As of late, a little rumour’s been circulating around the Interweb, suggesting that Renault might be making a successor to its iconic pocket rocket from the Nineties, the Clio Williams.
Of course, for die-hard car fans, it would be terrific to see a new, modern version of that famous hot hatchback bouncing and bopping along tight and twisty ‘drivers’ roads’. But it also got us here at carwow asking ourselves this question: which special editions from the past would also be welcomed with open arms in the modern age?
So, yeah, that’s the gist of this post: a little list of some of the limited-run icons from yesteryear that we’d love to see being reincarnated in the 21st Century.
BMW M3 CSL
BMW’s M Division may have done a pretty good job with the 1 Series M Coupe, M5 and M6 models, but there’s still a handful of people out there who reckon that the upcoming turbocharged M3 simply won’t be as good as the naturally aspirated car it replaces.
So, what better way to silence all the doubters than by making a GTS version? Or, to go even further down the ‘hard-core’ route, perhaps even a successor to the CSL?
It would make decent sense – the CSL is, after all, a car that’s still cherished to this day by car enthusiasts, and the critical and commercial success of other lightweight performance cars shows that there’s still a demand for something of this calibre. And, with a return to straight-six power, it would also seem rather fitting.
However, if anyone from BMW is reading this and ends up being able to successfully persuade the Quandt family into believing that building a new M3 CSL would be a good idea, could you make sure the boot floor for the car is made out of something other than cardboard, please?
Renault Clio Trophy
When you mention performance-enhanced Mk 2 Renault Clios, it’s likely that the first thought that comes to mind is the bonkers V6 model. However, the front-engined, front wheel drive cars are still worthy of the same sort of appreciation, especially the Clio 182 Trophy model.
When compared with the rest of the cars in the list, this is perhaps the most ‘special edition’ out of all the special editions in a literal sense – only 550 were ever made, and almost all of were sold in the UK. And, being based on the Renaultsport Clio of the era but with better suspension and more precise handling, it’s of no surprise that it’s widely seen to be one of the best Mk 2 Clios ever made.
Nowadays, it seems that, as far as special edition sports Clios go, all that goes into a special edition are a few interior goodies or a new lick of paint (*cough* Renaultsport Clio Gordini *cough*). Come on, Renault! We all know you can do better than that! Do something in a similar vein to the Trophy, and we promise we’ll never complain about it again!
The annals of motoring history are dominated iconic great Fords, most of them being special edition performance cars – you’ve had the Shelby Mustang, the Sierra Cosworth, the Escort Mexico, the Focus RS and countless others that we simply don’t have enough time or space to dedicate to.
But, perhaps standing head and shoulders above them all is a car that most people don’t refer to initially as a Ford: the Lotus Cortina.
With its twin-cam engine, Lotus-tuned mechanicals and amazing lack of weight, the Lotus Cortina became one of the most iconic and dominant touring cars of its era, and transformed the Blue Oval’s image from a maker of inoffensive machinery into a company that made cars people actually wanted.
Nowadays, Lotus isn’t really in the position to re-engineer a humdrum Ford anymore, there isn’t really a performance Ford saloon and, with the Cortina’s successor being the Mondeo, it’s perhaps understandable that the last big fast Ford for us Brits was the ST220 from seven or so years ago.
However, with the new Mondy featuring an Aston Martin-esque grille, the endless talk about there being a faster two-door model and the Fusion (what the Mondeo is called in America) competing in NASCAR in 2013, we might just see an in-house, spiritual successor to the Lotus Cortina sometime soon…
Citroen DS Decapotable
Okay, so this one isn’t a limited edition in the same vein as the others – after all, Citroen didn’t originally build it in the first place (in fact, until the French car company started to actually co-operate and supply ready-built body shells to its client, coachbuilder Chapron had to convert the saloons into ragtops) – and, unlike most in this list, the DS hasn’t survived to the present day.
But Citroen does make a range of cars that contain that short and snappy acronym in their respective titles, and there is a DS flagship in the form of the DS5. Which, considering previous Citroen halo cars have been equally as bold, as wacky and as distinctive as the DS5 is, makes it a pretty cool candidate for a full-on convertible conversion.
Of course, it’s highly impractical, no one would want one and, given most of the critics don’t rate the way the car rides in its current guise, chopping the roof off would only make it even worse over bumps and ruts in the road. But it would bring a bit of DS heritage – something a few Citroen obsessives criticise about the new premium cars – to the company’s portfolio.
And, be honest: it would be pretty awesome to see a convertible DS5 on the public road, wouldn’t it?
And now from the barmy to the downright insane! It doesn’t really need an introduction so, ladies and gentlemen, I present to you that crazy little contraption known around the world as the Mini Moke.
Originally devised for military use (though we’re not sure what sort of armed forces BMC had in mind when it was building the damn thing…) before transforming into a full-on production car and an eventual cult classic, the Moke has no real redeeming feature from a rational standing.
But hey, that’s what makes the Moke, along with its overseas equivalents such as the Citroen Mehari and the Fiat 500 Jolly Ghia (no, we haven’t just made that name up!), so strangely loveable. They’re just big toys you can play with on the road and, whilst they’ve no real use whatsoever, the world’s a better and far more amusing place because of them.
Strangely, though, Mini has hinted that the Moke may return someday – the Beachcomber Concept from 2010, though previewing the Countryman, did take quite a few styling cues from that curious little wannabe beach buggy. And, with Mini seemingly desperate to seek out any new niche it can think of nowadays, it does make the absurd idea of a new Moke a strangely plausible one…
So that’s our little wish list of special editions we’d love to see brought back in the 21st Century. Any of the ones we mentioned float your boat? What limited-run icons from the past would you like to see a modern version of? Let us know in the comments section below!