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10 Cancelled Cars That Never Saw The Light Of Day

While discontinuation is a normal part of a vehicle's life cycle, but some cars are given the axe before we even get to see them. Some of them might be shown off later on, but others remain as mysteries. These ten vehicles were all scrapped in the middle of their development cycles, whether they were too good to be true, or if they just weren't worth the cost to build.

1. Bugatti 16C Galibier

In late 2009, Bugatti unveiled a four-seat grand tourer concept called the Galibier, with an 8.0 liter W16 packing up to 1,000 horsepower, as well as an AWD drivetrain. The French marque was originally planning on making a production version, slotting below the Veyron as a high-performance four-door. But in 2014, Volkswagen reported that it would scrap the Galibier project, as company execs weren't fans of its poor design. "The Galibier is officially dead. We won't do it," VW Group's boss told Autocar. Instead, Bugatti turned its attention to the Veyron successor, which came to be the Chiron that we know and love today.

2. Jaguar C-X75

The Jaguar C-X75 made its debut in 2010 in concept form as a two-seat, hybrid supercar with jaw-dropping looks. Just two years later, Jaguar revealed a production version with a 1.6 liter turbo supercharged four-cylinder, paired with two electric motors and all-wheel drive, creating an output of about 850 horsepower and over 730 lb-ft of torque. Jaguar's groundbreaking supercar even made an appearance in Jame Bond's Spectre. But in late 2012, Jaguar's global brand director, Adrian Hallmark, announced that the C-X75 was cancelled, explaining that the project ended up being way too costly for a limited-production car, and its astronomical asking price didn't support the economical conditions at the time. Hallmark said that making such a decision "broke his heart."

3. Jaguar XJ EV

The new Jaguar XJ was supposed to serve as an all-electric successor to the previous gas-powered XJ, while also sitting at the top of the lineup as the automaker's flagship. The new EV was even teased at the Land Rover Defender's reveal, and camouflaged prototypes had been spotted several times. But in early 2021, Jaguar suddenly shook up its EV campaign with a new strategy called "Reimagine," which saw the next XJ get shelved. The electric sedan had been in development for years at that point, and production was slated to start in early 2022. The reason behind this decision was the introduction of JLR's new Electric Modular Architecture platform, whereas the XJ reportedly rode on the company's older MLA platform. It was also going to be manufactured at Jaguar's Castle Bromwich plant, but the automaker decided to use the facility for other purposes instead.

4. Buick "Vue-ick"

Over a decade ago, Buick teased what appeared to be a badge-engineered Saturn Vue. The crossover was expected to offer a 2.4 liter four-cylinder or 3.0 liter V6 at its late 2010 launch, with a plug-in hybrid powertrain coming later. This would have been one of the first PHEVs ever to hit the market. However, GM faced lots of disapproval following the official announcement, and decided to cancel the new model as a result. Company execs were said to be "struck" by such criticism and took quick action to "prevent a potential underperformer from reaching the marketplace." Since Buick never told us what this crossover was to be named, it has since been dubbed the "Vue-ick."

5. Ram Dakota

For years, we heard rumors regarding a new Ram truck to slot below the full-size 1500, as small trucks continue to rise in popularity. It was to be named the Dakota, marking the return of Dodge's once-popular nameplate. But when Stellantis was formed last year, inside sources reported that the project was scrapped. As Carlos Tavares took leadership of the company, he apparently cancelled several projects that were thought to be unsuccessful. But rumors continue to circulate to this day, saying that the midsize truck might eventually see the light of day.

6. VW Phaeton "D2"

The Volkswagen Phaeton was a China-only affair, offering Audi-level luxury in a VW-badged car. The automaker decided to discontinue the sedan in 2016, but the next generation was already deep into its development. Codenamed "Phaeton D2," the new generation never came to fruition despite officials promising its return. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Phateon's first launch in China, the German automaker revealed a working prototype of what the Chinese market will never be able to get its hands on. We can see that it includes the typical Volkswagen styling cues, with a luxurious cabin that includes a curved display. But offering an ultra-luxury sedan that shares its badge with cheaper cars like the Golf and Jetta never worked out for VW, even in the sedan-hungry Chinese market.

7. Alfa Romeo GTV

In June 2018, Alfa Romeo presented a product timeline that went to 2022. It not only included the anticipated Tonale crossover, but it also promised a new sports car called the GTV. But just one year later, it was reported that the GTV and another future model, the 8C, had been canned. Alfa had released an updated product portfolio that no longer included the two sports cars, with officials saying that the portfolio was "significantly scaled back with a corresponding reduction in capital spending." While we won't be seeing a new Alfa Romeo sports car anytime soon, at least the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan is still around.

8. Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Shortly after announcing the cancellation of a seventh-generation Camaro, signaling its discontinuation after 2023, reports surfaced saying that the Camaro's V8-powered Z/28 sendoff had also been cancelled. This was due to GM's major business restructuring in 2018, where the company pledged to use more of its spending on EVs and autonomous vehicles. Apparently, this new plan sent multiple projects to the trash can, including the Z/28. Only the business and powertrain stages were in progress at the time, and GM was reportedly going to use the Corvette Z06's 5.5 liter flat-plane crank V8, which would have delivered supercar-level performance. Chevy was also planning on offering a manual transmission.

9. Cadillac CT8

Not too long ago, Cadillac was determined to redeem its former image as a real threat to Mercedes and BMW, and it was all going to start with an ultra-luxury flagship sedan called the CT8. It was rumored to compete with segment leaders like the Mercedes S-Class and BMW 7-Series, almost like the Escalade of sedans. But the upcoming sedan quickly became a victim of the SUVs, with Cadillac officially cancelling the CT8 due to the popularity of crossovers. On the bright side, we'll soon have a Cadillac flagship within reach with the upcoming Celestiq grand tourer EV.

10. Land Rover Road Rover

The Land Rover Road Rover was going to be the company's first electric crossover, packing a dual motor setup and all-wheel drive. It was supposed to make its debut by the end of 2021 offering two different battery packs, with capacities of either 100 kWh or 120 kWh. However, the Road Rover suffered the same fate as Jaguar's XJ, as it was supposed to ride on the company's MLA architecture. Therefore, the first Land Rover EV has been pushed back to a 2024 launch, and will ride on the new EMA platform. But it's likely that the Road Rover nameplate has been dropped completely, so the 2024 EV might offer newer powertrains.

Can you think of any other cancelled projects?

Images: Alfa Romeo, BMW, Buick, Bugatti, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Jaguar, Land Rover, Ram


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