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Hummer, Corvette, Moto Razr: The early 2000s are back with a new look and new tech

The Moto Razr isn't the only high-tech reboot this year -- lots of car manufacturers are reimagining older classics as modern marvels.

GMC Hummer EV
This front end is enough to make most people remember the H2 and laugh, but it's not the only name to get a reboot.

They always say that everything old is new again, and it would seem that I am getting old enough that the embarrassing stuff from my late teens is now getting rehashed and rebooted for mass consumption. A prime example of this is the highly-desirable-in-2004 Motorola Razr. 16 years later the Moto Razr is back as a smartphone with a flexible OLED screen and everybody (including our tech overlords at CNET) is abuzz over it.

That got me to thinking: With the spate of rebooted car model nameplates lately, which have fared best in the transition from the early aughts to the roaring '20s? Jump into the Wayback Machine with me, and let's have a look.


We're not saying we were sad to see it die, but it's fun to see Hummer come back as an EV.


Way back in 2003, General Motors capitalized on the thriving economy and subsequent SUV boom by introducing the Hummer brand and its most popular (and notorious) vehicle, the H2. The H2 was massive, brick-shaped, thirsty and slathered in all the faux-tough chrome and chunky plastic that Detroit could muster during the first-second-Bush administration.

Period publications like Car & Driver pegged the H2's fuel economy at between 9 and 10 miles per gallon in the city. Hummer was unceremoniously killed off by the General in May 2010, but that wouldn't prove to be the end for the brand.

Fast-forward to 2020, and now the Hummer is back. Kind of. GMC announced in January that the Hummer would be making a comeback and somewhat shockingly (pun so intended) it would be coming back as an electric pickup truck, of all things.

The GMC Hummer will make its official public debut on May 20, just four days before the 10th anniversary of the brand's death. Missed opportunity, my dudes. We still don't know much about this technological terror aside from GMC's claims that it'll pack 1,000 horsepower and make 11,000 pound-feet of torque (though that torque number is a bit misleading).

All we can hope for now is that GM will embrace the excess of the early-2000s and have Smash Mouth play the unveiling, if only so that we can make Roadshow's Steven Ewing go.


It's long and low and has one of the all-time great engines, but does it overshadow its long-awaited replacement?


In the late 1990s and early 2000s, Toyota's Supra was well-loved by enthusiasts and the automotive press. But in 2001, a little movie called The Fast and the Furious and its eye-searing orange Supra catapulted Toyota's coupe into the realm of automotive superstardom.

Aside from its celebrity car cachet, what made the Mark IV Toyota Supra great? It starts with the now-legendary Toyota 2JZ-GTE, arguably the greatest inline-six-cylinder engine of all time (you Slant-6 weirdos in the back can pipe down) thanks to its ability to make massive power reliably with relatively few modifications.

Next, it's supercool-ooking, with a long hood and short rear deck upon which was placed one of automotive history's most significant spoilers. Inside, a sea of black plastic somehow managed to look and feel cool thanks to its driver-angled, cockpitlike layout. The Supra -- arguably more than any other car -- cemented the reputation of 1990s Japanese sports cars in the minds of Americans.

Now, after an 18-year hiatus, the Supra is back. Sorta. See, this time around, Toyota decided to share some of the cost and engineering load with those crazy Bavarians at BMW, so while the 2020 Supra has a look all its own, beneath its wild Japanese sheet metal beats the heart of a Bimmer.

This has caused many diehard Supra fans to angrily decry the car in online forums and in comments sections, but given the world's current attitude towars sports cars, it was going to be this or nothing, and frankly, I'd take this. The BMW engine in the new Supra is a good one -- legendary racer Stephan Papadakis cranked one to over 1,000 horsepower already -- and while it's sad that there's no manual transmission option, that doesn't mean it's not still fun to drive.


The king of the original NSX models, the NSX R.


Acura's NSX was initially created as a tonic against the lackluster Italian exotics of the day like the Ferrari 348, which was mostly sound and fury (and eye-watering repair bills) without tons of substance. Honda decided that it could do better. The result was a lightweight all-aluminum sports car powered by a midmounted V6 engine featuring something called VTEC. Then they sicced the world's greatest Formula 1 driver on it to help make it handle.

It was a genuinely staggering car from a company best known for making frugal, reliable runabouts. True, the NSX lacked the drama of the Ferrari 348, but it was also much less likely to spontaneously catch fire, and I call that a big win for the big H.

Skip ahead to 2016. Honda's sporting cars were all but dead. The NSX expired in 2005, the Integra in 2006 and the S2000 in 2009. In the States, the best Honda could muster was the Civic Si. To right this situation, the designers of the new NSX (released here through its Acura luxury brand) took the old car's design ethos and tossed it to the curb. The new NSX was still mid-engined, but in place of simple engineering and lightweight design, the folks from Honda inserted a twin-turbo V6 engine with a hybrid-electric drivetrain. They sadly binned the sublime manual transmission, too, instead offering it only with a nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.

It should have been a big disappointment, and while it took some time to fully develop, the new NSX is NSX is now hailed as a genuine daily-driver supercar. It's comfortable, well-built and fast as hell.



The fifth-generation (C5) 1997 Corvette Coupe enjoyed global acclaim. Everything was new, from its LS1 small-block V8 to its refined chassis and body structure.

General Motors

Chevrolet's Corvette has always been a sports car for the working American. It's always offered relative performance value and has been the darling of the performance aftermarket. After the low point that was the plastic fantastic C4 Corvette, GM decided in the mid-1990s that it was time to make the 'Vette great all over again.

To do this, the General went all-in on performance, using high-tech materials and a new line of engines to create the C5 Corvette. Chevrolet aimed for the stars, and in some ways, it succeeded, but in others, it landed a little closer to earth.

While the C5 'Vette did offer outstanding performance value, buyers got what they paid for with some egregiously bad plastics and questionable build quality. Everything changed with the C5 Z06. The more potent LS engine, now with a titanium exhaust, produced 405 horsepower. The Z06 was a relative featherweight at just over 3,000 pounds, and now it's one of the best low-buck performance car bargains you can get. Things got better from there with the C6 and C7 variants, but then everything changed with the eighth-generation car.

The C8 Corvette is the long-awaited departure from the standard Corvette formula of big V8 engine up front plus fiberglass body equals burnouts for dads. The C8 puts the engine in the middle of the car, ditches the manual transmission option and puts out nearly 500 horsepower in its most pedestrian trim. Chevrolet truly set its sights on the Europeans with this generation, and despite its somewhat painful path to production, demand is healthy for the 2020 model year.

So, there we go. Our trip down memory lane is complete, but what early-aughts cars -- if you had unlimited cosmic power -- would you like to see resurrected in some form? The Plymouth Prowler? The Toyota MR2? Maybe the BMW Z4 M Coupe, you fancy-pants, you?

Let us know in the comments and tell us how you'd spec it while you're at it.

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