QOTD: Terribly Aged Europeans of the Nineties?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis

Lately, we’ve featured a succession of posts relating to automotive style in the Nineties here at Question of the Day. We started out discussing the best of the best from America, Europe, and Asia. Then, last week, we moved on to the Worst Ever awards from America. Many of you said I was nuts for disliking the refreshed Lincoln Mark VIII. While I still don’t like the VIII post-’96, I’ll agree the Buick Skylark for 1992 would’ve been a better selection. There, happy?

Let’s see if I can get my European selection to be a bit more agreeable to all you connoisseurs of things Nineties.

You know the rules by now, but let’s have a look anyway:

  1. All selections must be model years 1990 to 1999.
  2. Picks must be from a European manufacturer, even if sourced from an import.
  3. Any body style is eligible except for trucks.

Your author’s selection today took some time and consideration. Undoubtedly, some of you will disagree vehemently, but here goes:

It’s the Audi TT. New for the 1999 model year, the TT was a relative revelation in style. Compared with the staid predecessors of the TT, the coupe and cabriolet versions of the Audi 90, the TT was a breath of fresh air. It was modern and current, and had the element of concept in production about it which not many manufacturers can execute successfully.

They sold lots of them, and the first generation carried all the way through 2006. And the success of the original TT is the reason it looks dated today. Because it was a unique offering with that concept flair, it was very current-looking for all of 1999 and perhaps through 2001. Then it started looking dated. Today, it’s a round caricature of a car, which puts one immediately in mind of the also annoying New Beetle from the late Nineties. And that would’ve been a good selection too, but I’ve already typed up a TT rant.

Off to you, commentariat.

[Images: BMW, Audi]

Corey Lewis
Corey Lewis

Interested in lots of cars and their various historical contexts. Started writing articles for TTAC in late 2016, when my first posts were QOTDs. From there I started a few new series like Rare Rides, Buy/Drive/Burn, Abandoned History, and most recently Rare Rides Icons. Operating from a home base in Cincinnati, Ohio, a relative auto journalist dead zone. Many of my articles are prompted by something I'll see on social media that sparks my interest and causes me to research. Finding articles and information from the early days of the internet and beyond that covers the little details lost to time: trim packages, color and wheel choices, interior fabrics. Beyond those, I'm fascinated by automotive industry experiments, both failures and successes. Lately I've taken an interest in AI, and generating "what if" type images for car models long dead. Reincarnating a modern Toyota Paseo, Lincoln Mark IX, or Isuzu Trooper through a text prompt is fun. Fun to post them on Twitter too, and watch people overreact. To that end, the social media I use most is Twitter, @CoreyLewis86. I also contribute pieces for Forbes Wheels and Forbes Home.

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  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on May 29, 2019

    Fiat Multipla

  • Conundrum Conundrum on May 29, 2019

    Can't think of any other stinkers beyond a lot of Euro mini junk that never made it to our shores. The AM Virage is the winner. Thankfully I had completely forgotten it, but upon being reminded by Mr Williams took and look, and see now that I have unconscious amnesia syndrome when overwhelmed by beauty's opposite. Thank the good lord. Second place to the garden shed Jaguar Type S, Ford's idea of a Jaguar. This hulking monstrosity I first espied in the flesh head on as it approached down a side street. As it drew closer and closer, my mind refused to accept the inevitability of its sheer ugliness until it could no longer be denied. Sir William Lyons would have had a litter of kittens had he been alive - the thing was the complete antithesis of his esthetic, a cartoon by incompetent sketchers. My choice of bad was the Audi TT. Couldn't see a single virtue in it from day one. It looked like an overgrown dung beetle to me, a joke competing with the J30 from non-Europe for outright "they just don't get it" silliness. A stinker, Bauhaus inspired or not. As for things like the nondescript E34 BMW and Roller, they weren't ugly, just anonymously mousey. The Roller was 30 years past its sell-by date anyway. The Volvo S80 looked like a billowing cloud of roly poly Michelin man, but not ugly as such. It's all in the eye of the beholder anyway as to whether certain proportions hit the sweet spot or its opposite. Liked this QOTD.

  • Jonathan IMO the hatchback sedans like the Audi A5 Sportback, the Kia Stinger, and the already gone Buick Sportback are the answer to SUVs. The A5 and the AWD version of the Stinger being the better overall option IMO. I drive the A5, and love the depth and size of the trunk space as well as the low lift over. I've yet to find anything I need to carry that I can't, although I admit I don't carry things like drywall, building materials, etc. However, add in the fun to drive handling characteristics, there's almost no SUV that compares.
  • C-b65792653 I'm starting to wonder about Elon....again!!I see a parallel with Henry Ford who was the wealthiest industrialist at one time. Henry went off on a tangent with the peace ship for WWI, Ford TriMotor, invasive social engineering, etc. Once the economy went bad, the focus fell back to cars. Elon became one of the wealthiest industrialist in the 21st century. Then he went off with the space venture, boring holes in the ground venture, "X" (formerly Twitter), etc, etc, etc. Once Tesla hit a plateau and he realized his EVs were a commodity, he too is focused on his primary money making machine. Yet, I feel Elon is over reacting. Down sizing is the nature of the beast in the auto industry; you can't get around that. But hacking the Super Charger division is like cutting off your own leg. IIRC, GM and Ford were scheduled to sign on to the exclusive Tesla charging format. That would have doubled or tripled his charging opportunity. I wonder what those at the Renaissance Center and the Glass House are thinking now. As alluded to, there's blood in the water and other charging companies will fill the void. I believe other nations have standardized EV charging (EU & China). Elon had the chance to have his charging system as the default in North America. Now, he's dropped the ball. He's lost considerable influence on what the standardized format will eventually be. Tremendous opportunity lost. 🚗🚗🚗
  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars