Home > Tops > These Coupes Should’ve Been Rear Wheel Drive

These Coupes Should’ve Been Rear Wheel Drive

Red Mitsubishi 3000GT on the track

So many gorgeous coupe cars have gone extinct because of a wrong drivetrain. Rear wheel drive cars hold their value not only for the ability to drift and perform smoking burnouts. Traction, handling, and better weight distribution are also miles ahead when compared to FWD vehicles.

But why would manufacturers bother making front wheel drive sports cars when they are considered crappy? As you’ve probably guessed, it all comes down to the price first – RWD systems are more refined as they consist of additional axles and joints, more complicated gearbox. Because of that, cars with FWD systems can have a more appealing price tag.

Quite a few cars had great potential for being extraordinary and desirable coupes. They only needed one vital thing, though – a rear wheel drive system. Meet eight coupes that should’ve been rear wheel drive.

Mitsubishi 3000GT

How much would you pay for a 30-year-old, front wheel drive Mitsubishi 3000GT? Some people paid over 70 000 euros for these back then, because Japanese sports cars were a huge deal back in the 90s.

This car was pretty big and heavy (about 1,5 tons), but 0-100 times still were incredible. For example, top-of-the-line models featuring twin-turbocharged V6 engines were able to reach 100 km/h in under 5 seconds!

Customers could choose from FWD or AWD (all-wheel-drive) models. Although AWD models offer an outstanding grip and handling, it still desperately needs an RWD system.

Honda Accord V6

There’s a very slim selection of RWD Hondas – S2000 and NSX. Both were successful and now are dream cars for some, but Honda still doesn’t go the RWD way anymore. Maybe that’s why the Honda Accord Coupe was discontinued a few years ago?

Accord Coupe models came with 278 horsepower V6 engines, boasting 0-100 km/h in less than 6 seconds. And even though the car’s design was very well crafted, nobody wants a front wheel drive wanna-be sports car.

Toyota Celica

Lots of teenagers dreamt about owning a Celica during the 2000s. The car is good looking, fitted with turbocharged or even supercharged engines, even the latest model (T230) only weighs just over a ton! Toyota made some awesome Celicas back in the 70s and the early 80s – these were fitted with revolutionary engines and, most importantly, RWD systems.

Sadly, the last four generations lost their charm when Toyota dropped RWD systems. Some of these models are well-known for their rallying capabilities, thanks to additional AWD options. However, most petrolheads were only able to afford an FWD version.

What a bummer. Combining a rear wheel drive system with a light body and Toyota’s reliable engines would make extraordinary machines.

Honda Integra Type R

Also known as Acura Integra Type R, this sports car is the ultimate example of how well a V-TEC can kick in. It has a buffed 1.8 DOHC V-TEC engine, producing 197 horsepower, strengthened chassis, lower subframe, reduced weight, etc. This Integra Type R is often seen in racing video games as the beginner’s car, and it’s also popular among ricers. Why? Because it’s front wheel drive.

Peugeot 407

I’m sorry for including a Peugeot here, but the automotive world doesn’t spin about JDMs only. Take a look at the 2006-2011 Peugeot 407 Coupe. Every person has his taste, but French designers deserve a standing ovation for the looks of this model. Thanks to 3.0 liter V6 petrol or 3.0 liter Bi-Turbo diesel engines, this 4,8-meter long coupe is a very underrated grand tourer.

If Peugeot would have made this RWD, I believe more automotive enthusiasts would love to take a Peugeot 407 Coupe for a spin every now and then.

Opel Calibra

When the roads were still full of boxy and chunky cars in 1989, Opel revealed the new, revolutionary model – Calibra. The car is a successor of a legendary Opel Manta, which was built on an RWD platform. So, seeing that the all-new Calibra is front wheel drive was a surprise. 

Calibra was offered with great engines such as 207 HP turbocharged 2.0 DOHC, 170 horsepower 24 valve 2.5 liter V6, and more. Moreover, it was the most aerodynamic production car in the world for 10 years! Nobody ever gave enough credit for Calibra as it only was paired with FWD and AWD systems.

Mazda MX-6

Actually, there isn’t much to boast about when it comes to Mazda MX-6. It really is just a simple coupe version of a Mazda 626. However, it only needed a rear wheel drive system to become a classic in JDM culture. Tuners saw lots of potential in such wide and low profile coupe. But nobody laid their hands on one as the chosen transmission layout doesn’t bring much excitement.

Ford Probe

The second generation Ford Probe was discontinued in 1997. They didn’t provide enough performance to compete with other coupes, handling was crappy, and the name Probe is one of the worst ever. But let’s back it up a bit and get to the first-gen model.

While the second generation was just a blind attempt to push through, the very first model actually was amazing. Its design resembles everything car enthusiasts like about cars from that era – long and sleek hood, pop-up headlights, liftback body, and even some never-before-seen innovations like overengineered automatic seatbelts. It could easily fit under the category of bad cars that look good. All Ford Probes were front wheel drive, and the most powerful engine in the first generation model only produced 145 horsepower. Still, it’s one of the most underrated cars ever.

Leave a Reply