Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Community Manager

The 10 biggest design letdowns of the last 30 years?

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: 




Community Manager

I would love to see the Portofino in person, great example! 

New Driver

aztek--universally derided from day 1--little known fact is its designer was then promoted to head of corvette design. thats a talent! talent for gm politics.


Pit Crew

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.  

New Driver

Inspired by beta fighting fish. Fine for a fish, but not one out of water
Intermediate Driver

How about the VW Microbus concept that turned into...a lightly modified Chrysler Town & Country (aka Routan)? 😫



Intermediate Driver

The Ford 427 concept, which could have given the Chrysler 300C serious competition,


instead became the completely forgettable Ford 500:


Intermediate Driver

Basically, any Lexus design for as far back as we can remember. Long derided for having generic, forgettable designs, Toyota said, "We'll show you!" and lost their sanity and their way. Good thing I'm not interested in Lexus. It must be hard for owners to like the car but hate to look at it.
Pit Crew

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?

Pit Crew

How about the Prowler. It could have been a real car with a HEMI. Why does Chrysler always wimp out with the motors.    .....Jim.


Wasn't there a supercharged option? Just because it had a 6 seems an insufficient reason. I remember some 4cyl. jobs doing well at the Indy 500 😉