. It was designed to have a hybrid electric system powering the rear wheels as well, but this system was never fully developed.
It also had wider tyres on the front than the back, and the exhausts exited through the bonnet – although apparently it wasn’t an ideal solution given the engine’s tendency to spit flames right where the driver’s eyes would be when picking out competitors at 180mph at night.
Perhaps it was a bit of a White Elephant, but no one could dispute the claim that the GT-R LM Nismo was the bravest racecar of recent years – and it’s a shame that such a bold design wasn’t rewarded with another attempt at racing glory in 2016.
See what 2016 has in store
Don’t be too disheartened about the cars that were killed off in 2015 – next year is already shaping up to be a bumper year. Cast your eyes over the hottest cars coming up in 2016 and see which you fancy on your driveway. If you can’t wait until then, see how much you could save off your new car by configuring it on carwow – just click the green button on our homepage to get started.