It’s certainly not true that the Japanese are the only ones to produce ugly cars. But theirs have a singular look that anyone can easily identify. We show you three models here, two Nissans and an Acura—good cars, yet no one should buy them unless they want to be accused of being tasteless.
Our big winner has to be the Infiniti FX50, whose appearance Top Gear likened to that of a whale shark. This luxo crossover has achieved good reviews, but imagine driving it to a top restaurant where the parking attendant snickers. And others point at your headlights.
But then look at Acura, with its TL. The nose resembles a cow-catcher on an old steam locomotive. The rear end could well be the front if you replaced the red taillight lenses with clear ones (see video). What has happened to the company that built the NSX?
Nissan chief creative officer, Shiro Nakamura, has likened the new GT-R to the eponymous giant robots of the Gundam series. Nakamura states: “The GT-R is unique because it is not simply a copy of a European-designed supercar, it had to really reflect Japanese culture.”
Who cares? It’s still ugly. Why can’t Nissan be happy producing cars like the G37 coupe and sedan? Or like the classic 300ZX (left), one of which I owned and wish I had still. Japanese car designers can do great things if they get their minds off robots, anime, and other frivolities.
Can you nominate other Japanese cars for the Ugly Awards? Don’t be shy.