Top five design accidents: April Fools on Wheels

It is always exciting to see what designers come up with. Especially car designers. By this we don't mean the dramatic proportions of a 911 Turbo or the timeless elegance of Citroën's »goddess« DS 21, but rather those designs that can be confidently categorized as »April Fool's jokes«.
Text Bernd Haase
Photo Presse

On the road in the city with a graphic designer. We talk about cars. Suddenly the colleague says:

On the road in the city with a graphic designer. We talk about cars. Suddenly the colleague says:

»Oh, how nice!«
»Nice? What?«
»That car there.«
»What car?«
She points to a first-generation Fiat Multipla.
»???«
»Yes, that one!«
»Nice?????«
»Well, the car isn't nice. But it's nice to see?«
»I don't get it.«
»Well, it's just comforting to know that something so ugly is still liked by someone so much that they'll spend a lot of money on it.«

With all due respect for this very human trait towards even ugly cars, we're still very happy that some of the representatives of the »Design Accident« category didn't make it onto the road. Like these.

Citroën C60 (1962)

What happens when a goddess ends up in bed with the buddy from next door after a night of drinking? Something like the C60. In this cross between the Citroën DS and Ami 6, the designers probably used elements from these two design classics that were left out of the design at the time. For good reasons. The combination of both unfortunately doesn't make it any better.

Fiat Ecobasic (1999)

Let's call it the »little brother« of the Multipla. Ecobasic should be economical, safe and spacious. The designer Roberto Giolito certainly managed to do that. But he has lost all proportions and the feeling for matching elements. Which is not surprising: Giolito also designed the Multipla. To his credit, however: The Ecobasic has been spared the pork sausage between bonnet and windscreen. And in 2007 he gave us the new Fiat 500. So you can also learn from mistakes.

Toyota Pod (2001)

Let's stick with small and - let's call it original cars. With the Toyota Pod, you can see what happens when a specialist in consumer electronics gets involved in car design and uses artificial intelligence. After all, the little one can create shopping lists and convey the driver's mood to the outside world - no wonder it looks rather sad.

BMW Z18 (1995)

One can be benevolently say about the Z18 that it was ahead of its time. After all, the pithy off-road look was not very fashionable in 1995, at least in Europe. No wonder that the Munich based company came up with an off-road fun version in the year when Toyota more or less invented the SUV suitable for the masses with the RAV4. Whereby the »Offroadster« resembled more a motorboat than an off-road sports car.

Honda Fuya-jo (1999)

At first glance, this moving toaster may look like one of those commercial vehicles that are strictly trimmed for functionality and offer plenty of storage space, but once the doors are opened it turns out to be a party van. Hence the name. »Fuya-jo« means »Sleepless City«. After all, the concept car has a DJ mixing desk, a powerful sound system and seats like bar stools. They just kind of forgot about the dance floor.


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