Whatever the reason, be it the particular design, the name or having owned one for a number of years, many motoring fans become attached to certain car models. Owner’s clubs start, dedicated social media accounts are created, and people come together to share in their love for a single type of car.
But a lot of the time, these models will eventually reach the end of their lifespan and get discontinued, meaning that inevitably, numbers will dwindle and many will end up on the scrap heap.
In the not-so-distant future, this is set to happen to a true-icon of affordable city driving, as the final models of the Ford Fiesta will be manufactured during the summer of 2023. A true end of an era that has lasted more than forty years, the Fiesta is Ford’s longest serving name plate in Europe, thanks to an enduring popularity that still sees it topping used and new sales lists, especially here in the UK.
However, as the popular model currently ranks as the fourth most scrapped car model, it’s potentially only a matter of time before its topping another type of list altogether!
But, while the 2022 version of the Fiesta will be the final iteration of the model Ford fans will see for quite some time, it did get us to thinking: what if some of the most beloved discontinued cars were resurrected? What would they look like?
There’s more than enough to choose from, with discontinued classics like the Morris Minor and Austin Metro, as well as more modern models, such as the Mercedes A-Class, Dodge Challenger and even the Audi TT, which is set to be discontinued in 2024.
Using Artificial Intelligence to Re-Imagine Discontinued Cars
With such a wealth of discontinued models lining scrap heaps around the world, we called on the help of artificial intelligence (AI) to imagine what these famous cars would look like if their manufacturers brought them back into production within the next ten years, to be launched onto EV-ready roads.
Using Midjourney, we tasked the AI tool with imagining what these cars would look like if redesigned with a modern, electric car style, and the results are sure to give car designers some inspiration.
In total, we revisited the designs of 39 famous discontinued car models that include Amercian greats like the Cadillac Coupe de Ville, as well as other models revered around the motoring world, like Lamborghini’s Countach and the unmistakable Volkswagen Beetle.
Interestingly, the AI does seem to feel that car design will travel in a similar direction across a lot of these models, with notable design features including larger wheels, extensive use of LED lights and extremely slim or no wing mirrors whatsoever – owing to the preference of cameras and in-car screens seen in the latest models that could make wing mirrors obsolete. There are however some outliers, with the likes of the Morris Minor and Citroen 2CV maintaining more of a retro style for a modern, electric-first world.
Want to know what your favourite car could look like if it returned to the roads in the next decade? Take a look at the gallery below!
With so many to choose from, it was difficult to pick those we would want to come back the most, but we have picked five that really do deserve another run based on how AI feels they could look!
The Ford Fiesta
While the latest design did only hit showrooms last year, a re-launch would need to catch the eye, and AI’s version captures the sporty spirit of the Fiesta, while giving it more of a sleek, luxury feel. With a notable influence from the Tesla Model Y, this Fiesta would stand out on its own, with a facelift that makes its front-end more angular, alongside redesigned headlights that lead to a much more aerodynamic, saloon-like body. Would a return of the Fiesta signal the true end of the supermini?
The DeLorean DMC-12
Thanks to the Back To The Future film franchise, the DeLorean DMC-12 is arguably one of the most instantly recognisable car models of all time, so how could they go about a redesign without annoying some of its faithful fans? By truly going to the future.
The redesign looks more Batmobile than road car, which is apt given the cars high standing in film folklore. Keeping the gull-wing doors and even some subtle design cues from the original, we feel this is a DeLorean Marty McFly would be proud of.
The Volkswagen Beetle
Another icon of motoring from yesteryear, the VW Beetle really is the ‘people’s car.’ Often used as a classic wedding car choice, and known as the model behind Disney’s Herbie, the Beetle is another model that brings an unmistakable style to the table. Its modern re-release would keep these design preferences intact, but similar to the Fiesta, keep things sleek and makes interesting use of LED lights. Just check out those wheels too!
The Cadillac Coupe de Ville
A true American classic, the early Cadillac Coupe de Ville models are now collectors’ items, with a host of celebrity owners. While later generations went off the boil when it came to eye-catching design, the name demands something bold and brash, and this is exactly what the AI offers up. An imposing front end is flanked by huge LED lights and wheel arches, that would feel right at home on America’s wide streets… or in the garage of a movie villain.
The Jowett Javelin
Finally, we decided to bring back a lesser-known brand from the past. Between 1906 and 1954, Jowett Cars were a leading name in the British automotive industry, known for models such as the Javelin and Jupiter. We tasked AI with recreating the Javelin for this decade, and the result stands out as a fusion of modern and retro styling that would be sure to top the wish lists of a lot of petrolheads. Featuring a unique wrap-around windscreen and a front-end that really stands out, we would love to see this one become a reality.
Do you own one of these models that is now unfortunately reaching the end of the road? If it’s not fit for the museum, learn how much your car would be worth for scrap!
We compiled a list of discontinued cars that are regularly featured in the media as being ‘famous’ or ‘iconic’ car models. We then used AI software Midjourney to develop re-imagined designs of what the cars would look like, if they were re-designed and released within the next decade. To achieve this, we used a selection of consistent prompts that requested the AI to imagine the particular car model in a ‘modern, electric car style’ that was ‘created in the year 2030’. Any logos present on the AI designs were removed separately.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.