Certain cars feature such atrocious designs that they become automotive legends. Think cars such as the AMC Pacer and Pontiac Aztek. In the last year, we've seen quirky designs that may reach legendary status. Only time will tell.
Put on the road last year, BMW led the pack in oddball design. BMW calls it a Sports Activity Coupe, but a coupe shouldn't have four doors and be able to ford rivers. The X6 seems to be BMW's attempt at building a crossover, but it embodies none of the virtues of that segment.
Shown in concept form at the 2009 New York auto show, the ZDX is slated for production. Acura designers managed to independently come up with a car similar to the BMW X6. In both cases, the designers seemed to have looked at their sedan models, then looked at their SUVs, and morphed them together.
At the 2008 Paris auto show, Lamborghini took a stab at broadening its model lineup into the sedan segment. From a financial standpoint, it makes sense, as sedans have steadier sales than sports cars. Fortunately, this one is only a concept, and no plans have been announced for production.
The Rapide was first shown as a concept in 2006, and hits production later this year. Like the Estoque, the Rapide is a sedan based on sports car design. The Rapide uses the DB9 platform, but adding two extra doors to a coupe gives it comical proportions.
Obviously embarrassed, Porsche merely hinted at the Panamera for a number of years, with the occasional spy photo emerging. But the covers came off this year at the Shanghai auto show, a location probably chosen for its remoteness from Western criticism. The Panamera follows the theme of the Rapide and Estoque, and is slated for production this year.