A few weeks back, I asked you all what the ugliest car ever to wear the Prancing Horse badge was. Today, we’ll turn our attention to the worst-looking creations of another celebrated brand: Porsche. What’s the ugliest Porsche, in your opinion?
My nomination isn’t a hot take or anything, but I also think that’s kind of a testament to the brand’s design consistency. Stuttgart doesn’t always hit it out of the park, but complete misses are rare too. Looking back I think that’s why the launch of the first-gen Panamera was so shocking, because it was the first time I’d observed an unmitigated dud from the brand in my lifetime. Just completely, irredeemably terrible.
Sure, plenty of people will single out the Cayenne, but let’s be real: designing a full-on SUV — at a time when SUVs were boxy and utilitarian — with 996-era swoopiness baked in is a damn near impossible task, even for the world’s greatest designers. Also, I never thought the Cayenne was all that bad. Sure, it was strange, but it was also undeniably Porsche. Distinctive and a little forward-thinking, even if it the front end didn’t entirely stick the landing. You’d never mistake it for anything else, and I think that was the goal. Looked absolutely class when you were following it, too.
The Panamera, on the other hand, has no excuses. There’s a way to do an attractive four-door Porsche, as the second-gen attempt proves. So what happened with the original pitch? Did they just get to the C-pillar and give up? You can’t just blame the back, though, because there’s not one angle from which this elongated jelly bean with red calipers cleans up. Also, how did Porsche manage to make a car both so boring you’d sooner drive into it before you noticed it in traffic, yet also so ugly that in the off chance its image does commandeer the ocular pathways to your brain, you’ll reflexively wince? How did Porsche do that?
I don’t know, but what I do know is it’s horrendous as sin. Which Porsche looks worse than all the rest? Tell us in the comments, and we’ll assemble some responses that make us giggle for an Answer of the Day later this week.