We usually assume that sporty models are the most sleekly-designed – but this isn’t always the case. Sometimes, design teams get so caught up in substance that any semblance of style goes out the window. This list takes a look at some of the worst offenders…
Looking more like something from Robot Wars than a supercar, the Panoz Abruzzi attempts to make up for its visually jarring appearance with a 440 kW engine. But it seems this hasn’t been enough to redeem it completely – the model has now disappeared from the company’s website.
Widely considered the “weirdest” automobile offering ever to have come out of Japan, this odd attempt at a sports car failed to last long on the market – it ceased production after just 11 units sold. Described by the manufacturer as “the car to ride to gather attention from everyone”, it certainly lived up to its reputation – but for all the wrong reasons. Sadly for Mitsuoka, it wasn’t even particularly fast.
If we were being kind, we might describe this Yamaha as “exotic”. If we’re being honest, we’d say it looked more like a sci-fi film prop than a supercar. When the OX99-11 was released, many people expected more from a company with such a long history in auto manufacturing. Sadly, it wasn’t to be, and while the model is undeniably powerful – it has a 400 HP V12 and 10,000 RPM rev capabilities – the idea was discontinued before the car ever made it into the assembly hall.
No, this hasn’t been included on the list by accident – the Eliica is actually classified as a supercar, no matter how implausible this may seem at first glance. Like the unfortunate Mitsuoka Orochi, this 8-wheeled “experiment” hails from Japan and was debuted in 2004. While its speed and environmental credentials are impressive – it’s electric, with 0-60 acceleration in an impressive 4 seconds – it’s hard to ignore its almost caterpillar-esque appearance.
Weber “Faster One”
The name of this Swiss-produced powerhouse suggests function over form, and it’s exactly right to do so. The latest version of this two-seater roadster was released with the claim that it’s the “fastest street-legal sports car” in the world – and with a maximum speed of “over 400 km/h”, that could well be true. The car leaves much to be desired in terms of its design, though, especially when compared to its closest competitor, the elegant Bugatti Veyron Super Sport.
Isdera Imperator 108i
German car manufacturers rarely put a foot wrong when it comes to design – which is probably why when they do, it’s in such a big way. Granted, it’s now some time since the Imperator 108i was released, but there’s really no excuse for such a monstrosity to ever have existed. You’ll be glad to know that only 30 of them were ever made – and we’re betting that most of them are now safely behind locked doors – so there’s little chance of you having to lay eyes on one after today.
Ed Scott is a lifelong car enthusiast and a true petrol head, read more of his views on the motor industry over at the webuyanycar.com blog.