Ever loved a conceptual design from an automaker only to be let down by the actual model that rolls off the assembly line? Things got a lot tougher for automakers in the last 30 years: safety, insurance, emissions, global platform sharing, etc. all make car designs far more constrained than they used to be.
Here's my biggest letdown, the Pontac Aztek:
The Cross fire was one great design it both fastback and convertible.
They should bring it back and build less SUV's.
In fact, bring back the old Station Wagons. The were more comfortable, carried more passengers and lovely to look at.
The 2019 Chevrolet Blazer. Granted, the concept wasn't that well known, but the expectation of the usage of the name warrants inclusion to this list. The new Bronco being such a knock out just adds a truckload of salt to that wound for Blazer/Jimmy fans like myself.
Oh Cadillac! STUNNING Ciel, Escala and Elmiraj Concepts vs. anything they've put into production the past 10 years, with the Converj Concept perhaps the only notable exception given how beautifully executed the ELR was. Not so much a design letdown here. Cadillac's "N'est-ce pas?" marketing pretension, pricing $20K too high and performing too low (vs Volt) were the reasons for the true disappointment as it sold only from 2014-2016 and in substantially fewer numbers than expected.
I had the pleasure of driving the ELR in an electrified road rally that provided a truly extended opportunity to admire the design, build quality and ride. Truly an exceptional car. Still considering picking one up in the used market. Despite unicorn status and CUE failures it's now one helluva used value!
The Ford Motor Company in general, for abandoning cars. Yeah yeah, Mustang. Fine. But what about people who want sedans, or basic transportation, or a hot hatch? Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and the Korean powerhouse of Hyundai and Kia don't seem to be bothered about selling these kind of cars along with their SUVs. It won't be long before Ford will use the same rationale (whatever it was) to add another set of doors, AWD and the body from the MACH-E to the Mustang.
My pet peeve has long been the Porsche Boxster.
Production car: Well, you know, not that. A true bummer because for a while there it really looked like we were going to get a legitimate successor to the 356.
But more than that, my main beef is with the whole idea of pre-production “concepts.” True concepts like the Cadillac Sixteen are amazing but increasingly rare. The so called concepts we get instead today are production models with huge wheels and tiny mirrors that inevitably look just a wee bit better than what’s put on sale a few months later. But what’s the point of getting our hopes up with a “concept” and then disappointing us with the production model?
For me it was the current generation Lincoln Continental. I think it was Bob Lutz who said it looked like they took the concept and left it in the oven too long and melted the sharp fender edges down.