Earlier this year, Audi R&D boss Peter Mertens suggested the R8 won’t get a third generation. That means the current car is the last we’ll ever get. That doesn’t mean Audi won’t replace it with something else, but the end of the R8 seems premature. The performance is outstanding compared to the competition. Killing it off after just two generations seems cruel.
Audi TT Roadster/A5 Cabriolet
This is an excellent example of product cannibalization. An A4 Cabrio is rumored to replace both the TT Roadster and A5 Cabriolet. Based on the A3, the A4 Cab will ride on the automaker’s MQB architecture with a transverse layout. The new convertible could be immensely more affordable than the two models it's replacing– possibly to the tune of more than $10,000. Sales for both the TT and A5 have declined consistently since 2011.
This could be another victim to consumers moving toward crossovers and SUVs. Large, pricey sedans aren’t flying off dealership lots like they used to, and Buick has a very strong lineup of more expensive (read: higher-margin) crossovers and SUVs. The LaCrosse isn’t the only front-wheel-drive GM product that could be on the chopping block.
BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo
In a world where BMW is churning out crossovers of every shape and size for every possible potential customer, continuing the 3 Series Gran Turismo seems foolish – foolish to build and foolish to continue selling. It looks unorthodox compared to the 3 Series wagon and far less attractive than a traditional crossover. It’d seem easy to upsell a potential 3 Series Gran Turismo customer into something bigger – and more expensive.
Just like other large, front-wheel-drive sedans, the Impala’s time with us could be limited. Sales are abysmal, and there are more than a few rumors swirling around that GM could cut the Impala from its lineup. Ford is doing similar with its portfolio by putting the poor selling Taurus – and several of its other cars – out to pasture over the next year.
Previously thought to be on the chopping block, Chevy has decided to continue offering the compact for one more model year. However, like many of the vehicles on this list, it’s really a matter of time before companies phase these models out for high-riding crossovers built on the similarly tiny platforms. The Sonic could be one such vehicle.
Well, just like large sedans, subcompact cars are dying, too. Right now, Chevy has no plans to kill off the Spark, but there are rumors that it’s on the chopping block – along with the Buick LaCrosse, Chevy Volt, and Cadillac XTS. In hopes of enticing potential crossover customers, Chevy did introduce the Spark Activ a few years ago– a high-riding version of the small car.
The Chevy Volt could see its way out to pasture sooner rather than later. Sources say the Volt could disappear from the market by as soon as 2022. A possible replacement? A plug-in hybrid or full-electric crossover. Surprised? You shouldn't be. Market forces are killing off cars left and right, and the Volt is in those crosshairs.
Rumors of Mercedes killing off the SLC convertible have been swirling since last year. The product is dated and sells poorly. Back in August, unnamed sources spilled the beans that there will be no successor to the current-gen SLC. This is it for the car. As to when it’ll end production remains a mystery. You can configure a 2018 model on the automaker’s website right now, so it could stick around for a few more years. Or, maybe we will get a successor if the automaker can make a decision.
The Beetle is already a low seller in the U.S., selling just over 15,000 units last year total – that includes both the coupe and convertible version. VW has pulled the car out of other markets around the world where it sold poorly. Volkswagen is on the record saying there won’t be a successor to the current car. However, the company also said it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. It’s only a matter of time before the Beetle meets its demise.
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