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Larry Printz: R.I.P. - Rust in peace; these cars aren't returning for 2021

By Larry Printz, Tribune News Service on

Published in Automotive News

It's that time of year again: Halloween. It's a holiday that's centuries old, having started as the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, celebrated on Oct. 31, the day before the Celtic New Year, which was celebrated on Nov. 1. It's a day when people thought that ghostly spirits returned to earth. After being conquered by the Romans, who coopted the ancient Celt tradition as All Saints' Day, or Alholowmesse in Middle English, Samhain endured as All-Hallows Eve, and eventually, Halloween.

All these centuries later, October is the time when automakers kill off unpopular cars, when their time as new models on this earth pass, never to return.

So, let's remember the departed before they go on to rust-in-peace.

Acura RLX: A perfectly anonymous car with an equally anonymous name, the RLX is a stark reminder of how far Acura's product development and marketing has fallen from the excellence established by the Legend.

Alfa Romeo 4C: Now that America has become a nation of SUV-loving truck drivers, where dreary practicality triumphs over sheer fun, pure sports cars like the fun-to-drive 4C are sadly overlooked also-rans.

BMW i8: You'd think a gas-electric hybrid as attractive as the BMW i8, with handling to match, would succeed. But $147,500 for a car powered by the Mini's three-cylinder engine? Really?


Buick Regal: In pantheon of cool Buick names like Invicta and Electra, this Opel import with the blue-hair name was doomed from the start, although its remarkably unremarkable personality didn't help.

Cadillac CT6: With a name only a lifeless marketer would love, this flagship sedan was sabotaged by tepid styling that lacked the Escalade's unmitigated swagger, and a cabin far too cheap for its station.

Chevrolet Impala: While car buyers think nothing of buying an enormous SUVs, they think twice about buying a large car, even one as good as the Impala. That said, a more inspired design would have helped.

Chevrolet Sonic: With exorbitant gasoline prices now a distant memory, this funky and fun little hatchback lost its raison d'etre. Its platform lives on, however, in the Chevrolet Trax and Buick Encore.


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