The 5 Most Embarrassing Fails In Motoring 2012

Faeces-coloured cars, weird names and cheesy adverts. 2013 has got its work cut out...

By Andrew Evans, 31 December 2012

2012, eh? What a great year for cars. New BMW Ms, a big Jaguar estate, the Dacia Sandero and CT's COTY Toyota GT86. But it wasn't all good and we're taking a look back at worst the year had to offer, in the hopes 2013 can be better still.

Exterior Fail - Peugeot 208

Peugeot have been trying for years to recapture the magic of the 205. The numb but cutesy 206 failed and the bloaty 207 flailed, but in 2012 they launched their third effort - the 208 - and boy, what a mess. Combining underbite with proboscis monkey at the front and a mess of lines on every otherwise-flat surface, the 208 is needlessly fussy and has the same presence on the road as a dead badger. Even the GTI won't outrun ugly. Though the Renault Twingo's facelift runs it close, the 208 takes the crown.

Name Fail - Vauxhall Adam

Despite stiff competition in the silly-name stakes from Renault's Twizy, Seat's Mii and in-house from the Vauxhall Mokka, we've gone for the Vauxhall Adam. Car names generally cost millions in consultancy and research - to ensure the name isn't an expletive in another language - but Vauxhall sister company Opel went for the company founder's name, Adam Opel. While this idea works well with the Ferrari Enzo Ferrari, it'd not be a terrific plan for the Bentley Walter or the Jaguar William. Where the Adam really nails it is the choice of trim levels - Jam, Glam and Slam.

Idea Fail - MINI Paceman

Just nipping the Pagani Huayra - new car, huge thirsty engine, name like gargling vomit, not fast enough, million quid - for the worst idea of 2012 is the MINI Paceman. Now look, I'm not against the idea of whoring a platform into a zillion different bodies - the original Mini was no better and anyone who says otherwise clearly forgot the existence of the 1960s - but help me out here. First you make a not-very miniature MINI, which is a very good car, then you pump it up into a big, practical SUV which looks like someone made a Mini out of LEGO, then you make a coupe version of that and lose the back seats again. For which you charge nineteen grand. Nope, you lost me.

Car Advert Fail - Peugeot 208

While Hyundai's cheesy advert is attracting some criticism and Peugeot's other 208 advert with the creepy naked guy has been the butt of many jokes, this advert trawls the depths. The slightly uncharitable ethos of not caring about anything that doesn't affect you has managed to knock sense even into YouTube comments. Though not bad enough to be banned, it probably should be.

Colour Fail - Porsche 911

At some point recently, someone decided that brown was A Thing. Suddenly, every painfully trendy car came in brown - the MINI Countryman, the BMW X1 and the Range Rover Evoque all come with a distinctly chocolatey option. The 991 version of the 911 comes with two, the lighter of which is this offence. Named Cognac Metallic, this £1,800 option looks like it slithered out as the result of a heavy night on the vindaloo. Still, it brings new meaning to the phrase "sh*t off a shovel", I suppose.

Did we miss more motoring mishaps in 2012? Let us know in the comments.

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