go Auto Outlet’s Favorite discontinued models
All good things must come to an end, and that seems especially true with our favourite vehicles. In auto history there have been a number of duds (see: Pontiac Aztek), as well as some absolute marvels. Among the latter are the Mazda RX-8, Subaru BRAT, and VW Golf GTI. Indulge us in eulogizing these cars, and what made them so special.
The muse of single dads and gearheads, the Mazda R line shook the world of performance sports car engineering by introducing a never-before-seen rotary engine. Beginning with the introduction of the Mazda R100 in 1971, Mazda continuously honed this model line through its following generations until near perfection with the RX-8 in 2003.
The RX-8 was truly designed for experience, featuring a nearly impossible-to-engineer 50:50 front to rear weight distribution and 9,000 rpm redline. Mazda managed to develop an astonishingly small 1.3L engine outputting 237 hp, attached to a body weighing over 500 lbs less than competing performance cars such as the Ford Mustang.
2012 brought updates to safety and emission standards that challenged the RX-8’s engineering. Rather than sacrificing the RX-8s beauty and power, Mazda proudly chose to relegate the model to history. Today, an RX-8(RX-9?) would stand perfectly in the performance car market gap between beefy American muscle cars and the extravagant supercars of Europe and Asia.
Business up front and party in the back—the Subaru BRAT truly was the mullet of motor vehicles. And just like Terry and Deaner, the Subaru BRAT was fun whether you were rippin’ around Edmonton or going out for a weekend camping trip.
Produced from 1978-1994, the BRAT (Bi-Drive Recreational All-Terrain Transporter) was a compact pickup car/truck/thing that offered the utility of a truck with the economy of a car. An answer to the legendary Chevrolet El Camino, and less-than-legendary Ford Ranchero, the BRAT was delivered in true Subaru style with a lightweight body and all-wheel drivetrain.
But the party doesn’t stop there. The Subaru BRAT featured an available turbocharged engine, a T-top split roof, and two rear-facing jump seats in the pickup bed. By 1994 the Subaru BRAT gave way to the also legendary, but just not as cool Subaru Baja, and ceased production for good. As consumers snatch up lightweight pickups like the Ford Ranger and Chevrolet Colorado, we’d love to see the Subaru BRAT giv’er again.
Known to live far, far past 500,000 kms, the VW Golf TDI had been inching towards perfection since it was introduced in 1974. Balancing incredible power with a dainty European fuel economy of 5.8L/100 km, the Golf TDI is German in every way. In its last year of production, two trims were available and both felt far more Mercedes than VW design-wise. The Golf TDI was a chance for the average buyer to own something fun, unique, economical, and beautiful.
Unfortunately, Volkswagen broke our collective hearts with the infamous Golf TDI emissions testing scandal in 2015. The model was recalled and discontinued in the Western market, along with numerous other markets internationally. Everyone has that one breakup that they just can’t get over—we’ve all been there. But can’t we give it just one more try? We truly believe that they’ll change.
The Mazda RX-8, Subaru BRAT, and Golf TDI will all be dearly missed. Luckily, you can visit Go Auto Outlet’s inventory page here to keep watch for one of these marvels. If you already have one of these vehicles (wow), and completely disagree with the above descriptions, feel free to visit us for a trade-in appraisal by booking here.