Sports coupes: Slick styling, short life

The existence of the sports coupe has always been a fragile one. Very few have stood the test of time.

All glitz, no guts
All glitz, no guts
After much speculation, Subaru has announced that the name of its new sports coupe, to be unveiled later this year, will be BRZ.

Aside from confusion about the name (apparently "B" stands for the boxer engine, "R" for rear-wheel-drive, and "Z" for its zenith of perfection), you may wonder what Subaru is doing in the sports coupe business anyway.

Sports coupes have two doors, emphasize flash over functionality, and aspire to higher levels of performance. While it is capable of contemporary design, Subaru is a company better known for sturdy all-wheel-drive vehicles like the Outback.

And as car models go, many sports coupes have the life expectancy of fruit flies. Subaru has been down this road before with the short-lived SVX. This is not a product segment filled with golden oldies

As it happens, the BRZ was developed in partnership with Toyota, but that hardly improves its chances for longevity. The company that makes the Camry is also the company that made the Celica, Supra, and MR-2 -- models more likely to be found in a museum.

Sport coupes are all about fashion, and fashion is fleeting -- and fickle. Herewith, some more sports coupes that didn't stand the test of time.

By Alex Taylor III, senior editor-at-large - Last updated September 09 2011: 1:19 PM ET
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