Student explains sins of car design


Justin Bollich, Staff Writer

As someone who enjoys creating and viewing car designs, it always pains me to see cars that aren’t designed well. Many people know about more common ugly cars like the Pontiac Aztek or the PT Cruiser, but some of the more obscure cars I’m about to describe make those look like they could win awards for design. 

Here are some of the worst car designs I’ve found, as well as my opinions on them and a creation of my own.

The TVR Tuscan Speed 6 stood out to me because of its headlights, which are three circles inset into the body on both sides. The grille is also a bunch of circles in the front bumper, though still looking somewhat normal. The rear is way too empty, with three lights on each side near the bottom and oversized exhausts.

Another unattractive production car is the Lotus 340R, a very open car that looks like a fish. Most of the bodywork is between the wheels, with only a small fender over the wheels. The taillights look like an afterthought, and I think the design just doesn’t look right.

There are also some horrific concept cars, including the TVR Project 7/12. There is way too much going on at the front and not enough at the back. The lights are again in the inset style, although this time there are four. The front grille looks like a football, and the other vents look out of place. The rear bumper is huge and looks empty. However there is hope for TVR as some of their more recent designs, the Sagaris and the Griffith have fairly good designs.

The Acura Advanced Sedan features headlights that are comically low on the front bumper, and the strangely-shaped body itself is too simple.

I’ve come up with the following list of qualities that can make a car design bad. Inset circular lights similar to TVR, asymmetricality, unnecessary bodywork/ features, unnatural fixture placement, under/overusing space, too many layers, too complex, too many colors, and over/undersized fixtures.

Knowing what makes car designs bad, I set out to design the worst possible car in a game called Automation. I chose a Nissan GTR based SUV/Truck body, an orange and purple color scheme with a darker orange on the lower body trim, and a white roof.

The first feature I designed was the headlights — four on one side and five on the other, all inset like TVR’s lights. a front grill that doesn’t fit the shape in anyway with lots of unnecessary features, Asymmetrical vents in the front bumper, and top it off a police bullbar and an offset license plate. 

The sides are fairly empty with some of my least favorite door handles,  weird, misshapen vents in the front fenders, and oversized mirrors. The rear features asymmetrical lights, unnecessary trim, an extra bumper bar, and a diffuser off of a sports car.

The tailgate has a large spoiler, and some of my best work in terms of handles. The handles each have a keyhole, and must be pulled up on both sides with a finger. The truck bed has a large roll bar section for offroading, and the hood has some random vents and windows.