Car consumers are obsessed with performance these days.
Automakers are doing all they can to woo performance-minded crowds, who are typically younger and of the coveted ‘Millennial’ set of buyers. Unfortunately, this sometimes means they will tack on performance-inspired add-ons that do absolutely nothing to enhance the car’s ability to handle well or make more power. Today, we’re going to count down our least favorite examples of this unfortunate trend, all of which are sadly available on cars you can buy today.
The Honda Civic Type R’s Fake Vents
The Honda Civic Type R drives great. Unfortunately, it’s a bit overstyled. It has fake front intake vents (save for a tiny little off-center vent for the horn) and fake rear wheel well venting. Credit where it’s due, though, the Civic Type R’s rather outlandish body kit does work to improve downforce.
The Toyota RAV4’s Carbon Look Trim
So many new cars are guilty of having horrible fake carbon fiber trim, but it seems especially out of place on the current RAV4. The trim is also just odd looking — it reminds us more of snakeskin than carbon fiber. On a crossover, this is a styling decision that seems totally out of place. Luckily, the new RAV4 is on the way with nicer interior trim options.
The Automatic C7 Corvette’s Fake Paddle Shifters
This one isn’t so bad, as the paddle shifters actually serve a purpose, but we still find it a bit silly. If you order a C7 Corvette with a seven-speed manual transmission, it will still come with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifters. The paddles don’t change gear, though — they are for switching the auto rev match for the transmission off. Oh and rev matching — it’s a fake way to mimic heel-toe downshifting. So there’s a bit of a double whammy here, we suppose.
The Sentra Nismo’s Fake Aero Kit
This is another trend with multiple examples, but the Sentra Nismo is a particularly bad offender, if you ask us. The 188-hp Sentra Nismo isn’t fast and isn’t a good track car, but yet it comes with a fairly prominent aero kit that does absolutely nothing. The worst part is the GT3-style rear diffuser. That’s a lot of extra black plastic for no performance gain, don’t you think?
The Audi SQ5’s Fake Exhausts
Again, there are so many cars on sale today with fake exhausts, but the Audi SQ5’s are particularly offensive. Audi has tried so hard to sell these as real to your average passerby, but anyone who takes a second glance at exhaust tips won’t be fooled. Did you really want a quad-tip exhaust that badly, Audi? And if so, why not just use a real exhaust kit? This is a performance crossover, after all.
The Mustang Automatic’s Fake Stick Shift
If we’re out of line here just say so, but we feel like Ford intended for the automatic gear selector and shift boot for the 2018 Mustang to look like a manual. It has a circular shift knob and a leather shift boot, just like the six-speed model does. We don’t fault Ford for it, though — it does look pretty slick, especially compared to the chunky gear selectors some other automatic cars get.
The BMW i8’s Fake Exhaust Note
Once more, many new cars are guilty of pumping in a fake exhaust note through the speakers to enhance the driving experience. None of theses systems are quite as bad as the BMW i8’s, though. The tiny little three-cylinder makes quite a gutteral noise when you mash the gas, but it’s not coming from the engine bay. It’s all through the speakers, baby, and it’s as fake as the Queso at the movie theater.
If you think of any other horrible fake car components on cars sold today, feel free to share them with us in the comments below!