Terrible Nineties Sports Car Design From Japan?


Today marks the final entry in our Question of the Day series discussing bad sporty car design from the Nineties. So far we’ve covered America and Europe, and we now finish up with poor sports car designs from Japan.
Our rules today are the same as they have been in previous editions; let’s have a look.

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a Japanese manufacturer, even if sourced from an import.
  3. Any body style is eligible as long as it’s sporty.

Japanese offerings from the Nineties have become relative design classics in the decades since, so today’s example took a little bit more consideration from yours truly. Perhaps you’ll have an easier time thinking of a bad design, but here’s mine:

It’s the first generation of the Acura CL coupe, introduced for the 1997 model year. It was only the second coupe in the brand’s lineup, succeeding a Legend coupe which failed to catch on.  The Legend’s sales suffered due to its overall cost and front-wheel-drive architecture, burdens not placed upon its direct competition, the Lexus SC 300.

The CL employed four- and six-cylinder engines. Appropriately for the decade, manual or automatic transmissions were on offer. The styling of the first-gen CL is best described as derpy. Awkward shapes combine with a general look that doesn’t really relate to other cars in Acura’s lineup. Given its age and its tendency to experience Honda wheel arch rust, you don’t see many around today. In 2001 the CL was replaced by a superior looking second generation version, to the delight of anybody with eyes.

Let’s hear your selections for bad Nineties styling from Japan.

[Images: Acura]





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