Yugo is a car brand best known by many not for its potential but for its limitations. One of the prominent car marques in the 1980s, Yugo vehicles were small, slow, and frequently broke down. But despite these setbacks, Yugo vehicles remained sought after because of their affordable price and reasonable mileage. And although Yugo vehicles are no longer in production today, many are still driven on the streets and with aftermarket replacement Yugo parts readily available on the market.
The Yugo GV
The car that made Yugo a household name in the US was also its namesake: the Yugo GV. A subcompact 3-door hatchback, the Yugo GV was developed in the early 1980s by the Yugoslav/Serbian automaker Zastava. In fact, the original name of the Yugo GV was Zastava Koral . it was only rebranded as Yugo for the US market. With its diminutive design and modest 1.3L engine, the Yugo GV was no looker, but with the world still reeling from the 1973 oil crisis, it caught the eye of US importers looking for a low-cost, fuel-efficient automobile.
In 1984, the first fleet of Yugos was introduced to the American public and promoted as an every man\'s car with a 10-year warranty and free maintenance. But despite the fanfare, the Yugo GVs were plagued with problems. The first few models imported in the US failed to meet emission standards, and even with successive improvements over the years, the Yugo GV had chronic engine and electrical problems. But even with these setbacks, the relatively low price of the Yugo GV . around $4,500 in the 1980\'s . made it a popular choice for many Americans. The Yugo remained in production up until 2008, rolling a total of 794,428 units.
Today, the Yugo GV has become a cult favorite, spawning Yugo driving clubs as well as a creating sizable market for replacement Yugo car parts and Yugo performance parts.
After the fairly successful debut of the Yugo GV in the US, Zastava followed up with the Yugo Florida. A 5-door hatchback, the Yugo Florida was larger than its predecessor and was the most technologically advanced automobile ever produced by Zastava. It was based on the lightweight Ritmo platform and was fitted with a 1.1-1.6 L engine, aerodynamic exterior panels, and improved air-conditioning and other Yugo parts. But what really set the Yugo Florida was its price; Zastava deliberately made sure that the price tag for the Florida never exceeded beyond $8,000.
The Yugo Florida was in production for 20 years . from 1988 to 2008 . with the last model produced in Zastava\'s factory in Kragujevac, Serbia.
Yugo\'s Racing Cars
While Yugo vehicles were certainly not meant for racing, this certainly hasn\'t stopped car enthusiasts from driving these compact cars on the racetrack. Initially popular in Serbia, Yugo racing cars have found a sizable footing among fans across the globe. There are even races, such as the Yugo Allstars series across Europe, which cater specifically to Yugo vehicles and cars of similar size and specifications. And true to racing tradition, these Yugo race cars have been modified for use in the track, being fitted with aftermarket Yugo parts such as custom shocks and roll cages.