Perhaps in a fit of pre-holiday whimsy, the folks at Goodwood Road & Racing in the UK had Ethan Jupp compile a list of “Ten of the ugliest road cars ever.”
“There’s a lot of debate when it comes to the way cars look,” he wrote. “Looks are subjective and it’s all a matter of opinion, of course, but some cars are all but objectively bad looking, aren’t they? Here are some of our candidates for the ugliest road cars ever.”
Note that he used the word “some,” indicating there are many more that did not make this particular list.
But here are the 10 that did:
Mercedes-AMG GT Black Series
Hispano Suiza Carmen
Chrysler PT Cruiser
Honda Civic (FK8)
Yes, the first four listed are modern supercars, and for most people, it’s their speed not the details of their design that makes them objects to be coveted.
“To our minds, everyday cars have somewhat more of an excuse (for being ugly)” Jupp wrote. “They’re beholden to practicalities, corporate identities and aren’t first and foremost, objects of desire. Which is what supercars are supposed to be.
“So what, pray tell, is the point in an ugly supercar? The reasons, the proprietors of such machines will tell you, are two-fold: visual drama, and a function-over-form ethos.”
So what is ugly about this quartet? He notes that the Venemo has “not a single angle that appeals, not a whisper of attraction. It’s all pointless, gratuitous vulgarity, ordinarily the preserve of the aftermarket.”
Of the Hispano, he writes that “If Batman were a drunk Russian Oligarch, this would be his Batmobile.”
So what of the so-called everyday cars that made the list?
Of the Multipla, Jupp writes that its design was inspired by “the chest of an overweight middle-age man with his shirt off.” He notes that the Aztek is the icon of ugliness. He points out that the PT Cruiser was designed during the same period as the Aztek (as were a few other vehicles that easily could make an Ugly 10 list).
He calls the Juke “over-styled, oddly-proportioned, dumpy and depressing,” adding, however, that nonetheless, it has been a marketing success with a million bought worldwide.
He admits to being “a big cruel” including the recent version of the Civic, which he says is an excellent car, “but the fact is that apart from the Juke… there’s no better poster child for one of the ugliest tropes of car design from the last decade or so: over-styling.”
Which brings us to this: Jupp’s list is compiled through the eyes of someone who lives on the other side of the Atlantic; you’re unlikely ever to see a Fiat Multipla or Ssangyong Rodius on an American road, or, for that matter, a Hispano Suiza Carmen.
So what do you think are the ugliest cars you’ve ever seen? We open the Comments section below to your responses.