Rust In Peace to these eight vehicles that were killed in 2016.
There is a certain Darwinian quality to the automotive industry — cars either change to meet consumers' evolving tastes, or they simply die off. These vehicles fall into the latter category. Reasons for their demises may vary, but the end result is the same -- none of them will be in dealer showrooms come 2017.
The compact Verano sedan was actually a strong seller for Buick in its early days, with the near-premium small car attracting a peak of 45,527 buyers in 2013. However, small sedans like the Verano have fallen out favor with buyers recently, while small crossovers (like Buick's own Encore) have seen a meteoric rise in popularity. With sales continuing on a downward trajectory, Buick has decided to pull the plug on the Verano.
The Dodge Dart had so much potential when it was launched back in 2012. Combining American styling with a sporty Alfa Romeo chassis, the Dart had a seemingly winning formula in the bag. However, the Dart was hampered out of the gate by an odd mix of powertrains and packages. It didn't help that the Dart didn't live up to its Alfa Romeo underpinnings. So, after just three short model years on the market, it's off to the big junkyard in the sky for the Dodge Dart.
Fiat 500 Turbo
While the Fiat 500 itself will live on into 2017, several of its variants will not. For 2017 gone are the 500's Easy, Sport, 1957 Edition and Turbo trim levels. With sales currently in free fall, we doubt many people will even notice the 500's pared down offerings, but we'd like to take a minute to note the death of the Turbo.
Offering a 135 horsepower turbocharged 1.4L four-cylinder paired with a five-speed manual transmission, the 500 Turbo was actually a zippy little city car. In fact, the 500 Turbo sold here is actually marketed as a performance Abarth model in other global markets. But with few buyers considering a niche version of an already niche vehicle, Fiat has decided to can the 500 Turbo for the 2017 model year. And given Fiat's decision to whittle down the entire lineup, we can't imagine the 500 is long for the U.S. market.
Perhaps fitting for a car that hasn't drawn a lot of attention as of late, BMW quietly ended production of the current Z4 in August of this year. Although BMW doesn't have a replacement for the Z4 just yet, the German automaker is expected to launch a new roadster to fill its shoes in the next year or two. It will be based on a sports car platform jointly developed with Toyota and will either keep the Z4 name or switch to a new Z5 moniker.
The Dodge Viper has always had one tire firmly planted in the past, so perhaps it's fitting that it won't live to see the future.
Since its introduction in 1992, the Viper has been long on performance but short on sophistication. While that was charming at first, the pool of buyers willing to shell out a $100,000 for such a raw supercar has all but dried up. Dodge tried to rectify the situation recently with a $15,000 price reduction, but it was simply too little too late. There likely won't be a shortage of Viper revival rumors going forward, but as of now the snake is dead.
BMW 5 Series GT
The BMW 5 Series GT will probably be the least missed vehicle on this list. Introduced for 2009, the widely-hated 5 Series GT replaced the widely-loved 5 Series sport wagon here in the United States (to be fair, that wagon love didn't translate into many sales).
Although extremely practical thanks to its hatchback design, the 5 Series GT wasn't exactly what you'd call pretty. A kind of mash-up between a traditional sedan and a crossover, the 5 Series GT had lines more akin to a hippopotamus than The Ultimate Driving Machine. BMW recently unveiled its seventh-generation 5 Series lineup without a peep about a new GT model, so hopefully that means we won't have to suffer through a second-generation of the faux wagon.
Volkswagen Jetta Hybrid
VW recently got caught with its hand in the cookie jar when it was revealed the automaker was cheating to get its diesel models to pass federal emissions tests. In order to rectify that wrong, VW pledged to launch 30 new electrified models by 2025, but then promptly announced that it was killing off the Jetta Hybrid. No rhyme or reason was given, but slow sales are likely to blame for the Jetta Hybrid's death.
Following in the solemn footsteps of brands like Pontiac, Packard and Saab, the entire Scion brand was killed off in 2016. Scion's time on this earth was relatively brief, having launched in 2003 as a Toyota spin-off intended to lure younger buyers.
Although the Scion name is dying off, most of its products are actually living on. The iA, iM and FR-S have all been folded under the Toyota umbrella. The tC coupe wasn't as lucky; it was cast off following one last special edition introduced at this year's New York auto show.