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Automotive brands over a period of time become popular for offering a certain type of cars. These might be SUVs, performance-oriented supercars, or premium high-end luxury offerings. However, there are always many concepts or unique car designs that brands come up with, but never take it to the next stage.
Having said that, there are some popular brands that have actually gone ahead and introduced models, which are completely different from their entire product portfolio. This could be an SUV from Lamborghini (not the URUS), a hatchback from Aston Martin, or a convertible from Land Rover.
While there are many brands who over time have introduced such unique cars in various markets around the world, we have picked out our top-five models.
Range Rover Evoque Convertible
The Range Rover Evoque when first introduced was the brand's entry-level offering, offered with a stylish design and plenty of creature comforts. The Range Rover Evoque quickly became a popular model in the brand's lineup, not only in its home market, but also across the world. It came with the off-road capabilities of a Land Rover, while combining it with a host of luxury features for the road.
However, at one point Range Rover thought it would be a good idea to remove the roof of the SUV. The Range Rover Evoque could soon be seen sporting a soft-top roof — making it a convertible luxury SUV.
This, however did not sit well with the customers and the model was soon discontinued. The Evoque has now had a generation update, without the convertible soft-top.
BMW is a German car manufacturer currently known to produce high-end sedans and SUVs with large front grilles. The company also has a ‘M' division, which produces performance-oriented versions of their standard models. Over the many years of the brand's existence, there have been a number of models which are iconic to this day.
However, back in 1955 there was one car which got everyone's attention, the Isetta. The BMW Isetta was a very unique model from the brand, which at that time was under extreme financial stress, post the second world war. The BMW Isetta was an Italian-designed microcar, which became the best-selling car in the world.
The ‘bubble car' as it is fondly known came with a single door opening at the front and was powered by the brand's 250cc four-stroke single-cylinder engine producing 12bhp. The BMW Isetta was also the world's first mass-production car to achieve a fuel-efficiency of around 33km/l (3-litres/100km) — the best figures of that time.
Aston Martin Cygnet
When you think of Aston Martin, what generally comes to mind is a luxury GT, combining the performance of a supercar with the comfort of a grand tourer. Cars like the V12 Vantage, DBS and DB9 have achieved iconic status, thanks to its perfect combination of performance and luxury.
However, nine years back Aston Martin bosses confirmed the production of a car, entirely different compared to anything in the brand's history. This was the urban city-commuter hatchback, called the Cygnet.
The Aston Martin Cygnet was powered by a small 1.3-litre petrol engine producing 97bhp. The model was in production for just two years, before being discontinued. While the Cygnet did not receive the success the brand had hoped for, it is considered by many to be a future classic, mainly for its uniqueness and rarity.
Lamborghini is an italian brand known for building radically-designed super/hypercars. While the brand did recently cave in to the global demand for SUVs with the introduction of the Urus, this is not their first attempt at an SUV.
The Italian supercar brand introduced the LM002, which was the only model out of three prototypes to enter production. The first two were the Cheetah and the LM001. The Lamborghini LM002 was essentially the brand's off-road truck, which was meant for military use.
It came powered by the same 5.2-litre V12 engine as on the iconic Countach. However, the car wasn't well received, with Lamborghini discontinuing the model to get back to supercar, until the arrival of its spiritual successor, the Urus.
The Lexus LFA till date is considered to be one of the best-sounding supercars in the world. The LFA, which was first introduced in 2009, was a result of 10-years in the making, with millions of dollars being spent to make it perfect.
What surprised people about the LFA wasn't just its performance, handling or specs, but the fact that it came from Lexus — the premium car division of Toyota, which till then was known to produce high-end luxury models and not supercars.
The Lexus LFA was powered by a 4.8-litre naturally-aspirated V10, producing 552bph and 480Nm of torque, paired with a single-clutch semi automatic gearbox. Fun fact, the LFA redlined to 9,500rpm so quick that a standard analogue dial couldn't keep up and hence had to be replaced with a digital needle.
So, there it is! Our top-five pick of the most unique cars from popular brands. Do you agree? Which of these is your favourite? Also, do let us know, which cars you feel should be on this list!