Unlike my compadre tgriffith, who drools over ludicrous supercars, I drool over grotesque concept cars. You know, the ones that are so ugly and weird that they can turn off a carmaker’s customers forever.
The ones whose designers confuse creativity with confusion, good taste with shock value, function with ornamentation. There weren’t that many bummers in the New York Show, but these three were outstanding, in my opinion.
We’ve talked about the Saab Phoenix (above) before, and we hate to keep punishing a company that’s on the ropes, but the Phoenix has more unnecessary styling gimmicks than a Christmas tree, and the whole is a lot less than the sum of the parts.
Like Saab, Mazda has built some interesting cars, but with its new Minagi/Kodo styling concept, who is going to buy them? The latest to go into production (next year) will be the CX-5 crossover. Long in the snout, chopped off in the tail, the CX-5 will have all the so-called SkyActiv higher-efficiency features that Mazda is touting against its hybrid competition.
It’s a great company with a great history of innovation, though not, perhaps, in styling.
And then Hyundai showed its Nuvis concept, another hybrid. This one isn’t so bad, except for the gullwing doors (which can’t possibly see production) and the front end, which looks like an oriental frog.
Jalopnik described the interior:
Inside the tech meets eco theme continues with all the interior fabrics made from 100% recycled materials and touch screen interfaces all over the place. Since ambient lighting is the current fad for all designers it’s got very dramatic blue lighting to compliment the swoopy, unmanufacturable shapes. [sic]
I dunno, folks. Maybe I’m being too critical about these cars. But we’ve seen some glorious concepts in the past, and now many carmakers just seem to be trying too hard.
Which of the concepts above, if any, do you think shows the most promise?