The process of making and designing a new car for the market can be a difficult one, to say the least. Not only do companies have to reach their stated profit goals and appease shareholders, but also please consumers and car enthusiasts to even get the product sold on the market.
Throughout history, some manufacturers have accomplished exactly that with beautiful works of art in the concept stages while others have scrapped some projects altogether. Even then, sometimes the nicest of concepts are either disregarded as a bad investment or changed entirely before actually coming out.
Regardless, thinking of 'what could be' is half of the fun. Along with being thankful for what never was.
10 Hot: Audi P18 E-Tron
German engineering is debated to be the best in the whole world, and for good reason. One such example of a masterfully crafted exterior conjoined with state-of-the-art technology is Audi's new concept: The P18 E-Tron.
The P18 E-Tron is a supercar concept from Audi with an all-electric engine producing somewhere around the 670 horsepower mark. Aesthetically, the P18 is jaw-dropping with it's sharp and futuristic design. It even sports a steering wheel in the middle of the cockpit like the McLaren Speedtail and F1.
9 Not: Mercedes-Benz SLS E-Cell
As mentioned previously, Mercedes makes a lot of concept cars. Some are great like the Vision EQ Silver Arrow, while others are more like the SLS E-Cell. Although the SLS E-Cell looks like a normal SLS (Sort of), do not be fooled by it.
The only thing the E-Cell shares with the standard SLS is its body and brand. The E-Cell is all-electric instead of combustion and produces a meek power output as a result. Along with this, the design team thought that a 'highlighter green' would be the perfect color scheme for such a vehicle.
Needless to say, it wasn't very widely accepted by enthusiasts.
8 Hot: Mazda RX Vision
In an effort to revitalize the RX name, Mazda released a Vision concept called the "Mazda RX Vision" at the Tokyo Motor Show in 2017. Since the production of the RX-8, the last rotary Mazda, the RX title had been in hibernation.
However, Mazda neither confirmed nor denied the actual creation of the RX Vision. Along with this, they never explicitly said whether it would have a rotary engine (Like the RX-7 and RX-8) or if it would have a standard combustion engine. Hopefully, they go with the former rather than the ladder.
7 Not: Nissan Gripz
Sometimes the 'futuristic' design for new cars doesn't go over so well. This is extremely noticeable with Nissan's Gripz (Yes, spelled with a "Z"). Its intent was to be a 'jaw-dropping' crossover vehicle to rally companies like Subaru and, funnily enough, it did drop a few jaws; just not the way Nissan wanted.
Many Nissan lovers and J.D.M. fans, in general, scoffed at the Gripz, saying that it was too extreme or weird looking. It's hard to disagree with this sentiment and will probably be the biggest reason as to why the Gripz will never see the light of day.
6 Hot: Chrysler ME Four-Twelve
Chrysler isn't well-known for high-speed sports cars or motorsports victories, rather for their luxury and comfort for daily use. Nonetheless, someone at Chrysler thought they should break the mold and thus the ME Four-Twelve was born.
The ME Four-Twelve had some bold design choices and even a Mercedes built v12. Sadly, the would-be Chrysler supercar was becoming a financial black hole for G.M. and, as a result, ended the project.
5 Not: 1999 Honda Fuya-Jo
In certain circumstances, the word "ugly" simply isn't enough to describe how horrible something looks. Trying to recount the appearance of the '99 Honda Fuya-Jo is exactly such a situation.
The boxy design and strange bubble-like lines throughout the body only add to the Fuya-Jo's awful looks. It looks like the villain out of a low-budget '80s slasher movie called Chopping Mall. It is utterly mind-blowing that anyone in Honda even let this car even get a concept, but experiments are all about trial and error after all.
4 Hot: Ford Shelby GR-1
Although Shelby primarily stuck to modifications of previously made Fords like Mustangs and various trucks, the GR-1 was an attempt to break that constant. In 2005, the Shelby GR-1 was announced with impressive power figures and stunning looks to the delight of audiences around the world.
In the end, a few models were actually created, but the GR-1 still stands as just a concept since it was never mass-produced. Some lucky car enthusiast have even started to recreate the GR-1 for their own purposes.
3 Not: Ford SYNus
What's worse than a terrible looking car? A terrible looking car with an even more grotesque name. Case and point: The 2005 Ford SYNus. In the same year that Ford unveiled one of it's best-looking concepts, the GT-1, they also managed to show off their worst.
The same was supposed to represent "synthesis," but rather induced images of runny-noses and poor health. The SYNus had a box-like exterior and a surprisingly luxurious interior, but the beauty inside wasn't enough to save the SYNus. Thankfully, it remains a 'what if?' and not a 'what now?'
2 Hot: Mercedes-Benz Vision EQ Silver Arrow
For Formula One fans, the name "Silver Arrow" may be familiar. This is not a coincidence since Mercedes holds the title for the concept and F1 Silver Arrows. At the 2018 Monterey Car Show, Mercedes unveiled the Vision EQ Silver Arrow; a roadster mimicking classic F1 cars from the '50s.
It's highly unlikely that the EQ Silver Arrow will ever come out though. Especially due to Mercedes' tendency to release neat concepts/designs but never follow through on them (As seen with the other EQ models and Vision Gran Turismo).
1 Not: Pontiac Aztek
Breaking Bad fans are all too familiar with the Pontiac Aztek, the vehicle driven by the protagonist throughout most of the show. The producers decided on the Aztek (And many other set vehicles) for one particular reason: To replicate the ugliness of the environment the characters were in.
The Aztek was designed by Pontiac at the turn of the millennium for everyday use with large families. Unfortunately, it succeeded and sold a lot of models compared to the concepts Pontiac had put out before.
That fact alone is one of the biggest reasons as to why the Pontiac Aztek is one of the worst concept cars ever made. Even after it's horrid looks and poor performance, it still got made. Something as terrible as that is not easily forgiven.