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  1. #1
    CRO Founder Marcel's Avatar
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    Default 10 Car Design Duds - from

    Innovative or ill-advised? You be the judge. Here are 10 cars that just never quite caught on.
    CNNMoney.comBy CNN Staff | – Mon, Aug 15, 2011 5:13 PM EDT

    Willys Jeepster 1946-1950

    A brave attempt by Willys to broaden the Jeep's utilitarian image beyond agriculture and forestry uses, the Jeepster featured a convertible canvas top, flat-topped fenders, and a 62-horsepower engine. But no four-wheel drive was offered, advertising was sparse, and fashion-seeking post-war shoppers with many more choices looked elsewhere. Fewer than 20,000 Jeepsters were built.

    AMC Pacer 1975-1980

    AMC billed it as the "first wide small car" because the two-door compact Pacer was more than six feet across. Car and Driver called it "the Flying Fishbowl." The Pacer had so much glass that backseat passengers got sunburned. Despite sparkling early-adopter sales, AMC's financial limitations and multiple engineering compromises doomed this original concept as it did earlier ones like the sawed-off Gremlin.

    General Motors EV-1 1996-1999

    The first modern mass-produced electric vehicle, EV-1 lost its reason for existence shortly after introduction when California loosened its requirements for zero-emission vehicles. Only 800 of the range-limited cars with outdated technology found customers. Losing thousands of dollars on each vehicle produced, GM discontinued the EV-1 and recalled them, suffering a huge public relations embarrassment in the process.

    Suzuki X-90 1996-1998

    A two-seat SUV with a T-top and four-wheel-drive, the X-90 was known as the "shoe car" to some because of its extreme rounded styling. Its ungainly proportions and limited functionality (it was equipped with a tiny 95 horsepower engine) consigned it to the dustbin of history after three years of production, during which just 7,205 made their way to the U.S.

    Plymouth Prowler 1997-2002

    A modern interpretation of the classic hot rod, the Prowler was built to capitalize on the success of another retro car, the Dodger Viper. It was undone by a series of engineering compromises deemed "inauthentic," such as a V-6 engine and automatic transmission. Wickedly unstable because of the light front end, only 1,426 cars, priced at $44,625 apiece, were built during its last year of production.

    Ford Excursion 2000-2005

    All but obsolete upon introduction, the 8,500-lb., three-and-a-half-ton Excursion tested the outer limits of SUV size with its jumbo proportions. The longest and heaviest SUV ever built, it had only three rows of seats but carried quantities of luggage. Capable of just 14-16 miles per gallon in city driving, it received an Exxon Valdez award from the Sierra Club because of its poor fuel economy and sank without a successor five years after launch.

    Chevrolet SSR 2003-2006

    The world's first hardtop convertible pickup truck -- and, so far, the only one -- the SSR (for Super Sport Roadster) was one of the less-good product ideas General Motors tried before the ascendancy of Bob Lutz. The SSR tried to piggyback on the pickup truck boom with a topless version whose roof folded into the bed when retracted. Built on the Chevy TrailBlazer platform, the SSR was badly overweight and overpriced at $42,000. What seemed cool on an auto show turntable became an overpriced novelty when it went into production, which customers quickly figured out.

    Subaru Baja 2003-2006

    Combining four-passenger seating and a car-like ride with all-wheel-drive and an open pickup bed, Subaru tried to create the all-purpose utility vehicle, using components from the Legacy and Outback wagons. But in an attempt to liven up the Baja, it ladled on plastic body cladding and painted early models a garish silver and yellow. The 41-inch bed wasn't very useful either, and Subaru sold only one-quarter as many Bajas as planned before ending production.

    GMC Envoy XUV 2004-2005

    A weird combination of pickup truck and SUV, the Envoy XUV was distinguished by a retractable rear roof section, creating an open-topped load area that could accommodate tall objects. Customers didn't know what to make of the homely, expensive creation, and the market for people carrying small trees and tall case clocks proved small. GM expected to sell 90,000 annually but managed only 12,000 in 2004 and put the XUV out of its misery early in 2005.

    Acura ZDX 2010-

    Combine the looks of a coupe with the functionality of a sedan and the utility of an SUV, and what do you get? calls it a head-scratcher -- "a hefty crossover SUV that's about as practical as a compact hatchback with a cramped backseat and compromised cargo capacity." Buyers are staying away in droves; Acura sells only about 150 a month.

    That was from:

    Note that this came from the CNNMoney website which means it's looking at it from a $$$ standpoint but I actually like the Prowler and especially the Acura ZDX - That Acura looks SWEET as honey.... black paint with dark tinted windows... lovely!
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  2. #2
    CRO Senior Moderator Gtdhw's Avatar
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    I think some prankster intern snuck in at the last minute and swapped out the Aztek for the Jeepster! It's surely just a joke and will be corrected shorty.

    ETA: The Prowler wasn't poorly designed, not at all. it was poorly executed and the timing was off. If the Prowler had been introduced in conjunction with the 5.7 Hemi, things would have went much different.
    Last edited by Gtdhw; 08-18-2011 at 01:45 AM.
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  3. #3
    Hall of Fame Member john mastalerz's Avatar
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    I agree, a Hemi would put some weight on that light front end, and some juice behind the gas pedal!

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