2019 Auto Shanghai - Worst In Show
The debuts best left overseas, pleaseby Jonathan Lopez, on
Auto Shanghai 2019 brought out all kinds of attractive new four-wheeled creations, with the best of the best compiled in our traditional Best In Show list right here. Unfortunately, there were a few debuts that definitely left us unimpressed, so we’re calling them out with a follow-up Worst In Show list. Regular readers will no doubt recognize some of these entries from our Best In Show list - as it turns out, we here at TopSpeed can’t always agree when it comes to matters of automotive opinion. As such, it’s up to you to post your thoughts in the comments section so we can hash this out…
Volkswagen is dead set on ushering in all manner of all-electric vehicles in the next few years, and it’s previewing this deluge of battery-powered nameplates with a series of concepts. The latest is called the I.D. Roomzz, and it’s framed as a compact crossover with some novel tech and a sleek design.
My problem is this - haven’t we seen this concept about a hundred times before? The I.D. Roomzz looks quite a bit like a number of older debuts, like the I.D. Crozz, or the I.D. Crozz II, or the I.D. Hatchback.
Granted, the Roomzz’s interior looks pretty cool, but again, it’s nothing we haven’t seen before.
Overall, I’m still struggling to see why Volkswagen needs to keep rehashing the same concept over and over. Look - we get it. You’re sorry about Dieselgate. Time to move on by actually putting some of these concepts into production, or at the very least updating the concepts with new ideas. It’s already starting to feel old, and they aren’t even on the market yet.
One more thing - stop with the stupid names. Adding two Z’s doesn’t make a car interesting or hip.
While Ciprian Florea may have added the 2019 Lexus LM to our Best In Show list, Mihai Fira and Andrei Nedelea think it belongs here instead.
“When someone utters the letters ‘L’ and ‘M’ together, I usually get pretty pumped up, thinking they’re referring to something at least vaguely related to the 24 Hour of Le Mans,” writes Fira. “So I rushed to see what Lexus did with the LM in Shanghai. It was a big mistake, maybe my biggest mistake of last week, if I’m honest. That’s because right in front of my eyes stood one of the ugliest four-wheeled vehicles I’d ever seen.
Granted, it’s hard to make an MPV look good, but it’s like Lexus didn’t even try.
Or if its designers did try, their target was to make it as ungainly as possible.”
“People carriers are dead in Europe and dying in North America, but they’re still going strong in China,” adds Nedelea. “That’s why Lexus chose Shanghai as the venue to unveil one of the craziest cars it has ever made, and I don’t mean that in a good way. The Lexus LM is basically a more posh third-gen Toyota Alphard with a different badge. The Alphard was already a hideous monstrosity, but now it’s a Lexus that costs an exorbitant sum - over $150,000 (and around half that if it were sold anywhere else). Granted, the Lexus LM is the best-looking Toyota Alphard variant, but that only makes it slightly less hideous.”
“The main reason I’ve nominated the LM isn’t the grille,” Fira continues. “It’s a matter of provenance. Under the posh chrome trim pieces and nice wheels and leather-wrapped lounge, the LM is still just a more-expensive Toyota Alphard. My point is this - Lexus could have made a really pretty thing out of its first MPV, but instead, one ugly, oversized grille was switched for another. A pity, really.”
Both Safet Satara and Siddhant Dhimaan are in agreement here - the facelift that Mini brought to Shanghai just doesn’t stack up.
“The Mini Clubman is a fine car, but I feel as though Mini is quickly losing its stride,” writes Satara. “The Clubman facelift revealed at Auto Shanghai does have more standard kit, and it looks better thanks to new headlights, a new grille, and cool wheels, but I’m afraid it won’t be enough to jumpstart slow sales. I feel as though Mini needs to take radical action, stepping beyond the curtains of its heritage to try something new.
This facelift doesn’t bring any forward-thinking ideas. It’s just more of the same with slightly different garnish.
With such a mighty brand name, BMW has to reinvent Mini in a way we wouldn’t expect.”
“At a time when design philosophies are changing rapidly, and even SUVs are forced to come up with new generations in just a few years, Mini looks like it’s stuck in 2015,” says Dhimaan. “Why even bother to bring it up to a prestigious auto show and destroy the credibility of the brand as a whole? With the Clubman facelift, Mini clearly conveyed that it is happy selling cars based on brand and badge value, leaving innovation to its rivals.”
Aston Martin Rapide E
Here’s another model found on both our Best In Show and Worst In Show list. Siddhant Dhimaan thought it belonged on the former, but Ciprian Florea is less enthusiastic about Aston’s first production EV and added it to the latter instead.
“Okay, so it’s really cool that Aston Martin finally built an electric car and it’s awesome that it has 600 horsepower.
But it’s still a Rapide, it’s limited to less than 200 units, and it’s very expensive.
This isn’t proof that Aston Martin wants to join the electric market; it’s simply proof that the British firm wants to show off and decrease its CO2 footprint briefly. Remember the Aston Martin Cygnet city car that was based on the Toyota IQ? The Rapide E is the same thing essentially but based on an existing Aston Martin. The Brits should design a stand-alone EV really soon.”
Read our full review on the 2020 Aston Martin Rapide E.