Welcome to Too Awesome For Production, where I highlight the greatest concept cars of all time. I will continue to do this until I get bored or run out of ideas.
The Audi Nanuk Quattro Concept is the greatest concept car of the past decade. Do not try and argue, just look:
Say what you want about Ferdinand Piech, but there can be no doubt that he is one of the most significant figures in the entire history of the automobile.
At Porsche, he oversaw the 917, one of the most dominant race cars ever built.
At Audi, he oversaw the Quattro, which permanently changed high-performance cars by introducing all-wheel drive into the equation.
And although his failed attempts to move Volkswagen upmarket are not really celebrated, I think that period deserves recognition for giving us some of the most wonderfully insane cars of the 21st century. The following are six of my favorites from When Volkswagen Went Nuts.
Let’s pretend for a second that you are shopping for a luxury car. You probably have Mercedes, BMW, Audi, and Tesla high on your list of preferred brands, followed by Lexus and maybe Jaguar or Volvo. Cadillac is unlikely to be high up on that list, if it’s on the list at all. I think this is a real shame, because the Cadillac CT6 is a seriously good luxury sedan that more people should consider before buying another BMW or Merc.
In 1996, Ford released the first generation Ka, intending it to be their smallest, cheapest car. And it was, but it was also one of the best and most original automotive designs in years. It is a wonderful future classic, and it was so good and so popular that Ford ended up making it until 2008. That is an eternity in the world of modern cars, but it speaks to two things. One, how good the original design was. And two, how bad all of its replacements were.
For example, here is the original Ka
Crossovers are pointless and largely terrible cars. So why do people keep buying them in such huge numbers?
There, I said it. I honestly do not understand America’s love affair with the crossover. Basically, what car companies do to create them is to take your average garden-variety hatchback or wagon, put new bodywork on it, and raise both the ride height and the price. Because these cars are higher off the ground then their hatchback cousins, they are worse to drive and get much worse gas mileage. They are also rather unappealing to look at; styling-wise, they are the car industry’s equivalent of a blobfish. Or would that be Ted Cruz? Same thing, I suppose.
Following the demise of the Volkswagen Beetle, Rory looks at retro hits and misses of the automotive industry.
It’s old news by now, but I’m sure you have all heard that the Volkswagen Beetle goes out of production this year. The Beetle is one of the last remnants in the auto industry of a craze for “retro” cars, cars that imitated the styling of an older product by that automaker. There are some retro cars still coming out today, but the trend is not nearly what it was. Still, I thought I would take a look at some of the retro hits and misses of the industry.
If you are reading this piece, you likely saw the headline. And if you saw the headline, you likely scoffed at the absurdity of the notion that a carmaker would deliberately be making terrible cars. I did too, but after eliminating all the other options, I had to go with the only remaining one.
Rory Cahill is a teenage car enthusiast who, apparently, is considered an influencer despite not being old enough to drive. GM has loaned him cars including a Cadillac CTS, a Chevy Corvette, and a Cadillac ATS-V. He also wrote this entire paragraph in the third person. The snob.