Dumb automobiles which can be truly cool

There have been loads of dumb automobiles to roll out of factories all throughout the globe over the course of the final century or so. Most of them aren’t actually value speaking about, and a few truly go on to develop into form of collectible. Flops just like the Ford Edsel and Pontiac Aztek come to thoughts. Each on occasion, although, an concept that is mindless filters by means of the product-planning cracks and makes it off the drafting board and into the actual world, with the outcome so unusual and but attention-grabbing that it strikes from the dumb class to the dumb-but-cool class.

These are autos that ought to by no means have seen the sunshine of day, however we’re glad they did.

1991 GMC Syclone

Let me get this out of the way in which proper off the bat: The GMC Syclone may be very, very cool. Its Ferrari-beating efficiency is known, its turbocharged and all-wheel-drive powertrain is heroic, and its appears to be like are menacing. The truth that it is cool shouldn’t be up for debate. The unique concept, although, was fraught with lunacy. Right here was a two-seat pickup truck that could not actually haul or tow, was awfully costly for one thing sporting a then-plebeian GMC badge (keep in mind, this was properly earlier than the chrome-dunked Denali) and kinda sorta sounded prefer it was able to disintegrate on tough roads. The Hurricane that got here later supplied considerably extra practicality.

None of that issues as we speak. The GMC Syclone is an ideal instance of an concept that made little or no sense on paper or, actually, even in the actual world, however was nonetheless so spectacular a package deal that it stands out even as we speak as a trend-setter for compelled induction and high-performance pickup vans. — Client Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski

2009 Chevy HHR SS Panel

The Chevy HHR wasn’t cool, even supposing it was designed particularly as an try to draw the eye of the styling-first crowd that was initially interested in the Chrysler PT Cruiser (which can also be principally uncool however kinda sorta cool in a couple of turbocharged guises). However the SS model of the HHR was fairly neat, with as much as 260 horsepower in a compact chassis and an out there handbook transmission with no-lift shift programming. However the model we’re targeted on right here is the obscure Panel, which began off as a small cargo van aimed toward small companies earlier than Chevy inexplicably determined to supply it in SS trim. Identical engine, identical suspension upgrades and identical sporty detailing as different HHR SS fashions however with the removing of the rear door handles, glass and seats. Observe, the again doorways did open, however solely from inside.

There is no cause for it to exist, and, unsurprisingly, it bought terribly. The truth that a couple of unusual souls determined to purchase one again in 2009, although, is a cool little footnote in automotive historical past, and that is sufficient to qualify the HHR SS Panel for this listing. — Client Editor Jeremy Korzeniewski

2006 Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT-8

The late ’90s and early 2000s performed host to the primary act of America’s efficiency truck and SUV increase. The four-wheeler horsepower wars heated up because the world charged headlong towards the monetary disaster of the late aughts, so when SRT introduced it had gotten its arms on the premium-oriented Grand Cherokee, it was met with equal components contempt and anticipation from an fanatic group that wasn’t but largely on the efficiency SUV bandwagon. And this is the factor: It was good. It was an entire package deal in a method different SRT fashions weren’t. Keep in mind, these early SRT8s had the 6.1-liter Hemi and an open differential. It wasn’t till the second 12 months of the Challenger’s life cycle (2009) {that a} limited-slip choice confirmed up. In that context, the Grand Cherokee’s commonplace four-wheel drive was a game-changer.

Positive, it was compromised in a few of its each day SUV duties (towing, particularly), however not practically so neutered because the manual-transmission Dodge Ram SRT-10, and in contrast to the Viper-powered pickup, the Grand Cherokee SRT8 was not solely faster and better-polished than anything with an SRT badge, however nonetheless a wonderfully tame and all-weather-friendly each day driver. — Affiliate Editor Byron Hurd 

2013 Mini Cooper Coupe

2013 Mini Cooper S Coupe

After a number of years of success with the common Mini Cooper hatchback and convertible, Mini determined it wanted to develop its lineup. And whereas its enlargement gave us the nonetheless widespread and fairly sensible Countryman, it additionally gave us some fairly weird fashions, too. In all probability the strangest, but additionally most distinctive and funky was the Coupe. It is weird in form of the identical method that its Roadster compatriot was: Mini took an already small and arguably impractical automotive, after which made it much less sensible. It misplaced the rear seats, and the lowered roofline eliminated a number of the most cargo house. And it did not have any substantial efficiency profit over the extra sensible variations. However the Coupe particularly obtained one wild-looking roofline. It was apparently impressed by a backwards baseball cap, and for as soon as we agreed with the designers. It appeared like type of a dumb design concept, however it seemed type of cool ultimately.

It is sure to show heads now, too. And whereas it is probably not any higher than the common Minis, it is nonetheless a Mini, so it is nonetheless a lot of enjoyable to drive. The coupe’s liftback means not all of the practicality is gone, too. The Roadster is an choice for many who like droptops, however it’s even much less sensible, and dropping the highest removes a few of its distinctiveness. – Information Editor Joel Stocksdale

2017 Vary Rover Evoque Convertible

It’s onerous to get a lot dumber than a crossover convertible. The one cited most on this class of automobiles is the Murano CrossCarbriolet, however that individual instance isn’t notably cool. The Vary Rover Evoque Convertible then again, now that’s cool. It’s nonetheless correctly dumb to suit our theme; who desires a lifted crossover with subsequent to no cargo house and solely two doorways? However the execution of the Evoque Convertible lifts it into the realm of cool.

The primary factor going for the Evoque Convertible is its design and finer styling factors. It’s an impossibly clear and finished-looking convertible. There’s no awkward humpback or unusual physique kick-up on the rear. It’s crisp and purposeful, nearly as if Land Rover designers had this mannequin in thoughts when designing the common four-door Evoque. Not like the Murano, the Evoque even appears to be like good with its high up! It additionally has all of the luxurious facilities and off-road capability (restricted, it might be) that the common Evoque does, making it a correct Land Rover product. By some means, Land Rover managed to stay the touchdown with this completely mad concept. – Highway Take a look at Editor Zac Palmer

GMC Envoy XUV

Because the above description says, the Envoy XUV was “the primary and solely SUV with a power-sliding rear roof. It additionally includes a drop or swing tailgate and a folding midgate with energy glass that seals off the passenger seating from the all-weather cargo space.” That is a extremely long-winded description, however I problem you to explain this bonkers Rube Goldberg creation in any fewer phrases. Certainly, the Envoy XUV proved to be awfully dumb, but when I requested somebody what sort of automotive they drove and so they answered “GMC Envoy XUV,” I’d instinctually say “What? Significantly? That is superior!” After which I would ask with befuddlement “why?” as I saved the following a part of “as a result of that factor was ridiculous” in my head. – Senior Editor James Riswick

2002 BMW M Coupe

The BMW Z3 was designed to be a reasonably little roadster cheaply thrown along with bits and items from the BMW components bin. It initially solely had a 138-horsepower 1.9-liter inline-four engine, that has perpetually been described by “weedy” even in locations the place that is not even a standard adjective. Then, correctly, BMW put a 2.8-liter inline-six good for 189 hp and 203 pound-feet of torque. Its 0-60 time of 6.3 seconds was awfully fast for the time, and really nonetheless feels fairly fast as we speak. I do know as a result of I personal one. I additionally know that the Z3 has the structural rigidity of cooked spaghetti, shimmying like Shakira over each bump. To right this, and to make the Z3 a extra credible efficiency automotive with enough rigidity, BMW successfully married the beautiful little roadster to a Honda Civic Hatchback and got here up with the BMW M Coupe. It was the reverse mullet: celebration within the entrance, enterprise within the again.

On the time, folks had been aghast at what was dubbed the “clown shoe” and positively stated things like “that is so dumb.” Yeah, however dumb in a completely superior method. Like doing doughnuts in a car parking zone is dumb, which is principally the prime exercise for considered one of these. And it could get even dumber and awesomer. Whereas the unique 240-horsepower M Coupe represented a transparent efficiency improve over the two.8-liter, BMW introduced a minigun to a knife struggle when the M Coupe acquired the then-new BMW M3’s S54 inline-six that produced 315 horsepower (down 18 from the M3). To make the mathematics clear, it not solely had 75 extra horses than earlier than however 177 greater than the Z3 had initially. Something described as “overkill” can also be most likely fairly dumb, however as is usually the case with overkill, the 2002 BMW M Coupe can also be one of the superior automobiles ever. – Senior Editor James Riswick

Patrick Moore

Patrick is our chief editor and he's very passionate about cars. He has a bachelor's degree in marketing and he studies journalism. His favorite brand is BMW and he drives an X5 series. When he's not writing for Vehiclenews.net, he enjoys spending time with his family and 9 years old son.

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