It's all a popularity contest. If you're a successful car, odds are good that you'll make an appearance the next year.
But if you're the kind of car perpetually marked as the "manager's special" with an asking price that's about to become a begging price, you're probably not going to be asked to return for the next year. You've been cut.
Perhaps what's most interesting about 2018's death list is that it's almost all outliers—cars that weren't intended to conform with the workaday crossovers and sedans that make up most of the roughly 17 million new cars sold annually. It's a sad day for quirkiness, although not too many of us will miss cars like the Nissan Quest and the Mitsubishi i-MiEV.
It's also a tough year for car enthusiasts as new-car buyer appetites for crossovers, SUVs, and pickups seem endless. That's all fine and dandy, but no enthusiast can look upon the demise of the Dodge Viper and Chevrolet SS as a high point. Here's a look at what models aren't returning to the lineup for 2018 as well as some hints as to what spelled their demise.
This one's complicated. Really complicated. The Chevy SS' demise has more to do with parent company General Motors' decision to end manufacturing in Australia than it does to do with weak sales sales in America. But that's not to say that the enthusiasts who begged for this V-8 muscle sedan exactly lined up to buy it, either.
Oh, the Viper. If you're of a certain age, you had a poster of one in your locker. Dodge was hoping that you'd be old enough and rich enough to buy one by now, but that hasn't been the case. We wouldn't be surprised to see another Viper someday, but we're not going to hold our breath.
America buys a lot of Honda Accord sedans. America does not buy a lot of Honda Accord two-doors. The Accord is all new for 2018 but there's no longer a place for this not-so-sporty and not-so-luxurious two-door, the final nail in the coffin for coupe versions of sedans.
Credit—or blame—the Infiniti QX70 for igniting the segment-busting, sporty-over-practical crossover craze. When it debuted as the Infiniti FX, this five-door boasted impressive performance and not much utility. Today, its spirit will live on in the BMW X6 and Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class Coupe, among others.