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More often than not, concept cars turn out to be pretty ugly.
This is probably down to the fact that concept cars are meant to portray an automaker’s future design vision, and they are thus purposefully overstyled. This year seemed to be a particularly bad year for concept cars, though, with many being weird-looking autonomous pod vehicles with unspecified electric powertrains and mythical self-driving features. And don’t even get us started on the onboard social media screens, eye-tracking devices for infotainment control and other unneeded technology features.
Today we’re going to countdown our 10 least favorite concepts from 2017. These aren’t listed in any particular order – if you ask us, they are all equally as bad. Anything that falls under the category of “future mobility” is almost guaranteed to be ugly, misguided and entirely pointless, so the majority of the list is made of up of those things.
10. Mitsubishi Emirai
The Mitsubishi Emirai is the automaker’s future vision for a safer, autonomous vehicle. It apparently uses 3D imaging to emphasize road and lane displays to the driver through an onboard digital screen and uses an AI system to monitor the driver’s behavior. All we know is it looks weird and has limited real-world appeal. Thumbs down.
9. Toyota Concept i
The Concept i is weird in so many ways. For starters, it looks like a breath mint. It also has an onboard AI system named “Yui” that will build a human-like relationship with the driver and monitor their behaviors and moods. Of all automakers, we’d trust Toyota most to actually bring such tech to market, but that doesn’t make up for its forced futurism ethos and lack of originality. Definitely not a winner.
8. Nissan IMX
The Nissan IMX actually isn’t that bad. Nissan has some pretty impressive BEV tech, and it claims the IMX’s electric powertrain will make a healthy 430 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. It will also travel up to 370 miles on a single charge. Those are predictive performance and range figures, but if Nissan can deliver, that would definitely be a competitive product. What we don’t like is the jagged front end, high beltline and oddly shaped rear window – but it would be worse.
7. Toyota FT AC
The Toyota FT AC let us down in a big way. Toyota released a teaser image prior to its debut that made it look as though it had an upright stance and brawny, aggressive looks, but the finished product ended up looking like a slightly beefed up, family-friendly crossover. We love the idea of an off-road ready Toyota with torque vectoring all-wheel drive, but it’d be nice if it followed the design direction of the Toyota FT-4X concept instead. We don’t hate it, but we wish it looked a bit meaner.
6. Smart Vision EQ ForTwo
Of all companies, we trust Daimler to make this whole autonomous EV ride sharing thing a reality. The Smart Vision EQ ForTwo is a viable proposal for an urban ride-sharing vehicle, but like the Toyota Concept i, it looks like an Eclipse Mint with wheels. It also looks as though it’d get rather hot inside thanks to the clear roof and windows. The transparent panels also make it easy for those in their regular people cars to point and laugh at you – a fate you would very much deserve.
5. Mitsubishi e-Evolution
This concept would have gotten lost in the sea of white, futuristic looking electric concepts if someone over in Mitsubishi’s marketing department didn’t get the bright idea to call it ‘e-Evolution.’ That’s right, this AI-equipped, electric crossover thing wears the storied ‘Evolution’ name made famous by the Lancer. Sacrilege? You bet.
4. Genesis GV80
Genesis is actually making pretty attractive vehicles right now, but the GV80 Concept was a major misstep. The headlights and taillights are all sorts of wrong, and the grille is way too fussy for our tastes. The web design applied to the wheels, which also appears on the B- and C-pillars, is also rather ugly. We’re not a fan of this one, Genesis, but we’re sure the production version will look better.
3. Toyota Fine Comfort Ride
There’s nothing wrong with the idea of a hydrogen-powered Toyota people mover, but why does it have to look so odd? The interior is just as weird as the exterior too, with odd swivel chairs that look as though they belong in Dr. Evil’s boardroom, social media screens worked into the windows and a weird-looking dashboard. Is this future? Because we want nothing to do with it.
2. BMW iVision Dynamics
There’s also nothing wrong with the idea of BMW making a Tesla Model S fighter, but the iVision Dynamics is just straight-up ugly. Whoever got the idea to mimic the shape of the grille in the window silhouette should be given a stern talking to, and the wheels aren’t doing the car any favors either. We’re also not fans of this 21st-century trend of putting ‘i’ before anything and everything. Apple can do it – everyone else, please stop.
1. Jaguar Future Type
What even is this? It’s ugly and it looks like the interior would be cramped and uncomfortable. This will never make it to production. Jag’s idea for a smart removable steering wheel is also pretty pointless. The last thing I need is another device to carry around and beep at me or bother me. As the Brits would say, this one belongs in the bin.