Friday, June 5, 2015

Coffee Brake: Virtual Cars & Coffee with Gianni and K2

Today's Coffee Brake is a guess post by Gianni & K2 Mystery Car...take it away boys:  The sun had just begun to warm the Spring air when Gianni and K2 sat down to breakfast at the diner. Both of their wives were sick and tired about hearing about cars, so they’d sent their husbands off to get it out of their systems on this beautiful Saturday morning.  Gianni’s 1991 Mariner Blue and K2’s 1996 Montego Blue Mica Miatas were still ticking as they cooled down from a canyon run when the waitress brought the food; waffles for Gianni and an omelet for K2.



“More coffee boys?” she said. They both nodded enthusiastically; “Be back to check on you two in bit. Just holler if you need anything.” They tore into their food like a couple of hungry wolves.
“So G, which of the new cars made in the past 5 years do you think will be looked back upon as a low in design? My first vote would be for the Buick Enclave. Every time I see one on the street I think to myself that it’s an unfortunate reflection on American obesity. On top of that, it appears to be poorly mimicking designs from Renault–Nissan,” prompted K2.


"Yeah K2, that one is pretty ugly, but it doesn't have anything on the Infiniti QX80.  From its hideously enormous grill, to the fake portholes on the side, to the awkward rear end, it hit every branch on the way down from falling out of the ugly tree.  It shouts I have money, or at least I want you to think I do, I'm barely making the lease payments, but I have no taste."


"Ha! Funny that both of the cars we chose first have those ridiculous fake portholes. Weren't you and I just talking the other day about how all of those QX80s seem to be driven by painfully overly-tan, middle-aged women wearing yoga pants? Not that there's anything wrong with that. The thing that really bugs me about the QX is the measurement from the top of the headlight to the top of the hood; it's immense," added K2.

He continued; "I know you love your '05 MINI Cooper S but you've mentioned several times that you're not pleased with what BMW chose to do with the newer designs. I'm guessing you're specifically thinking of the Countryman, in particular. To tell you the truth and maybe it's merely just because of the newness factor, I don't find it nearly as visually distressing as the FIAT 500L. Holy moley that thing looks like SpongeBob on an acid trip and the variant names are moronic. Who wants a car that's an Easy model, Trekking is for Trekkies, and Lounge sounds like you're going to fall asleep at the wheel and hit a tree. On second thought, maybe that would make the 500L look better..."


"Yeah, I don't much like the Uglyman, er, countryman or the 4 door coupe," retorted Gianni. "Why does BMW/MINI need to fill every niche that is out there to try to make that one last dollar?  That's my biggest complaint, why can't MINI be MINI and stay true to its roots?  Sell a 2 door coupe in Cooper and Cooper S trim and the wagon, since they sold them originally.  If you want to sell another model, how about a modern Moke?  That and I think the coupe has gotten ugly itself because of the EU pedestrian crash standards driving a tall nose and the current gen having proportion issues due to it sharing a BMW platform, and having been stretched to fit vs. the old generations having their own platform."  "That FIAT 500L looks like someone pumped up a 500 with a bicycle pump," concluded Gianni.

"Yep, just lovely," K2 agreed. "Every now and then, a car comes along that is so mystifying and unexpected, yet hard to dislike because of the seemingly discordant yet fantastic elements that make up the car. For me, the newest car that's like that is the Mercedes-Benz GLA45 AMG. Firstly, it's a tiny wagonette and we all know how popular those are with Americans. Then they slap a body kit on this outrageously fast little buggy; all fine and good, so far. Maybe it's a little young for M-B but that's understandable; there's nothing like a little flash for a little cash to get folks into the showrooms. But then we get to the wing on the roof. The Germans must have been smoking something particularly mind-altering because that thing is so out of place, so far out of character. It ought to come with a baseball cap meant to be worn backwards and baggy jeans that droop far below the waistline. Not to mention the bone-crushing suspension...what were they thinking?"


Yeah, I didn’t think drugs were legal in Deutschland.  I think the AMG engineers are in an arms race with the M engineers at BM, to make the most preposterous thing really fast.  It’s an extension of the Porsche 935 thing, “you can’t make a racehorse out of a pig, but you can make a really fast pig”.  That or they are watching too much Bravo TV.


Enjoying the conversation and ready for another cup of coffee? Join the discussion! Which new car do you think is hideous beyond belief?

Image sources: various via Creative Commons.

36 comments:

  1. You know which can I find sorta hideous, but everybody loves -- the new McLaren supercars...all of them, the 650S, P1, MP412C, etc. If I'm going to drop serious coin on a supercar, it should be pretty like an Audi R8, mean looking like a Lamborghini, or red like a Ferrari. The current crop from McLaren just looks like boiled beef to me. I'd rather have a steak.

    [img]http://www.automania.be/files/Image/Mc%20Laren/McLaren%20%20Goodwood%202013%2072216mclar2.jpg[/img]

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    1. I'll reserve judgment on the P1 until I see one in person, but the other two absolutely have a dopey look to them.

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    2. Even this?

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/iSRP5gl.jpg?1[/img]

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    3. These MP4-12Cs look just like Ferrari 360s. Designed by the same person, Frank Stephenson, but still, talk about mailing it in...

      [img]http://www.exoticspotter.com/images/1/421.jpg[/img]

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  2. Wow, K2 and Gianni just hangin' out! I have to agree with the list of hideosity (I have a license to coin words on Fridays). I can offer at least one other candidate. I was just having coffee with a car buddy this morning, and when we came out, parked between our cars was a new Nissan Murano, in this colour scheme:

    [img]http://o.aolcdn.com/dims-shared/dims3/GLOB/legacy_thumbnail/750x422/quality/95/http://www.blogcdn.com/slideshows/images/slides/318/081/9/S3180819/slug/l/02-2015-nissan-murano-fd-1.jpg[/img]

    Every aspect we looked at offended us, from the awkward and pointless sculpting to the tasteless use of chrome. We were glad we had already finished our coffee and danish.

    Anyway, where is that waitress with the coffee pot?

    ReplyDelete
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    1. You know you're not doing all that well when the Leaf is the best-looking thing you've got on the market.

      Oh, not entirely true, the little Versa is actually a lot better than most of its competition.

      Delete
  3. My ugly stick award goes to the E84 X1 BMW:

    [img]http://s9.postimg.org/sapnig7z3/e84.jpg[/img]

    Awkward from every angle. Looks like it was designed in the 2000's by GM to be used as a fleet/rental vehicle.

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    Replies
    1. Ish, I hadn't even seen that yet.

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  4. Criminy, sorry about all the typos folks. I love the additions that El Jefe, Bobinott and rottenland added.

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  5. Enclave's not bad in the real world. Just about all the Infiniti SUVs are horrid.

    There's vast arrays of hideous cars on the market right now, it's just awful out there. I was going to put the Murano CrossCabriolet at the top of my list, but it appears Nissan finally came to their warped senses and euthanized the thing.

    So for now it's gonna have to be a tie between the Mini Paceman and BMW i3.

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    Replies
    1. Though frankly almost all the current Minis except the standard hatchback are awful.

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    2. I saw a Moron-o CrossCabriolet last Friday with the top down. Good god, I can't imagine walking into a dealership and plunking down, what 40K+ on one...

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    3. I agree the Enclave is not even the ugliest of the Buicks. That would be the Encore.

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  6. I think Lexus needs to fire their deign team or whom ever is responsible for this direstion
    [img]http://gascash.co/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/new-lexus-suv-awesome-car-4-on-lexus-images.jpeg[/img]

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    1. The problem is, that's what EVERYONE does these days.

      Go upthread and look at the Murano, the X1, the GLA450.

      Okay, I don't think the X1 is as bad as the rest, but...it's what everyone does. Big shiny wheels, little tiny windows, obnoxious slashy features, big Look At Me Peons grille.

      My big bugbear is little windows, I've wanted to spend some quality time with a measuring tape but I'd guess that my idea of an 'attractive' shape - car, truck, whatever - has to have a beltline and window glass approximately 35-40% of the total height of the body, and that damn few current production vehicles meet that criterion.

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    2. The clearest example of the difference out there is the Maserati Quattroporte. The 2008-13 model was flat gorgeous, probably the best-looking four-door on the road. The model that replaced it - higher beltline, smaller windows - is still...well...okay, but it's a chubby little toad compared to its predecessor.

      I know all the reasons automakers are doing this crap, and it means nothing to me, the resulting cars are just not as good as what they're replacing.

      Delete
    3. My first instinct was to blame the folks in the Ford design department. The first car that I think of when I see anything with high beltline, small windows is the Ford Fusion. 2013 was first MY, no?

      [img]http://www.bowditchford.com/blogs/254/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/2013_ford_fusion_sedan_se_fq_oem_2_500-300x199.jpg[/img]

      Delete
  7. Last year, my mother bought a new RAV4, worse, she got it in AARP white, largely on the strength of Toyota's rep for reliability. Ugh. Every time I pay her a visit, I can't look directly at the vile little thing. Just makes me sad to see momma losing her sense of style and taste so abruptly.

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    Replies
    1. I'm in full-bore prattle mode here, so...once again, I'd argue the best RAV4 was the original. Big glass, Celica All-Trac drivetrain, if I didn't already have a lifetime of projects queued up having one as a driver with a built 3S-GTE motor would be kinda fun.

      The later ones have more gadgetry, but they're not as nice to drive, the current one is a horrible nasty tub to try to see out of.

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    2. And why on Earth would a cheap-ass SUV like a RAV4 need an ELECTRIC rear hatch? Sorry, maybe the market demands this, but it's not my thing...

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    3. 'Cuz its hard for Grandma to open it otherwise.

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    4. @ Fueltruck - AARP white - love it! I will have to use that in addition to refrigerator white (which no longer applies since everyone buys stainless) and bought-it-off-the-lot white.

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    5. Maybe if it weren't a foot thick and didn't weigh 400lb the hatch might not need the motor.

      Just sayin'.

      Delete
  8. Looking back at the Buick Enclave comment I am reminded at a vehicle that can make me actually lol every time I see one on the road. The Buick Rendezvous. Like I'm really supposed to believe Tiger Woods would drive this thing:

    [img]http://s2.postimg.org/kpmlnv7nd/tiger_Buick.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. If it weren't for employee lease specials, the Buick Rendezvous and Pontiac Aztec would still be rotting in the factory lots.

      Delete
  9. Let's see:
    - Spindle grill
    - LED eyeliner
    - Liberal use of chrome
    - A mouth that could accidentally swallow an Aveo on the freeway

    The Lexus RC, everybody.

    [img]https://lexusenthusiast.com/images/weblog/14-01-29-lexus-spindle-grille.jpg[/img]

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    Replies
    1. Also known as the Transitionmoble: Bruce!..oops, Caitlin! your car is ready!

      Delete
    2. Apologies to Stan...too soon?

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    3. Booty is in the (stink) eye of the beholder. I blame Audi for all this current girl -I mean, GRILLE- madness. Is there even a car behind that eyesore?

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/PDx4YaM.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
    4. Voted 2015 Dentist's Car of the Year; comes with a lifetime supply of toothpaste and floss, the cupholders will not hold juice of any sort and hanging from the side mirror is a spit cup, into which you will expel your dreams and dignity.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/BMkk8iR.jpg?1[/img]

      Delete
  10. For many of us, we don't have the time or opportunity to go to a "Cars and Coffee". In many ways, DT fills that void.

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  11. The new GK2. That would be an awesome alphabet car name!
    I think that alphabet naming trend may have started dying because nobody can remember car models anymore!
    All the automakers believed the BMW branding strategy would work for them.
    So the marketing guys noted BMW success of grill branding and alphabet name up-scaling are now going back to the drawing board.

    Bold grilling may be seeing the same fate. The big bold grill said "Hey look at me, get the hell out of the way, and I am the new fashion statement". It also worked because automakers have to design a larger frontal area around pedestrian safety standards. However as lower end cars enter the same bold grill arena it makes for less of a fashion statement and more of "Maybe it's time for skinny ties again". This needs to play out in China first since that is every automakers focus. If the future Lincoln Continental has strong sales success in China without a bold grill then the tide of ridiculous bold grills will turn to styled grills as Toyota/Lexus, Nissan/Infinity, Hyundai, and Audi will want to be in line for the next design trend.

    What I hate about the latest auto design trend is that regular cars are bulked up to be like a CUV. Sure it is all about crash tests and a large trunk, but sheesh no style, no greenhouse. Pull up along side anything from a newer Ford Taurus to even a Dodge Challenger. The trunk is taller than the roof of my older cars!

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  12. So when do manufacturers make the decisions between 'lets stick with what works' and 'you know what, we've been selling a ton of these, so let's shoot ourselves in the foot'?

    On the one hand you have VW, who designed the Golf MKVII to be basically be indistinguishable to all but the trained eye (vs MKVI), while Hyundai took a solid design in a crowded field, bagged what was working, and turned out an anonymous turd.

    [img]http://www.golfmk7.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=396&stc=1&d=1372455715[/img]

    [img]http://www.autorivals.net/sedans/2011sonatavs2010sonata/2011sonata-fs.jpg[/img]

    [img]http://www.elautomovilista.com/2016_Sonata_Plug_in_Hybrid/foto1chica.jpg[/img]

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You said in another post that Stephenson phoned it in. Yup, that just described VW in general. And when they're not busy phoning it in, they're removing content hoping nobody would notice. Nice.

      [img]http://i.imgur.com/EDzg7AR.jpg?1[/img]

      If you stare at this long enough, you'll see the face of German car salesman laughing at you. Try it. It's true.

      Delete
    2. Magically the Hyundai is now an Audi. Who knew!

      Delete

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