QOTD: Wondering What They Were Thinking?

Corey Lewis
by Corey Lewis
qotd wondering what they were thinking

Bad product decisions cost auto manufacturers money, yet history provides us with many such examples. In today’s QOTD, we’re going to consider the best of the worst in poor automotive decision making. Present or past, anything goes in today’s inquiry. What vehicle makes you really wonder “what were they thinking?”

My example today is a questionable special edition, a topic which received its own QOTD a couple of years ago. Though TTAC reported it on it last year, yours truly was totally unaware of its existence until one appeared in afternoon commute traffic recently. Have a look:

You may recognize it as the Hyundai Kona, a subcompact CUV currently experiencing sales success. But it’s no ordinary Kona — it’s an Iron Man Edition. In traffic, the “IRONMAN” on the tailgate made me think it was a special edition similar to the old Ford Explorer, which represented the Ironman triathlon.

A Google search later that evening proved me quite wrong.

The text on the back is in fact Iron Man, as in the Marvel superhero. Hyundai debuted its special Kona last year at Comic-Con in San Diego. Iron Man is featured on the wheel caps, on the D-pillar, and in the headlamps. The hood says “MARVEL” on it, and the roof bears an Iron Man matte logo. There are also fender logos, side door decals, and embroidery on the seats to match. The package is finished in a gunmetal grey with ketchup-colored accents and roof. It’s garish, ridiculous, and in very questionable taste. Of course Hyundai has experience in this area, as they released the Walking Dead Edition Tucson a few years ago. And that Rare Ride came complete with bloody hand print decals. Yeesh.

What stands out to you as questionable automotive taste?

[Images: seller, Hyundai]

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2 of 91 comments
  • Nrd515 Nrd515 on Nov 14, 2019

    Every time I see a 2010 up Camaro. I didn't get it when they first appeared, and then in 2016, they upped the ugly. Sadly, it doesn't appear that they will be making another generation, so they will never get the chance to screw it up ONE MORE TIME! I'm sure they would have, it's what GM seems to do anymore.

  • Slow_Joe_Crow Slow_Joe_Crow on Nov 15, 2019

    Hyundai should revive the VW Trek edition idea and do a tie in with Kona Bicycles, all they need is a bike, a rack and some Kona pseudopod logos

  • Johnster Minor quibble. The down-sized full-sized 1980-only Continental (which was available with Town Car and Town Coupe trims) gave up its name in 1981 and became the Town Car. The name "Town Coupe" was never used after the 1980 model year. The 1981 Lincoln Town Car was available with a 2-door body style, but the 2-door Lincoln Town Car was discontinued and not offered for the 1982 model year and never returned to the Lincoln lineup.
  • Zipper69 Some discreet dwebadging and this will pass for a $95k Lucid Air...
  • Zipper69 Does it REALLY have to be a four door?Surely a truly compact vehicle could stick with the half-door access with jump seats for short term passengers.
  • ToolGuy See kids, you can keep your old car in good condition.
  • ToolGuy MUAWGA