9 of the Worst Try Hard Cars
This article looks at some of the times that car manufacturers tried a little too hard to be down with the kids!
Cars are expensive things, so naturally most buyers will be a bit old. You know, like 30 or something. So, if you are a car manufacturer and want to attract a younger audience, what do you do? In this list, we look at some blatant attempts to try and appeal to fresh faced drivers, who will surely want fun and cool features. Totally. Whatever.
Renault Kangoo Be Bop
The Renault Kangoo is about as anonymous as a car can get. It's ok. It'll get you from A to B. But what if you're a young go-getter and you want to stand out from the crowd? To answer this, Renault produced the Kangoo Be Bop and, along with the name, the marketing blurb says it all - '(it) could appeal to active urban dwellers who share the values of fun and friendship' - That's right, someone at Renault thought 'active urban dwellers' is an actual thing. They probably saw some youngsters doing parkour and thought, we need to make a car with a sliding glass roof, they'll love it!
Young people love a two-seater convertible. With a targa roof. And a spoiler. That's what makes a 911 cool, right? And obviously Suzuki felt that's why everyone would love the X-90 too...but dear god were they wrong. With a proud rating of 1 star out of 5 on Honest John, and a placing in Top Gear's 2013 article, the 13 Worst Cars of the Last 20 Years, the X-90 is just one of those cars that was wrong from the very start. Clearly designed with a younger market in mind, but probably designed by a bloke in a cardigan, the X-90 was whack.
Largely thanks to a bit of genius tv by a certain Jeremy Clarkson, the Citroen Pluriel is best remembered in the UK as a car that you can take the roof off, but then have nowhere to actually put it. From what we can gather, someone at the top level had heard that youngsters liked Transformers, so a car that could change design would be all the rage. Then, they forgot to design it properly.
Everyone knows the rules...if you aren't sure what to call your new product, stick an 'i' on the front and it'll be an instant sales hit! That's obviously what VW were hoping for when they unveiled the iBeetle in 2013. In the absence of the iCar, this was probably the next best thing for Apple fanatics, as it came with an integrated docking station on the dashboard...and yep, that's about it. VW did say the car was available in colours that are 'stylistically linked' to Apple, but we're pretty sure that just means silver. Of course, almost every new car these days comes with ApplePlay or AndroidAuto, so the idea itself was fine...we just can't help but think the whole 'i' thing seemed like a much better idea at boardroom level.
In 2002, Kia produced a concept car known as the KCV-II - aimed at 'youthful car owners with an active lifestyle'. A four-seater pickup...thing...the KCV-II was a result of an internal competition at Kia's European design studio in Frankfurt, and was intentionally designed towards a younger market. A younger market that apparantly demands weird styling and a truckbed for things, like skateboards or Pokemon. Strangely though, the KCV-II was designed to have a 3.5l V6 engine...and we imagine the potential insurance and running costs would mean any young buyer wouldn't have any leftover pocket money. So, probably because of that, it wasn't built after all.
Jeep Wrangler Call of Duty Edition
It's funny that we're including this one on our list, as for a lot of gamers, the term 'Try Hard' is associated directly with the Call of Duty franchise. This 'special edition' model of the Wrangler was made to coincide with the release of Modern Warfare 3, and features some graphics on the front fenders and spare tyre cover, as well as some extra COD branding and a serialized plaque on the inside too. Jeeps can normally appeal to people of all ages, but on this occasion it really seems like someone sat in a boardroom had just heard that a game called Call of Duty was quite popular. What a n00b!
Fiat Seicento Michael Schumacher Edition
Those of us who grew up watching Michael Schumacher absolute dominate Formula One may well have wondered...what car did the great man drive when he was away from the track? Luckily in 2000, Fiat gave us the answer and it turned out to be a Fiat Seicento! Well, that's what we have to assume, as this car was marketed with the legend's name plastered everywhere. That's how it works right? If so, Michael would have enjoyed a surprisingly decent little car that was exactly the same as other models with the Abarth styling kit, except for a chrome gear stick surround and a couple of signatures on the exterior. Sick! (That's a word that means good now, apparantly).
Chevrolet Sonic RS
Looking at the picture of the Sonic RS concept car, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Chevrolet were trying to jump on the bandwagon of the Fast & Furious films of the early 2000s. Those graphics down the sides would fit right in with those first few street racing films in the franchise...even if the car itself would be left a bit behind! However, the Sonic RS was shown off at SEMA in 2013. So Chevrolet missed the mark a little...by a decade or so. Of course you could argue that Fast & Furious 6 was released in 2013 and maybe Chevrolet were trying to use that hype to sell the idea of a 'fast' Sonic model with cool and hip decals...but no, we just think it was another example of higher-ups thinking they knew what kids these days would want!
Fiat 500L Beats Edition
We'd wager that the average age of a 500L buyer is about the same as James May, which is well old. (Sorry James!). So, Fiat must have felt they needed to partner with a cool and fashionable brand to try and appeal the car to a younger market - which is where Beats comes in. Beats is of course the audio brand owned by Apple and founded by music producer and rapper, Dr Dre. And therein lies the issue...most Fiat 500L drivers won't have a clue who Dr Dre is. (He's not even a real doctor!). Instead, they'll just use the Beats name as a way to make the car seem cool to their passengers, which will likely be grumpy teenagers. They won't see it as cool, they'll think it's lame. And they'd be right.
That's our list - but are there any other cars, or special editions, out there that were just trying way too hard? Let us know in the comments!
Written by Rob W. Check out the DriveDen website for a huge range of car and travel accessories!