We don’t exactly live in a gilded age. Paying bills can be tough. Doing so as a car enthusiast is even tougher. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that being rich doesn’t buy you everything? Good taste, for example, is not universal among the monied. Here’s proof:
Bentley EXP 9 F
Every manufacturer needs an SUV these days, right? Lamborghini is even making one. It actually shares chassis with this new lump of confusion from Bentley. The EXP 9 F will likely feature all the luxury and essential accoutrement of a handsome Bentley sedan, and about the same off-road utility, too. But we’re not discussing function here. The poor thing looks like a textbook case of clinical gigantism.
Burn it now rating: 5
Renault Alpine Concept
Many concept cars are ugly. It just takes a designer with a budget and a drug problem to drop the next “revolutionary study,” so we’ve left kept this list pretty clear of them. But we retained the Renault Alpine Concept up because it’s such a destruction of the stunning original Renault Alpine. Bad form, Frenchmen.
Burn it now rating: 4
The 2012 Gumpert Apollo R has 860 hp. It can get to 60 in 2.9 seconds and tops out at 191 mph. It’s an awesome display of engineering. But frankly, it’s gross. The styling is caught somewhere between Maserati smoothness and Lamborghini razors. We’ll show it some grace, though, because the people who designed it say all of those shadow boxes are functional. Rather like a woman with dry, stubby fingers because she’s a virtuoso metal guitarist.
Burn it now rating: 2
So you love the look of classic, pre-war Mercedes, but love a good, yacht-like Cadillac, too? Why not just buy a car that looks like the latter crashed into the former? The Excalibur III was a visual nightmare, all pipes and horns and cow-catching fenders. All of this stuff is great on something like the aforementioned Mercedes, but on a car from 1989, it looks like you’re trying to look rich. Yeah, Armani doesn’t make a blue tux.
Burn it now rating: 8
Cost when new:$150,000-$200,000
Speaking of cars that seem to have been in accidents on the way out of the factory, there’s nothing like the Mini Marcos to remind you of a beautiful Marcos GT – that’s just run into a wall. There’s even an awkward hood crease to compliment the distended front end and tiny wheels. If you’re getting a Marcos, go full GT. Thankfully, this doesn’t really qualify as an exotic, as it was pretty cheap at launch.
Burn it now rating: 7
Cost:$10,000, adjusted for inflation
Gillet Vertigo.5 Spirit
While we applaud Tony Gillet’s attempt at an outlandish sports car with a Cheetah-like stance and cartoony goodness, the Vertigo.5 is just too much, and all of our excitement gets caught in the deep canyons in the hood, then hooked on the goofy, pole-lamp mirrors. By the time it gets back to the shelving units of the rear fenders, there’s not much left.
Burn it now rating: 6
Weber Sportscars Faster One
Cars have had faces since long before Pixar anthropomorphized them. You know an ugly car when you can’t peg down the expression it’s trying to make. The hilariously named Weber Sportscars Faster One seems emotionally confused at all times. If you can stem your morbid curiosity and get past the fascia, you have to deal with the featureless circus tent that is the body. We hope it’s faster than light. So we don’t have to look at it.
Burn it now rating: 9
Mitsuoka is a Japanese car company that makes knockoffs, er, works inspired by classic luxury cars. Why, you ask, would a car company subject themselves to ridicule by doing this? Because when they make something original, it looks like illustrator Keith Thompson’s interpretations of Scott Westerfeld’s living, organic vehicles. Not terribly comforting. Keep staring into our souls, Mitsuoka Orochi. We’ll be over here.
Burn it now rating: 10
Panoz Abruzzi Spirit Le Mans
We’ve forced ourselves to look at the Abruzzi before, but it certainly wins this list. We can’t decide if we’d rather look at it or get hit by it and try to pick ourselves out of the salad-shooter grille. Here’s hoping those Batman fins are good for downforce.
Burn it now rating: 8.5
We hope that put an honest, if confused, smile on your face, and that your face looks better than the ones above. What would you add to this list? What are the other ugliest exotics?