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Cars we hate part 23 – Nissan Cube

2011 Nissan Cube

This week’s article about the cars we really don’t like is about the third generation of the Nissan Cube. This small, upright box features a ridiculously huge front bumper and a pair of overdone headlights, while the shape of the windows is just wrong. The worst thing about it would have to be at the back with the drooping rear bumper and those weird, horizontal taillights.

2011 Nissan Cube

We don’t have anything against boxy cars in general, because we really like how the Kia Soul looks, a funky and cool car, but this one really needs a serious makeover when the fourth generation will arrive. The car’s got potential but they need to get back to the drawing board to make it looks stylish. Let’s hope that they do the same thing about one of their other cars, the Juke which is even more horrible than this one.

2011 Nissan Cube

The interior of the Cube doesn’t look half bad and it seems to be very spacious. We like the simple and fresh design, but it needs some serious work on the outside. Maybe this is how Japanese like their cars…

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Cars we hate part 22 – DR1 S

DR1 S

This week during the Bologna Motor Show, we’ve seen some attractive cars like the A-Class Concept from Mercedes-Benz, but we’ve also noticed this awful DR1 S. The local automaker DR brought the “hot” S version of the DR1 model which is wearing a special livery with white stripes on the roof and hood. It also features a more powerful braking system and rides on 15-inch alloys.

DR1 S

We don’t like it because it looks a lot like an Indian or a Chinese car, and this is a truly unpleasant surprise coming from an Italian automaker because as you all know, the Italians really know how to make gorgeous cars. Anyway, inside the cabin it has aluminum pedals and a carbon look, while the engine is a tiny 4-cylinder 1.3-liter that develops 88 hp and a peak torque of 117 Nm.

DR1 S

The DR1 S is already on sale and can be ordered in one of the available colors: Red Passion, Black Ink and Elegant Grey. Deliveries will start in March next year and the car costs 8,800 Euros. DR will launch in September 2012 a more powerful version of the car, named the DR1 SR, which will feature a 100 hp engine. Exciting, right?

Source: DR via gallerycar.net

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Cars We Hate Part 21 – China’s Top 10

Mitsuoka Orochi

China’s economic boom is now very obvious in the automotive industry which has risen in the last few years tremendously. However, some of the local automakers really don’t have a design studio where they should invest time and money for the design of the car. Instead, most of them decide to “borrow” the looks of popular cars from across the world and make them uglier. Here is our top ten of the ugliest cars “Made in China”.

Number 10 – Chery Rely X5

At number 10 we find the Rely X5 from Chery, a car that came out in the second part of 2009, which is tremendously ugly both outside and inside. The build construction of this car is appalling while the overall appearance is as ugly as the Pontiac Aztek. This is probably the first car in the automotive history that has a verb in its name. What’s good about it? Nothing really, except maybe for the big trunk.

Number 9 – Chery A5

Another car made by Chery is the A5, a compact vehicle which is the very first Chinese-designed mass-production hybrid model. This A5 certainly won’t win any beauty contests plus its name is not very original either. It was launched back in 2006 and they still make it today. Much like the SUV we’ve mentioned, this one too has borrowed a lot of design cues from other models, blending all of them in a cheap-looking package.

Number 8 – Greatwall Coolbear

No, this isn’t the Scion xB, it is a cheap clone made by Greatwall. The Coolbear (awful name by the way) is powered by a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter engine which is mated to a 5-speed CVT gearbox. How in the world Toyota allows Greatwall to manufacture this model is beyond my understanding…

Number 7 – Chery Fulwin2

We have yet another car from Chery (and there will be others too), this time the Fulwin2 that came out last year. Under its hood is a 1.5-liter ACTECO engine mated to a manual transmission. The engine develops 80 kW at 6,000 rpm and a peak torque of 140 Nm at 3,000 rpm. The back of the car is just wrong and it looks extremely poor designed. The rear seems to be a little higher than the front.

Number 6 – Lifan 320

Here is another cheap clone – the Lifan 320. As you probably figured this out by now, this is a poor imitation of the Mini. It made its debut at the 2008 edition of the Beijing Auto Show and they sell it not only in China, but also Peru and Russia. It has a 4-cylinder 1.3-liter engine that fires 87 hp, linked to a 5-speed manual/automatic gearbox. Why would anybody buy this hideous rip-off?

Number 5 – BYD Flyer

On our number five spot we find the BYD Flyer, a city car that has been developed by the government-owned Xian Qinhuan Automobile. The car is produced by BYD Auto and has 3- and 4-cylinder engines borrowed from old generation Suzuki units. What’s wrong with it? Well, everything. The proportions of the car don’t make any sense and it seems to be very unstable.

Number 4 – Chery QQ6

I’m not sure from which car they stole the design and made it worse, but it is really very hard to create such an ugly car. This one too is manufactured by Chery and it is a 4-door sedan based on a platform “developed” by the Chinese automaker. It’s also being sold in Chile where it has a 1.1-liter engine, whereas in China it can be purchased also with a more powerful 1.3-liter unit.

Number 3 – Zhongtai M300

To be honest, I’ve never heard about Zhongtai before I started researching for this article. As you can see, the M300 looks a lot like the Fiat Multipla. So, what happens when you steal the design of an ugly car? You create an even uglier car that looks dreadful, especially from the sides.

Number 2 – Huapu Haishang

I’ve never heard about this car either, but it deserves the second place in our top. Looking at its front, especially the headlights, it looks a lot like an Audi. From the sides and the back it looks pretty much like a Hyundai Accent, a car that as you know isn’t a looker, especially the older generations.

Number 1 – Chery QQ

We’ve saved the best for last – the Chery QQ. If you’ve been reading automotive news in the last couple of years, you probably know that the Chery QQ has been the subject of an industrial copyright and intellectual rights controversy. GM stated that the car is a copy of the Daewoo Matiz (Chevrolet Spark) and they are totally right. Even though the Matiz is not a looker, the QQ is horrible, both inside and out. Even the interior looks like a Matiz. The car is being sold not only in China, but also in Chile (Chery IQ), Pakistan, South Africa, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam (the cheapest car in the country) and Sri Lanka.

Chery QQ

What can we learn from all of this? Well, China has a lot to learn regarding the design of a car. Instead of stealing it, they should invest a lot of money and time into creating their own designs. However, we should be thankful to China because who knows what might have happened to popular automakers like Volvo and Saab if it weren’t for rich investors.

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Cars We Hate Part 20 – Mitsuoka Orochi

Mitsuoka Orochi

We’ve reached the twentieth article in our series about cars that we really don’t like, and today we have one of the ugliest of them all – the Mitsuoka Orochi. It got its name after an eight-headed serpent from Japanese folklore. They made only 400 cars of this model during its 4-year production run. It was introduced in 2001 at the Tokyo Auto Show while the production model was launched in January 2007 at a price of $108,135.

Mitsuoka Orochi

The Orochi is motivated by a V6 3.3-liter engine that pumps out only 230 hp. It is the same engine that was used to power the Lexus RX, Camry, Highlander, Sienna and the Solaraand. It is linked to a five-speed automatic transmission, and taking into consideration that the car has a curb weight of more than 3,400 pounds, it’s safe to say that we’re not dealing with a sports car.

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Cars we hate part 19 – from SEMA 2011

We’ve seen a lot of cool and interesting concepts at this year’s edition of SEMA, but there were also a few vehicles that looked simply ridiculous, including this convertible Porsche Panamera.

One of the other hideous vehicles is a yellow painted school bus Chrysler 300 pickup truck which has all the ingredients of a terrible car: oversized chrome rims, odd speaker housing and those scissor doors that only look cool on supercars, not a truck.

Here’s something odd, really odd – the Spiderman car. From what we can tell, this is a Toyota Celica that has a peculiar Spiderman theme that basically ruined what is a really cool car in its standard configuration. Why don’t they take some ugly cars, like the Nissan Juke for example, and work on them, leaving the cool cars alone.

We end with something rather spooky, the Mister Cartoon Ice Cream. This one looks like something taken out from a kid’s nightmare as it is a rather wildy-styled ice cream truck that is very sinister. The person who has done this is a graffiti and tattoo artist from Los Angeles by the name of Mark Machado (aka Mr. Cartoon).

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Cars We Hate Part 18 – From SEMA 2010

The 2011 SEMA show will start next week so in this article we have a look at three of the ugliest cars shown at last year’s edition.

One of them is based on the Chrysler 300m which frankly isn’t a pretty car in its standard version, but this pimped out version looks considerably worse, featuring five Lambo doors and huge rims that look absolutely pathetic.

You’ve got to appreciate how much work they’ve put into this project car, but at the SEMA show last year it was one of the ugliest. It had an outrageous body kit with some hideous fender ports and air scoops. What made this car “special” is that pea green paint and the TV mounted on the hood.

The last one is a woody convertible and to be honest, we don’t know what car is that since it has been heavily (and dreadfully) modified. It comes with a very tacky music-themed interior and exterior, along with very ugly chrome rims.

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Cars We Hate Part 17 – Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar

CitiCar

Quick question: Which is the most produced electric car in the American automobile history? The answer would be this hideous Sebring-Vanguard CitiCar. The model was manufactured between 1974 and 1977 by the Sebring, Florida-based company who later on was sold to Commuter Vehicles that launched several similar models, like the Comuta-Van and the Comuta-car, cars that were produced between 1979 and 1982.

CitiCar

The design of the car was inspired by how a golf cart looks and the vehicle was a response to the fuel crisis of the 70s. It is a small-sized wedge-shaped EV and by 1977 they’ve made approximately 2,300 units. It was available in three variants with the original Coupe being the smallest. The first cars (SV-36) that were produced featured a 2.5 hp motor and a 36v battery pack.

Later on, they introduced the SV-48 which had a 3.5 hp motor and a 48v battery pack, along with other minor improvements. The third variant of the car was also known as the Model A and it had a 6 hp motor, while its body suffered some modifications in order to make room for heater inlet vents on the side along with permanently side windows.

The Comuta-Car that followed had a beefier 6 hp motor as well as a drive train arrangement, while the batteries were moved from under the seat to the car’s bumpers, which made the vehicle approximately 16 inches longer than the original model.

CitiVan

As for the CitiVan they only had a limited production of this model which was in fact an extended-wheelbase version of the aforementioned Model A variant of the CitiCar. It was manufactured and sold between 1976 and 1979 and apparently they’ve only made 11-19 units.

ComutaVan

The Comuta-Van was the longest of them all, featuring a length that had been increased to 142 inches. This variant featured a 12 hp motor, a three-speed transmission and a 72v battery pack. It could accommodate only two passengers but it had more room for storage. All of the units that were built had a right-hand-drive configuration.

All of the variants were manufactured with space frames that were made from ABS plastic bodies and welded aluminum tubes, with a leaf spring suspension (front + rear) and solid axels. They were able to do up to 40 miles on a single charge and the top speed was about 50 mph.

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Cars We Hate Part 16 – Corbin Sparrow

Corbin Sparrow

This would have to be a three-wheeled, single-passenger electric vehicle running on batteries that was designed for city driving. The car was initially manufactured by Corbin Motors and later on by Myers Motors. Advertized as a PEV – Personal Electric Vehicle, it’s one of the ugliest vehicles ever made. A bunch of these cars were featured in the very funny movie Austin Powers Goldmember which is exactly the kind of movie in which these cars should be showcased.

Corbin Sparrow

It is powered by a 20 kW continuous 156-volt DC or three-phase AC electric motor and offers a range between 20 to 40 miles (32 to 64 km) while the maximum speed is of 70 mph (112 km/h). They made two versions of this model: the original “jelly bean” and after that the hatchback version which was also known as the “pizza butt” since it was developed for use by Domino’s Pizza.

Corbin Sparrow

Source: Corbin Sparrow

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Cars We Hate Part 15 – Mercedes SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

Mercedes SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

In my humble opinion, one of the most attractive cars Mercedes-Benz has ever launched is the SLR. While I’m not too fond of that long hood, I absolutely adore the back of the car. Anyway, we’re not here to discuss about the standard version, we’re here to talk about this hideous thing called the “999 Red Gold Dream”. This is the 15th article in the series and we have to say that it is by far the car we hate the most, for obvious reasons.

Mercedes SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

Where to start because this is just wrong in all the ways you could imagine. Apparently, this “piece of art” is the work of a Swiss designer (who probably was on drugs) Ueli Anliker, and he says that to create it he spent about five million SF, which is about $4.35 million. He invested more than 30,000 man hours to create this hideous 24k gold SLR.

Mercedes SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

The car was unveiled back in 2009 at the Auto Emotionen (not very original Seat might say) in Berne, Switzerland. Whoever agreed to let the “999 Red Gold Dream” participate at the event has no clue about cars.

Mercedes SLR 999 Red Gold Dream

So many hours and so much money for killing an SLR…

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Cars We Hate Part 14 – Studebaker Avanti

Studebaker Avanti

The design of the Studebaker Avanti is the work of Sherwood Egbert who came up with this peculiar styling while he was on a jet-plane flight west from Chicago just 37 days after he became president of the company in February, 1961.

Studebaker Avanti

It could have been a great car if it hadn’t been for that odd face where it doesn’t have a grille and those two rounded headlights are set too far apart giving the Avanti a rather clueless expression – the reason why it made it into this article.

Studebaker Avanti

It was a pretty interesting car nevertheless, featuring a fiberglass body design that was mounted on a heavily modified Lark Daytona convertible chassis and a modified 289 Hawk power unit. It had front disc brakes while one of the options was a Paxton supercharger.

Studebaker Avanti

The car was introduced to the general public on April 26, 1962 at the New York Auto Show and at the same time at the Annual Shareholders’ Meeting. Production ended in December 1963 and Studebaker made less than 4,000 units of the Avanti.

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Cars We Hate Part 13 – Nissan S-Cargo

Nissan S-Cargo

You probably haven’t heard anything about this car until now. Perhaps it is the ugliest model launched by Nissan. It came out in 1989 as a small retro-ish commercial van and looks pretty much like a snail.

Nissan S-Cargo

If you think that it resembles in some ways with the Citroen 2CV, yet another hideous car, you are right as the “designers” of the S-Cargo borrowed a few pictures of the 2CV when they came up with the design for this model. They even took the single-spoke design of the steering wheel from the 2CV, a car which was extremely popular in Japan in those days, for God knows why.

Nissan S-Cargo

Anyway, it made its official debut at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1989 and the last one rolled out of Nissan’s factory in 1992. They made about 12,000 units, all of which were right-hand drive. It had a 4-cylinder 1.5-liter gasoline engine linked to a three-speed automatic gearbox. Some of the optional features included an electric canvas roof and an oval portal window which was installed on each side of the panel.

Let’s just hope that none of the 12,000 cars are on the road today.

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Cars We Hate Part 12 – Aston Martin Lagonda Wagon

Aston Martin Lagonda Wagon

There is nothing wrong with the resolution of your monitor and no, we haven’t flattened these photos at all. What you see it’s the real deal, the wagon version of the Aston Martin Lagonda. Its 4-door sedan sibling was targeted as a luxury car and the British automaker rolled out 645 units between the years 1974 and 1990.

Aston Martin Lagonda Wagon

Not only is it one of the ugliest cars in the word, but the sedan version was a catastrophe as far as the mechanics are concerned. AM decided to develop this car with state-of-the-art, computer-driven electronics as well as cathode-ray displays, which all sound very cool, but they didn’t work at all. It has been included in Times’ “The 50 Worst Cars of All Time” top.

Aston Martin Lagonda Wagon

Looks aside, the car was powered by a V8 5.3-liter engine that developed 280 hp (284 PS / 209 kW) and a peak torque of 301 lb.-ft (408 Nm), enough for a 0-62 mph sprint in 6.2 seconds and a respectable top speed of 149 mph (240 km/h).

You probably already know that Aston Martin is currently working on bringing back to life the Lagonda name. Let’s just hope that this time they’ll do a better job. The first car which will probably be out in two or three years will be a luxurious SUV. We’re very curious to see what they’ve have been up to since 2009 when they’ve unveiled a rather attractive concept at the Geneva Motor Show.

We’ll keep you posted.

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Cars We Hate Part 11 – Tatra T603

Tatra T603

We bet most of you haven’t heard about the Tatra T603 but now you’ll probably remember it for a long time. What can we say about the design of this car? It’s simply hideous, probably one of the ugliest cars of the 60s.

Tatra T603

The first variant of the 603 had three headlamps! The one in the middle was connected to the steering which made it possible to turn the lamp with the steering. At first, these headlights were located under a single piece of glass and later on they’ve used three-piece glass. The car featured a big cargo compartment under the hood, under which they’ve put the spare wheel.

Tatra T603

The Tatra T603 was allocated only to the senior members of the industrial and political establishments and approximately one third of the production was exported to the central and eastern European countries that were allied to Czechoslovakia, along with China and Cuba. They’ve made this car for 20 years, producing 20,422 units, mostly by hand. Some say that Fidel Castro, former Cuban president has one fitted with an air conditioning system.

Tatra T603

PS: This dashboard doesn’t look that bad though…

Source: Wikipedia

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Cars We Hate Part 10 – Citroen Ami

Citroen Ami

As much as I like Citroen nowadays, most of the cars they’ve made the last century (except for the DS) were very ugly. A fine example is this Ami (French for “friend”) that they’ve produced from 1961 until 1978. I’ve always hated these fenders that drop below the tire line and I always will. It had a top that extended from the back like a porch roof. Interesting, but hideous.

Citroen Ami

Other things I don’t like about this car? Those dot-sized brake lights and the weird-shaped windows. Despite its rather hideous appearance, at least in my opinion, the Citroen Ami was the best-selling car model in France for several years. The company rolled out 1,840,396 units, which is very impressive.

Citroen Ami

The Ami was in fact a rebodied 2CV (another awful-looking car) that came with some mechanical upgrades. Most of the variants of the model were powered by a 602 cc 2-cylinder engine that was available in the 2CV. In addition, the suspension and the platform chassis were very similar to the 2CV.

Citroen Ami

The Citroen Ami, along with the 1961 Ford Taunus, was the first cars in the world that came with rectangular headlamps.

Citroen Ami

Source: Wikipedia.org

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Cars We Hate Part 9 – FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

If you’ve read our previous article about the Cadillac Escalade you know that we’re not big fans of this huge SUV. However, if we look at FAB Design’s version, the standard Escalade doesn’t look that bad anymore. The Swiss tuners have managed to take a very ugly car and turn it into an automotive design nightmare.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

A North African client asked Roland Rysanek, who is the owner of FAB Design to heavily modify his Cadillac Escalade. The very eccentric owner wanted an interior cabin lined with real snake leather along with crocodile-imitating leather. As you can see from these pics, he got what he wanted.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

Pro Wildlife, an animal rights group said that too many of these snakes are being used to satisfy the tastes of luxury lovers. The owner of FAB Design replied that the leather that was used for this Cadillac Escalade came from snakes that were killed in a humane way, if there is such a thing.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

Let’s forget about the “special” interior and have a looksie at the exterior appearance of this American SUV. As you can see, everything was modified and to be honest, I can’t find a single thing that I like, maybe the rims but that’s about it.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

The car is still powered by the standard engine, a V8 6.2-liter unit that produces 409 hp.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

No word about the price for this customization, but I’m sure that it wasn’t cheap.

FAB Design Cadillac Escalade

Source: Auto Bild via Carscoop

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