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10 Worst Sports Car Designs Of The Last Decade

In the past 10 years, gearheads have enjoyed a myriad of faster, more beautiful sports cars. With established brands upping the ante, bad car designs shouldn’t exist. Yet, the past decade has played host to some howlers.

Omitting design cock-ups like the Lamborghini Egoista, everyday sports cars are the biggest offenders. Worst in many ways covers a lot of design faux pas that go down like a lead balloon. Ask any Alfa Romeo 4C owner what they don’t like, and it won’t be the car’s speed, but how it’s put together and feels. Bad design comes in several forms. Weak engines, poor handling, and ugly aesthetics, all rank among the worst features and attributes of any car.

Get anyone or more of these wrong, and it’s game over for gearheads. We’re done with accepting substandard designs. It’s time to leave the worst car designs behind and get back to enjoying driving to the fullest.

RELATED: A Detailed Look Back At The Antas VV8 GT

10/10 Faralli & Mazzanti Antas V8 GT (2006-10)

Antas V8 GT - Front via: F&M Auto Antas

The F&M Antas V8 GT might have flown under the radar for most gearheads. But, for anyone unlucky enough to catch a glimpse of one, it’s an experience you won’t forget in a hurry. Function over form makes this one of the ugliest cars ever to see the light of day.

Antas V8 GT - Rear via: F&M Auto Antas

If you can escape the Antas V8 GT’s polarizing looks, then you’re in for a treat. Under the hood, you get a Maserati 4.7-liter V8 churning out 310 hp with a manufacturer claimed top sped of 168 mph. However, since its debut in 2006, the Antas V8 has all but disappeared. In 2010 Mazzanti and Faralli parted ways to pursue other projects.

RELATED: A Detailed Look Back At The Antas VV8 GT

9/10 Covini C6W (2004-16)

Covini C6W - Front via: Covini

Staying with the incredible Italians, we have the Covini C6W. Unlike other sports carmakers, Covini thought it would be a cool idea to give the C6W an extra pair of wheels up front. In theory, the more wheels you have, the higher grip levels and better cornering speed. It’s not a new idea, and Tyrell trialed the layout with their P34 F1 racer.

Covini C6W - Rear via: Covini

Does it work? The jury is still out on that one. But, for all its ingenuity, the C6W isn’t going to win any beauty contests. The curious triple axle design is reminiscent of a semi-truck in reverse. The C6W’s redeeming features are a pair of scissor doors, and a 4.2-liter V8 somewhere in the back.

8/10 McLaren Solus GT (2023)

McLaren Soluts GT - Front Quarter via: McLaren

Based on McLaren’s Vision Gran Turismo concept, the Solus GT is set to enter production in 2023. With production limited to 25 units, built for track use only, the chances of stumbling across one are nil.

Solus GT - Front via: McLaren

As a design concept, it works. But, take a look at the finer details and some glaring issues arise. Climbing aboard is a challenge in itself that rewards drivers with limited visibility. On the move, those elaborate wing are millimeters from destruction. We like the F1 theme of the Solus GT, but at $3.6 million, there are cheaper and more usable sports cars out there.

7/10 Qiantu K50 Dragonfly (2018-Present)

Qiantu K50 - Front Via Qiantu

Think of any sports carmaker, and we’d bet you’ve never heard of Qiantu. Founded in 2016, the Chinese carmaker has ambitions to become a major player in the production of electric sports cars. Unveiled in 2017, the K50 Dragonfly has all the makings of a green supercar.

Qiantu K50 - Rear Via Qiantu

As a first attempt, the K50 is a well specified sports car boasting twin-electric motors. Things get off to a good start, until you realize the K50 isn’t all that quick. In a drag race sixty comes up in a reasonable 4.6-seconds, but beyond that, most cheap hatches will leave it for dust. Promising as the Dragonfly is, with 376 hp on offer, top speed is a meager 124 mph.

6/10 Panoz Abruzzi (2011)

Panoz Abruzzi - Front Via Panoz

Addressing the elephant in the room, Panoz designed one of the ugliest cars we’ve ever seen. Launched in 2010, this quirky triple tusked beast emerged for the European market. Production was due to start the following year. How many found buyers is hard to answer due to a planned limited run of 81 cars.

Panoz Abruzzi - Rear Via Panoz

Made from REAMS composites rivaling carbon fiber for strength, Panoz was a pioneer. Despite its exotic build the Abruzzi is an old school sports car rocking a 6.2-liter LS3 engine cranking out 650 hp.

Related: Panoz Announces Partnership To Use Self-Healing Paint

5/10 Mercedes-Benz SL65 AMG Black Series (2008-12)

Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series - Front Via Mercedes

More of anything related to a car’s performance has to be a good thing. But, knowing when to stop is difficult. In 2009, Mercedes went nuclear with the SL65 AMG Black Series featuring a 6.0-liter V12 engine. It seems this wasn’t enough, so Mercedes fitted two turbochargers ramping up output to 670 hp.

Mercedes SL65 AMG Black Series - Rear Via Mercedes

It’s here the problems start. Overpowered for Mercedes new 7-speed transmission, the SL65 used a dated 5-speed auto. Without question the SL65 is fast, but with a better transmission it could have been the fastest.

4/10 DC Avanti (2012-20)

DC Avanti - Front via: DC

India’s answer to the burgeoning small sports car segment, the DC Avanti appeared in 2012. Ten years later, the compact two-seater sports car rarely finds its way abroad. Listing for $45,000 (Inr 3,680,000) you’d expect the Avanti to be on par with a Mustang, but it falls way short of expectation.

DC Avnati - Rear via: DC

Tucked away behind the cockpit, you get a Renault-sourced 2.0-liter engine cranking out 250 hp. Any notions of mid-engine thrills soon evaporate when you realize the DC has a geared top speed of 124 mph. Gearheads are better off with the cheaper and faster MX-5.

3/10 Spada Codatronca TS (2008-Present)

Spada Codatronca TS - Front Via Spada

The Italian-built Spada Codatronca TS is a car of two halves. Upfront, a wedge-shaped stealth inspire sports car powered by an American engine. Once you passed the A-pillar, things take a turn for the worst. Did somebody say hearse? Or a breadvan? Whatever the thinking was behind the rear end, it’s unique.

Spada Codatronca TS - Rear Via Spada

The good news, at 208 mph, most other road users won’t get a second glance of the Codatronca. Lifting the hood reveals a Chevrolet LS7 7.0-liter V8, putting down 710 hp and 701 ft-lbs of torque. Since its debut in 2008, the Codatronca line-up has grown with a Monza badged roadster.

2/10 Mazda RX-8 (2003-12)

Mazda RX-8 - Front Via Bring A Trailer

Hot on the heels of gearhead’s favorite Wankel engine sports car, the RX-8 had big boots to fill. It was a reputation Mazda failed to capitalize on, preferring to go with a larger 2+2 coupe. To their credit, Mazda stayed loyal to the rotary engine set-up up with the 1.3-liter RENSIS motor.

Mazda RX-8 - Side Via Bring A Trailer

Yet, the RENESIS proved unreliable, further tarnishing the RX’s sports car pedigree. By the end of production in 2012, sales had tumbled to less than 800 cars.

RELATED: 10 Reasons Why The Mazda RX-8 Deserves More Love

1/10 Mitsuoka Himiko (2008-Present)

Mitsuoka Himiko - Front Via Mitsuoka

Drawing inspiration from Jaguar’s XK120, the Mitsuoka Himiko is another weird Japanese creation. If you squint hard enough after a few dozen sakes, it might convince you of the real thing. However, with a $44,000 asking price, sticking a retro-modern body atop Mazda’s MX-5 won’t fool anyone.

Mitusoka Himiko - Rear Via Mitsuoka

Two generations of the Himiko exist to date, mirroring the MX-5 NC/ND evolution. The only saving grace for this Japanese oddity is the reliability of Mazda’s engines.



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