In the world of Porsche, where beauty and elegance have long reigned supreme, a few peculiar creations defy the conventional aesthetics we have long assigned to Porsche, their look and their feel.
This blog post is going to take you on a journey of exploration of the ugliest Porsche ever made. There is something very interesting that happens when Porsche misses and misses big. They are usually pretty spot-on with their design and engineering choices.
When they get it wrong, I mean when they get it really wrong, we all stop and take notice. It doesn’t happen often, but it does happen.
This blog post aims to cover a few of the ugliest Porsches the brand has added to its roster over the years, with the aim of the game being that we can crown one Porsche, above the rest, the ugliest Porsche ever made.
Many of you probably already have a pretty good idea about which car is going to win, but for argument’s sake, let’s explore all the options.
- We list out some of the ugliest Porsches ever made, acknowledging that Porsche, known for its elegant designs, has occasionally produced polarizing or unattractive models.
- Five Porsche models have been criticized for their aesthetics, including the Porsche 914, 1st Generation Porsche Cayenne, 1st Generation Porsche Panamera, Porsche 924, and Porsche 996.
- Among these, the Porsche 914 is crowned as the ugliest Porsche of all time.
Top Five Ugliest Porsche’s
To start things off, let’s talk about 5 of the ugliest Porsches, in our opinion, that Porsche has stained their elite pedigree with. Is that too harsh? No.
If you check out these cars online and really think about their aesthetic decision, you will agree. Now, while these five are in no particular order, we will pick one from the group and crown it the ugliest Porsche king.
We considered many cars before whittling the list down to these final few. Here are our final five.
The Porsche 914, which was manufactured and produced from 1969 to 1976, was a collaborative effort between Porsche and Volkswagen. You can probably see where this is going. Its unconventional design, featuring a mid-engine layout and pop-up headlights, received mixed reviews from enthusiasts and actual critics alike.
While some people truly appreciated its compact proportions and lightweight construction, most people found its rounded shape and what can only be described as horribly bulbous appearance rather unappealing.
The 914 was even designed as a replacement for the 912, which was also hideous; it not only failed to solve the problem but actually exasperated all the worst qualities of it.
Porsche Cayenne (1st Generation)
When Porsche introduced the Cayenne SUV in 2002, it marked a significant departure from the brand’s traditional sports car only image. Was Porsche about to start catering to the masses? Not quite.
While the Cayenne has since become an overwhelming commercial success, many Porsche purists still have mixed emotions. When the 1st Gen Cayenne came out, it was bulky and muscular in design, which was clearly vastly different from everything else within the Porsche lineup.
The Cayenne is undoubtedly lacking the sleek and refined aesthetics typically associated with Porsche. It looks clunky. And ugly. And thank God Porsche moved away from its original Cayenne design.
Porsche Panamera (1st Generation)
The Panamera, Porsche’s first foray into the luxury sedan segment in 2009, sparked immediate controversy with its elongated body and unconventional proportions. As you can probably already tell, Porsche does not do a great job on their first try.
Both the first-gen Cayenne and Panamera are two of the worst-looking Porsches you will ever see. Critics back then and now, to be honest, argued that the fastback design compromised the car’s overall cohesion, which didn’t really work out too well, it resulted in a somewhat awkward and ungainly appearance.
However, subsequent generations of the Panamera have become quite popular, so (like the Cayenne) we do know that Porsche gets there in the end.
Introduced in 1976, the Porsche 924 was intended to be an entry-level sports car aimed at widening Porsche’s customer base. It’s something Porsche has since backpedaled on somewhat.
Clearly, that was the right choice, but we are glad they tried to appeal to the masses because it gave us this abomination. This is the first model in our list of the ugliest Porsches that might cause some controversy.
Some people love it, some hate it, but the ones that hate it really hate it. While the 924 offered accessible performance, its design received well-deserved criticism for lacking the distinctive Porsche styling cues that enthusiasts had come to expect over the years.
It felt very basic, very bland, and failed to do any of the things Porsche is known for.
This is a model that has let everyone down. The consumer, the critics, and their competitors expected more. Many don’t quite rate this car, but I certainly like the lines of the Turbo, Carrera 4, and GT3 models. But I’ve had to include it due to popular demand and those fried egg headlights.
Although it was certainly no snail, hell, we have to give props where props are due, it was pretty damn fast.
And it looked pretty bad, according to most. All that was bad about the mid-90s haunted the 996. Porsche was struggling, and that showed in every facet of this car. It just didn’t hit the spot. Many think it is by far the biggest blip in Porsche’s pedigree.
Quick Re-Cap Of the Ugliest Porsche List
To make things simple, I’ve summarized the key points for each of the five Porsches that have been included in this list:
|Porsche Model||What Went Wrong with Design|
|Porsche 914||Bulbous, unconventional mid-engine layout, pop-up headlights, unappealing rounded shape.|
|Porsche Cayenne (1st Gen)||Bulky, muscular design, lacked the sleek and refined aesthetics associated with Porsche.|
|Porsche Panamera (1st Gen)||Elongated body, unconventional proportions, fastback design compromised overall cohesion.|
|Porsche 924||Lack of distinctive Porsche styling cues, basic and bland design, failed to live up to Porsche’s reputation.|
|Porsche 996||Controversial “fried egg” headlights, design flaws from the mid-90s, perceived as a significant blip in Porsche’s pedigree.|
1st Place Winner Of Ugliest Porsche Of All Time?
Obviously, the 914 was the ugliest Porsche of all time. I know we said we didn’t put the list in any particular order. We lied. Well, we lied for the first spot as it’s our first-place winner.
We just wanted to keep the 914 fresh in your mind. It really is an example of Porsche missing the mark so completely that it begs the question – “What were they smoking?”.
It isn’t even as if they just made stylistic choices that not everyone agrees with. It just looks bad.
The 911 line is perhaps the most prestigious in the world to many people. I’m just glad the 996 didn’t taint the reputation of it. Some think the 996 ties in first, but I’d disagree.
The Truth About The Ugliest Porsche’s
This is a really good question because, honestly, we have no idea. Porsche has a pretty convincing history of making terrible first attempts.
This is odd because they tend to get it right quickly afterward. Is it because they launch lines too quickly? Is it because they don’t care? No.
I think, and I may be completely wrong (but I don’t think that I am), that Porsche genuinely listens to their consumers.
When their fans and customers tell them they did a terrible job, they listen and correct mistakes.
We can’t slate them too much. At least they care. At least, they care about us more than most people care about the 914.
I’m Daniel, the founder of YSM Motors. I’ve been living and breathing cars since I was born and got into the online space when I was 16, writing about cars.
My unique view comes from owning several interesting cars, ranging from a Volkswagen Golf R, BMW M3, and, more recently, my Porsche Spyder. Owning these cars and a few others has allowed me to become close friends with other car enthusiasts giving me insight into rarer and more exotic cars such as Ferrari, Maserati, Porsche GT cars, and more.
I’ve been lucky to experience and maintain such a vast range of exciting cars, and in the process I’ve become close with a few car dealers and high-end workshops, which has allowed me to pick their brains on topics you can’t find info about online.
My eye for detail stems from my full time career as a Business Analyst. This all started when I studied a Bachelor of Science with a Major in Information Systems, leading me into my 13-year career.
After honing my online skills with various projects and immersing myself further into car culture, by 2019, I decided to dedicate myself to YSM Motors in my spare time and purely focus on my passion for cars and everything to do with them.