Out with a bang! The best final edition cars of all time
It’s Bonfire Night once again and all across the country fireworks are brightening up the night sky. And though loud bangs and cars don’t tend to mix, there have been many final edition cars that have signalled the end of the line with a flourish.
It may be that a nameplate is being discontinued or that a new model is on the way, but manufacturers have a habit of celebrating a car with one final, last-gasp hurrah. Here are some of the best.
Subaru Impreza WRX STI Final Edition
The Impreza WRX STI had been on sale in one form or another for close to 25 years by the time Subaru called time on its rally-honed legend. During that period, it had won the hearts and minds of petrolheads the world over.
Subaru gave it a fitting send-off, too. Just 150 were produced with each showcasing the best of what the car could do. It may have been showing its age both inside and out, but that didn’t stop the Final Edition being a fitting tribute to a lasting legacy.
Volkswagen Golf GTI TCR
The most recent Volkswagen Golf GTI has been one of the best yet. Due to be replaced shortly, the car has been celebrated with this – the TCR – to give the GTI one last hurrah before a new version arrives.
The TCR may have followed on from more hardcore models like the Clubsport S, but it aimed to deliver a more race-car-inspired drive. It may not have been quite as involving as the Clubsport S, but it was a more than resounding send-off for one of the most popular Golf models of all time.
Mercedes-AMG S65 Final Edition
It seems strange to celebrate an engine, don’t you think? But that’s just what Mercedes-AMG did with the S65 Final Edition. It heralded the end of a V12-powered version of Merc’s high-end S Class, a combination which combined opulence and performance in equal measure.
Just 130 were produced, with each car weighed down with hundreds of extras including temperature-controlled cupholders.
Ford Focus RS500
The RS500 was a final celebration of Ford’s mad-hat Focus RS. Limited, predictably, to just 500 models worldwide, with just 101 arriving on UK shores. Power was boosted by 44bhp over the standard RS, and a range of mechanical tweaks were made elsewhere to help make the car even sharper.
A special matt black wrap was one of the most noticeable changes, which gave the RS500 a distinctly undercover look.
Mini John Cooper Works GP
The first-generation Mini was an instant hit, with BMW-backed build quality and retro looks combining to make a car which people genuinely couldn’t get enough of. The sporty Cooper S models were even better thanks to nimble handling and plenty of performance.
The John Cooper Works GP marked the end of the generation by bringing a stripped-back, hardcore version to market. It certainly delivered and was a resounding swansong to its generation. Prices today are just as strong as they were when it was released, in fact.
Audi R8 LMX
Though the R8 continues in its rather excellent second-generation form, Audi didn’t let its first factor go out with no special treatment.
To say goodbye to its first series-production mid-engined car, the firm brought in its at-the-time pioneering laser LED technology to the sports machine for this special edition — the LMX. These units gave it even more road presence than before and was supplemented with a 20bhp power increase. Just 99 examples of the R8 LMX were made.
Ferrari 458 Speciale Aperta
When Ferrari waved off its 458, it wasn’t just a car it was saying goodbye to — but also a rather large piece of its history. That was because it was the final naturally-aspirate mid-engined V8 to come from the firm, with the turbocharged 488 replacing it soon after.
It certainly didn’t go out on a whimper though, with the final version of the 458 being the rather remarkable Speciale Aperta. This drop-top model featured a whole host of performance-oriented upgrades to make it the best 458 money can buy.