It’s a big year for the car industry, is 2023, at all levels. As is so often repeated at the moment, we’re in a transitional period, a moment of change. And never has that been reflected more than in what’s expected from 2023. From the death of a long-standing people’s car, to the passing of the Lamborghini V12 baton, here’s what’s leaving us in 2023.
9 cars that are dying in 2023
Technically speaking the Aventador is already done, with production of the sub-700 Aventador Ultimaes wrapped up. But it’s this year that the Aventador truly dies, as its successor takes its place. Due to be revealed in the coming months, its replacement is set to be a plug-in hybrid with an all-new V12 and a dual-clutch transmission. Complain as we all did about the Aventador’s ISR, with its loss the next Lambo V12 will feel a little less analogue. The Aventador is also arguably the supercar social media darling and arguably, the biggest Lambo pinup since the Countach, courting a generation of car-loving dreamers in the digital realm for over a decade. Indeed, there is data suggesting it’s one of the most popular cars on Instagram. Something tells us love for it will endure and a new generation of fuddy duddies, dismissing the new car and bemoaning the loss of the old Bull, will emerge.
The Aventador won’t be the only rip-snorting naturally-aspirated supercar we lose this year. Finally, in 2023 the Audi R8 is due to round out production, for good. No, a V10 or even petrol-powered replacement isn’t planned. Yes, a flagship in its image powered by electricity is rumoured. So if anything, the loss of the R8 will be deeper than that of the Aventador. It hung on for a good while but progress is ruthless. Audi will be glad to see the back of what must be a real kick in the plums for fleet average CO2 figures…
Going too, at least as we know it, is the Audi TT. What evolved from a quirky design icon to a genuinely exceptional daily-able coupe is looking increasingly irrelevant in a world of booming crossover sales. Rumour has it that’s what the TT’s successor will be – think Fiesta transitioning to Puma – so another great loss. It’ll also mark the departure of the TT RS and its stunning five-cylinder engine, though that can still be enjoyed in the RS3, for now.
Dodge Challenger / Charger
Dodge’s long-lived muscle cars are finally bowing out in 2023 as bookended by the aptly-named ‘Last Call’ specials. Yes, that means the stupendous 6.2-litre supercharged Hemi goes with it, in all its 700PS (515kW) and 800PS (588kW) forms. Only America could have sanctioned the continued existence of such a car in 2023 but, somewhat inevitably, the end has finally arrived. Dodge is working – publicly – on an all-electric muscle car for the coming years. To state the obvious, that’ll be a tough sell to long-standing fans…
A truly heart-breaking loss this one, but of all the cars on this list, the end of the Ford Fiesta a true sign of the times. The Fiesta is not a poor seller – the opposite often. The latest model isn’t even that old. But as electrification looms, a platform not designed even for hybridity was never going to go on for much longer. Indeed, this year the Fiesta leaves entirely, name and all, given that as far as we can work out it’d be difficult to turn a profit on a Fiesta-sized EV at traditionally ‘Fiesta’ prices. It’s often heralded, but this is the biggest indication yet that the death of the small cheap car is imminent.
We’re smoking around in a Kia Stinger at the moment at Goodwood HQ and it’s just making the loss hurt that much more. Never a sales titan in the UK, Kia’s elegant flagship sports saloon was always a favourite of ours. Its semi-replacement is the EV6 GT but as we will articulate in a more expansive piece soon, it’s more incidental than a matter of actual lineage. The fact is, petrol-powered rear-driven sports saloons simply aren’t market tonic these days. We’ll miss it.
Renault Mégane RS
With the loss of the Mégane RS, not only are we losing the car, this also marks the loss of an entire brand. Renault Sport, created all the way back in 1979, is to shut up shop once the last Mégane RS Ultime departs the production line. As an owner of a Clio 172 myself and a lover of almost everything Renault Sport has put out (save the Clio EDC, perhaps) the loss is heartfelt. Alpine will take its place of course, as Renault fettler, though it’ll all be electric going forward. This really is a massive moment of change.
This one shouldn’t come as a surprise. Ford’s GTE homologation special departs finally, after six years on sale no less. In fact, it outlasted the class it was created to race in. Still, we’ll be sad to see it go, knowing nothing of its like will be made again.
Maserati Ghibli / Quattroporte
Finally, Maserati’s unloved saloon pair are to leave us this year, somewhat sadly, given it wasn’t long back they were properly brought to life with Ferrari V8 power and a Trofeo badge. They weren’t the best cars, but it’s still tough to see them go. Let’s see a proper sports saloon replacement made with the passion that went into the MC20, please.
That’s our list of cars dying in 2023. Are there any we’ve missed? Below are a few that, while not confirmed to be dropping off the market in 2023, are definitely not long for this world.
Volkswagen Up! GTI
Production issues and sky-high demand have killed the Up! GTI yet again in terms of sales in the UK. Given the electric revolution and the age of this platform, the GTI’s on-again off-again life is surely on borrowed time.
Porsche’s next-generation all-electric Macan is the worst-kept secret in motoring right now. As we understand it, the current model will be sold alongside it for a short while but following its reveal this year, it can’t be long now for the car that’s been around since 2014.
As with the Macan, the electrification cometh for the Cayman, meaning the howling 4.0s of the GTS, GT4 and especially the GT4 RS, can’t be long for this world.
The Alpine A110 remains a tonic and has proven surprisingly popular, especially since the marque jumped into the F1 spotlight. But it’s turning six years old this year and with electric power on the way for the brand, it’s becoming something of a legacy model. Prepare to wave goodbye next year.
Chevrolet has been bullish about the Camaro’s fate, closing the book on the model for 2024 as far back as 2019. Why? A V8 muscle car is a tough sell in the mid-2020s, even in America (though no one told Ford that) and its sales numbers didn’t warrant direct replacement of revitalisation. Oh, how we wish we’d seen the Z/28, which the suits killed before it could debut.
Yes, a ‘new’ one has just been revealed, but the GT-R is soon to be as dead the world over as it is in the UK and you can’t tell us otherwise. This is a car that’s seen three generations of 911 Turbo, two generations of Audi R8 and three generations of Corvette. Nip and tuck all you want, Nissan, we know it’s off soon. Hurry up and hybridise the Z’s twin-turbo V6 and get an R36 on stream.
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