Innovation has always been part of the automotive industry and generally speaking, supercars tend to lead the way. Their high ticket price offers the kind of exciting design and high performance that makes their exorbitant cost a little more palatable. But every once in a while, a supercar designer goes in a different direction, and creates something entirely… weird.
Here are some of the strangest supercharged cars that have ever rolled out of car lots, and a brief look at what went horribly wrong somewhere along the way.
The Mitsuoka Orochi was named after the mythical eight-headed Japanese dragon, which is fitting for a vehicle that has been dubbed the “world’s ugliest car.”
Generous reviewers called it “bold,” which isn’t technically a lie. Mitsuoka described their creation as “the car to ride to gather attention from everyone,” which is also technically true enough.
Unfortunately for the Orochi, sub-standard looks were matched with mediocre performance. The car only boasted 233 horsepower, which might be why advertisers pitched it as a “fashion supercar.” Its weirdness was really all it had to offer.
To make matters weirder, the Orochi decided to go out with a super-bright bang by launching a limited edition anime-inspired acid-trip of a car. The brightly painted “fashion statement” was also – because why not – sold exclusively at 7-Elevens.
Here’s a short clip showing off its “bold” paint job:
If you ever wanted to drive the car equivalent of a flaming grizzly bear sliding down an ice mountain, then the Caparo T1 might be just what you’re looking for. It was hailed as the world’s fastest supercar, which – technically speaking – it was. Unfortunately for Fifth Gear presenter Jason Plato, it also had the nasty habit of bursting into flames. During his test drive of the Caparo T1, he suddenly found himself engulfed in a ball of fire, which didn’t end his auto career, but did leave him with burns on his face, neck, and hands.
The car soon developed the reputation for being really, really fast – but also really, really dangerous. Top Gear presenter Jeremy Clarkson found that the design, which produces 3G of cornering force, handled turns at low speeds about as well as a toddler on an ice rink. It also failed to clear a speed bump, disqualifying its impressive speed record.
Mosler Consulier GTP
Like the Caparo, the Consulier GTP sacrificed other features in the name of pure, unadulterated speed.
When American broker Warren Mosler decided to leave Wall Street and design the fastest car he could legally sell to drivers, he succeeded. The thing ended up being so devilishly fast that it was eventually banned from racetracks to make life a little fairer for the competition.
Unfortunately, the poor thing was so ugly it might have been banned anyway, if only to save audiences from having to look at it. Sales never took off.
Here’s a rare glimpse of Mosler’s creation:
Even those not enrolled in a mechanic program know that cars generally have four wheels. The infamous Panther tried to innovate on this accepted standard. Unfortunately for the Panther, more wheels did not equal more sales. Only two models were ever made, even though it boasted cool new gadgets and impressive features like a phone (in 1977!), TV, and 200-mph top speed. However, no one even bothered to check if the Panther could make its speed claims. It looks like now we might never know.
Check out this cool clip of the Panther 6: