Fast ‘N Fugly: The Worst-Looking Supercars Of The Past 10 YearsBy Chris Weiss
Ferrari, Lamborghini, Aston Martin–it’s become almost an unspoken rule that with great power comes great beauty. Supercars can be defined not only in terms of large engines and tiny 0 to 62 times, but in terms of curvaceous, flowing, satisfying looks.
Often, but not always. There are derivative designs, there are supercars with “great personalities” and then there are the ones that make you want to curl up into the fetal position and bawl until something beautiful happens. Representing the last faction, these uggos are here to remind us that all the speed and power in the world can’t make up for devastatingly flawed looks. They have the engines, aerodynamics and price tags to be called supercars, but you still wouldn’t be caught dead in one. What their looks do well is make us appreciate the Vantages and 599s that much more.
The first and newest contender in the ugliest supercar of the decade race is the Panoz Abruzzi, which was unveiled for the first time this past June. We should probably move this up a few spots because Panoz took their sweet, old time to unveil this monster, but because we like the retro back-end, we’ll leave it right here. The back-end is nice, the 600-hp engine sounds good, but it’s all butter face. Good news: at the time they announced it, this 400,000-euro monstrosity wasn’t street legal in the States. We’ll keep ducking and hope the bullet misses.
Lemme’ guess: when it comes to top speed, four wheels is better than two, so it follows to reason that six wheels should be better than four. Actually, Covini went against over a hundred years of automotive convention for more mundane reasons: extra stability, less of a chance of hydroplaning and better grip, to name a few.
Wow! That sounds great; maybe every car should be built with six wheels! If only they wouldn’t look so god-awful ugrageous, maybe they would be. Can’t you just picture this thing sitting quietly in the corner of the lot next to Porsches and Corvettes– even Chevy Aveos–minding its business, while whispers, taunts and jeers get louder and louder. Car wasn’t made to have six wheels, and the C6W proves it. What looks like a decent, albeit completely unoriginal design, is destroyed by that awkward front-four set-up.
Unveiled to gasping onlookers in 2004, after 30 years of production, the Italian-made Covini features a 433-hp 4.2-liter Audi V8 that delivers 185 mph of the most embarrassing speed that you can find. Very limited production of less than 10 cars was scheduled to begin last year. We’re not certain if it did, but we’re hoping against it.
A newcomer to the world of painful supercars, the Hispano Suiza was shown at this year’s Geneva Motor Show. It’s based on an Audi R8 and features a supercharged version of the R8′s 5.2-liter V10 worth 739 horsepower. It carries a price tag of close to a million dollars and hits 60 mph in 3.4 seconds. So it definitely has the supercar mettle. But definitely not the looks. Did they really think they were going to get away with that flat, table-top of a hood, shark teeth and pointy beak? Not while people with a modicum of taste still inhabit this world. This car is such an ugly stepchild that they didn’t even bother giving it a proper name.
Weber Sportscars Faster One
We’re not sure what’s worse: the Weber’s “Faster One” name or its terrible, terrible looks. If BMW’s iconic kidney grille had been designed by a guy that was 59 percent blind in both eyes, it would probably look something like this. And BMW would be as obscure as Swiss-based Weber Sportscars to this very day.
Debuted in 2008, the Faster One features a 900-hp twin-supercharged V8 engine. The minute that engine meets the bay, the good ends and the awful takes over. So often car designers like to refer to nature when talking about there designs. Weber is not one of those. Because this thing is absolutely unnatural. In fact, nothing in nature will ever look like this. God (or who/whatever’s in charge) wouldn’t allow it. So even though the Faster One’s looks purportedly relate directly to the superior aerodynamics that give it a claimed top speed of 260 mph, it’s still an abomination. I mean, how often is the owner going to hit 260 compared with how often he’s going to have to stare this thing in its eerie puss and wonder why he ever paid $1.5 million for it.
Mitsuoka Motors Orochi
If the DEA ever finds itself with nothing to do, they should consider pulling a raid or two on small supercar shops. Because I swear the designers must do nothing but cocaine-binge and abuse their graphic design tools for weeks straight. A lot of these cars wouldn’t look half-bad if the designer had just known when to call it a night. Instead, they kept dog-piling on, ruining any semblance of aesthetics.
The Japanese-born Orochi is the best example of that here. Take out the extra set of headlights (those looked alright on the 1995 Celica, but they’re not cutting it here), get rid of all those queer-looking hood vents, straighten the wavy front-end a little and wipe the wry grin right off this thing’s face and you might have a decent, if not breathtaking, machine.
A lot less super than other cars here, the NSX-based Orochi debuted in 2001 as a concept. It features a Toyota-sourced 3.3-liter V6 engine worth 233 horses. Yet, Mitsuoka demands a price over $100,000 for it. Luckily, the Orochi is a Japan-only. Recently, Mitsuoka put these up for daily rent in Japan; all it costs is $390 a day to eliminate any chance you’ll ever bring a Japanese gal back to your hotel.
95 percent of the time, I’m glowingly proud to be of Swiss descent. I mean, in nearly everything they do, the Swiss are at the top of the game–watches, banking, chocolate, knives, etc. But not in cars. No, for some reason, the Swiss not only fail to make any popular cars, they make the creepiest, wrongest supercars in the world. So when talking supercars, I tell people the last name is German.
The LM800 was introduced at the luxury motor show in Vienna in 2007. Now, we’ve seen some ugly cars on this list, but I’m going to go ahead and make the argument that this is the worst of the bunch. It looks like a discount Enzo kit that someone built in the parking lot of their apartment complex. And by someone, I mean an eight-year-old kid who’s never met his father. Spine-shiveringly hideous. And I really can’t see how that big, flat cow-catcher Beck calls a front-end could do anything for aerodynamics.
But, like the Faster One, the LM800 follows the ‘function over form’ ethic to an extreme and its shape supposedly ninjas drag into a corner. Plus, when your car weighs 1,980 pounds (that’s well under Lambo’s stripped-down Sesto), and you’re using 650-hp worth of twin-turbocharged 4.2-liter V8 engine, it probably wouldn’t slow you down either way. The $600,000 car hits 60 mph in 3 seconds flat and tops out at the once-world-record speed of 217 mph. Unlike some of the others here, this one looks just as bad in back as it does in the front…and from the right, from the left, from the back corner, underneath…