Which Concept Car Shouldn't Have Made It To Production?

1999 Pontiac Aztek Concept
1999 Pontiac Aztek Concept
Photo: General Motors

We always talk about the ones that got away — the concept cars that inspired the public yet never got made. Cars like the Chrysler ME Four-Twelve or the Nissan IDx, lifted by mountains of hype that their respective automakers simply couldn’t transform into something real. History is littered with them. It’s sick.

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But that’s not what we’re talking about this time. Rather, today’s question is about quite the opposite: What concept car should never have graduated to production, yet did anyway?

Google any list of the worst cars ever made and it’s guaranteed the Pontiac Aztek is destined to feature. What some may not know is that the Aztek actually began life as a concept that debuted at the 1999 North American International Auto Show. I’ll submit that the prototype seen above looked slightly better than its production counterpart, though saying any car looks better than the Aztek is easily the most meaningless praise one could bestow.

I’ll add the Chrysler PT Cruiser to this list, which is an interesting case because the PT Cruiser was worlds apart from the Pronto Cruizer concept that inspired it. Neither should have seen the light of day, but at least the Pronto Cruizer wore its hot-rod, mobster swagger much more confidently. Meanwhile, the PT Cruiser sort of looks like the Penguin from Batman at his feeblest and least threatening.

Come to think of it, I’m realizing the majority of answers to this question probably came out of the Big Three between the years of 1988 and 2005. Anyway, what concept car do you think should’ve been passed over for production, never to darken the doorways of a showroom?

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

DISCUSSION

4jimstock
4jim

THIS: