I live near Oxnard, in southern California. This gives a confirmed motorhead like me many delicious opportunities to view countless celebrity-owned exotics—on their way to and from Malibu. I also see a wide range of next-generation ordinary cars. BMW and Land Rover import thru Port Hueneme (Why-Nee-Mee) just a stone’s throw away.
The factory seems to send many tech test-beds and new designs this way, for the local tech/design talent to put through the paces. Lots of shrouded Minis can be seen DAILY—along with ALT FUEL and electric 7 Series Bimmers. Volkswagen has a new testing/design facility nearby as well. In short, the grubby town of Oxnard is nirvana for an auto enthusiast.
Just last night, as I was departing my son’s Boy Scouts meeting, I stumbled upon a Phoenix Motorcars (www.phoenixmotorcars.com) test-bed pickup. (Photos attached) From whatever angle I looked at it, it looked WRONG. The front fascia, along with the bulging hood, seems to droop—the look of a hung-over alcoholic whose facial muscles are unable to overcome the force of gravity. The character lines along the sides are too deep—as if a sculptor dug in too deep, but didn’t have enough clay to repair the damage. And the cargo box—way too short, with taillights that share the same droop of the front fascia. In short, this thing is a complete mess!
I loitered around long enough to meet the driver. He explained it was produced by a Korean firm called Ssanyong. Though currently powered by a wheezy turbodiesel, he explained it was slated for electrification by a local CA company. This got me to thinking: Even if this thing provided stellar electric performance—good power and long range—who in America would buy this fugly thing?
It is pretty clear to me that Ssanyong has not done what their Hyundai/Kia Korean brethren have wisely done—hire a design team that is influenced by the West, specifically California. The Chinese auto manufacturers simply copy Western designs, but the Koreans either have too much integrity, or fear of lawsuits, to do this. The bottom line however remains—the Korean design aesthetic as revealed in this truck, is simply visual rape to my California eyes! Ssangyong…Phoenix Motorcars—take this thing back to Korea…it’s too ugly for us beauty-obsessed Californians. Or, at least, give it a facelift…a boob job…something…!
Tags: new cars