In North American, a Reliant is something you got from your Chrysler dealer back in the 80s, but across the pond in the UK, Reliant was better knows as a manufacturer of cheap 3-wheel economy car. Nothing says economy like “three-wheeler”. Anyways, the manufacturer saw a gap in the market in the early to mid-80s, with the demise of the Spitfire and Midget, and the need for an affordable performance two-seater. This came in the shape of the 1984 Reliant Scimitar SS1, designed by Italian stylist Michellotti. Unfortunately, Michellotti went to meet the great designer in the sky before being done, and the car looks half-finished.
Mechanically speaking, the SS1 was based on the Ford Escort and Escort XR3. In addition to the half-baked design, critics complained of the lack of performance, which was resolved with a Nissan 135 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder. Thus equipped, the Scimitar SS1 could reach a top speed of 126 miles per hour, and accelerate to 60 in less than 7 seconds.
Production of the 1984 Reliant Scimitar SS1 model came in 1989, and everyone seemed happy to see it go; a restyling was attempted, but only a few cars were ever produced.