There’s a lot of trends in the automotive space these days. Electrification and autonomy are the shifts getting the most headline time, but there’s an additional obvious one: throwback names. Perhaps automakers have been inspired by social media trends of “Throwback Thursday” and #tbt on the ol’ Instagram, but it seems most are dusting off nameplates of yesterday for use today.
Reusing old names has already started, but the cycle is going into overtime in 2018. There’s a fairly substantial list of new products launching in 2018 with old nameplates slapped on the back. Below is a list of the noteworthy throwback badges launching over the next 12 months.
2019 BMW 8-Series
At the turn of the 1990’s, BMW launched the 8-Series as the company’s ultimate Grand Tourer. Powered exclusively by V-8’s and V-12’s, the 8-Series remained part of the BMW portfolio until 1999. From then on, the BMW has relied on the 6-Series Coupe as the brand’s GT entry. In typical German fashion the house is getting shuffled around to relaunch the 8-Series.
The formula for the new 8-Series is much the same as the old one. The car will serve as the pinnacle of coupes in the Bavarian world, with powertrains shared with the latest 7-Series sedan.
2019 Chevrolet Blazer
One cannot offer enough crossovers these days. Fortunately for Chevy, the GM mothership has a host of options. Rumor has it the company will be slapping a bowtie and the Blazer name on a variant of the GMC Acadia.
During the company’s most recent redesign of its crossovers, it opted to restructure things. The Acadia shrank in size to become a solid midsize entry, while the Buick Enclave and Chevrolet Traverse grew a bit to become full-sizers. Expect the Blazer to be similar in size to the Acadia and offer a host of trim levels with an off-road theme.
2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1
Some nameplates are so coveted they can’t be in continuous production. Corvette ZR1 is one such nameplate and this one only returns when it is affixed to the best of ‘Vettes. The 2019 Corvette ZR1 will arrive in mid-2018 with a staggering 755 horsepower and 715 pound-feet of torque from its blown 6.2-liter V-8. This kind of power and dramatic aero changes over the base car are generating a ZR1 that will start at $119,995.
2019 Ford Mustang GT500
Much like Corvette ZR1, the Mustang GT500 makes a periodic appearance on the best of pony cars. Rumors have recently been heating up that the GT500 nameplate is going to be pulled from the shelf in Dearborn, adorning a Mustang packing a supercharged 5.2-liter V-8 engine. Word on the street is that the engine will generate at least 750 horsepower and propel the GT500 all the way to 200 mph as a top speed.
2019 Ford Ranger
The returned Ford Ranger is probably setup to be a blockbuster product of 2018. Ford last produced the Ranger back in 2011 and has since avoided the midsize truck segment, which is now starting to blossom again thanks to General Motors reentering it.
Expect the Ranger revival to yield a class-leading midsize truck featuring at least three engine options, including two EcoBoost gas engines and possibly a diesel option. Full details of the 2019 Ranger will be revealed shortly at the Detroit Auto Show.
2019 Honda Insight
Memories of the Honda Insight name may not be so hot. The Insight was Honda’s first stab at a hybrid-only model, originally intended to be the company’s answer to the Toyota Prius. After two generations of the car, Honda ultimately nixed it from the lineup.
While the Insight name was not the epitome of success as a quirky hybrid with wheel skirts, Honda is going to give it a go again. This time around the Insight will be a hybrid-only model as well, but a premium sedan positioned between Civic and Accord.
It’s a bit of a head-scratcher as to why Honda is throwing another sedan in its lineup at a time when sedan sales are tanking, but it looks pretty good from teaser shots. The car will be powered by Honda’s two-mode hybrid system.
2019 Toyota Supra
Fanboys rejoice, the Toyota Supra will grace our streets again in 2018. The new Supra will come to us by way of a joint-venture with BMW, of all companies. Toyota and BMW are jointly developing the platform that will underpin both the Supra and the next BMW Z4, meaning this car will be a pure rear-wheel drive coupe and allegedly powered by BMW turbo four’s and six’s. Expect the new Supra to arrive in late 2018.