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 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?