- Lately, many carmakers are playing to consumer nostalgia by bringing back old model names for their new cars.
- In terms of the US market, the new Toyota Supra, Ford Ranger, Jeep Gladiator, and Chevrolet Blazer are all throwbacks to long-discontinued models.
- And more revivals are coming soon — a new Ford Bronco, VW Microbus, GMC Hummer, and Jeep Wagoneer will be revealed in the not-too-distant future.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Like a cast reunion or a live-action Disney remake, sometimes the easiest approach to the future requires reaching into the past. Nostalgia sells, no matter what new form it may take.
Nostalgia also happens to be the latest trend in the automotive industry, as automakers like Toyota, Ford, and General Motors rely on that strategy by bringing back old names for their new cars. Just in the last couple of years, Toyota introduced the new Supra, Land Rover revived the Defender, and Jeep gave the Gladiator new life.
Moreover, several discontinued models are slated for revival soon, like the Hummer, Bronco, and Jeep Wagoneer. Here’s hoping the Subaru Baja and Toyota MR2 are next in line.
The revival tactic makes perfect sense, too — aside from the risk of tarnishing an iconic nameplate. It’s cheaper and easier to bring back an old, nostalgia-inducing moniker than it is to develop and test a new name on the market, making that route an obvious choice.
Learn more about the new models — and the beloved cars they’re based on — below.
The Toyota Supra was built across four generations beginning in the late 1970s, and was discontinued in the US market in 1998.
The Supra’s last generation before its revival — the MK IV — has reached icon status over the last 22 years, with clean, low-mileage examples sometimes fetching six figures at auction.
In 2019, Toyota rebooted the Supra for 2020. While the car initially got some flack for its BMW underpinnings, it still packs all of the performance, affordability, and reliability that made the Supra a legend.
General Motors first rolled out the pickup-based Chevrolet Blazer in 1969 to compete with other big, boxy SUVs like the International Harvester Scout and Ford Bronco.
Chevy axed the Blazer in 2005 and, after a long hiatus, rolled out the 2019 Blazer, an SUV meant to compete with the other crossovers like the Ford Edge and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Ford brought the Bronco to market in 1966 as a capable, rugged four-wheeler. In its final generation, sold from 1992 through 1996, the SUV gained infamy as the car OJ Simpson was in during his 1994 car chase.
A new Bronco is slated to debut this spring. So far, all we know about the 2021 Bronco’s looks comes from spy shots and a Baja racing prototype.
Jeep first introduced the Gladiator — later called the J-Series truck— in 1963.
The J-Series was discontinued in 1987, but Jeep revived the Gladiator as a new Wrangler-based pickup for the 2020 model year.
Before Land Rover was primarily known for making cushy luxury SUVs, it built some of the best off-roaders around, the most famous being the Defender.
Land Rover pulled the Defender from the US market in 1997, but is reintroducing it this year. The four-door Defender 110 will hit showrooms this spring, while the two-door Defender 90 will go on sale in the summer.
Source: Car and Driver
The Hummer — an unabashed, excessive, gas-guzzler — was sold across three generations from 1992 to 2010.
GM shuttered the Hummer brand in 2010, but plans to reboot the Hummer name this year. Unexpectedly, the new Hummer will be a zero-emission, electric pickup truck under the GMC brand.
More: Business Insider
Honda’s new Passport, which debuted for 2019, is just one of many crossovers the brand offers.
But when the rugged four-by-four debuted in 1993, it was part of a scramble by Honda to enter the growing SUV market. Originally a rebadged Isuzu Rodeo, the Passport was Honda’s way of quickly getting in on the SUV craze of the 1990s.
Ford initially sold the compact Ranger pickup stateside from 1983 to 2011.
The Blue Oval brought back the beloved truck for the 2019 model year, but as a larger mid-size offering. Let’s hope Ford also brings its tuned-up Ranger Raptor — the smaller sibling to the F-150 Raptor — to the US sometime soon.
In 2017, Volkswagen announced that it will bring back the a new version of the iconic Microbus in 2022. When it was first sold in the US in 1950, the VW Bus sported a 30-horsepower engine.
The new version of the Microbus will be electric, and the concept version of it — called the I.D. Buzz — serves up 369 horsepower. We don’t yet know the name of the new bus, but it’s a throwback nonetheless.
Though we don’t have too much in the way of details yet, it’s been reported that a new Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are on the way for 2021.
Source: Car and Driver
The upcoming vehicles inherit the Wagoneer name from the boxy, stylish, and sometimes-wood-paneled SUV that was sold beginning in 1962.
Resurrecting iconic nameplates is a funny thing, because it can either be a huge success or a huge flop. But it’s also the automotive industry’s latest trend, and we’ll just have to see how it plays out.
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