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March 8, 2010 4:50 PM | By John LeBlanc, MSN Autos

2010 Geneva Motor Show: Worst of show

Aston Martin Cygnet (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Aston Martin Cygnet (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Aston Martin Cygnet (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Aston Martin Cygnet (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Ferrari 599 HY-KERS Concept (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Ferrari 599 GTB HY-KERS Concept (© Photo: Michael Bettencourt)
  • Hyundai i-flow Concept (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Hyundai i-flow Concept (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
  • Lexus CT 200h (© Photo: John LeBlanc)
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Aston Martin Cygnet

Hyundai i-flow Concept

Hyundai i-flow Concept (© Photo: John LeBlanc)

Underneath the i-flow concept, Hyundai says there is a new diesel hybrid powertrain. But my eyes are still hurting from the car's busy, convoluted exterior to care about how it's powered.

The i-flow is a strange mix of Mazda Nagare design language bits at the front with its cartoon fenders and bug-eating grin, and over-sculpted fender swages from the first-gen Tiburon as its body weaves its way to the rear. And what's with the cut-lines in the roof? Was Hyundai's design studio welder on sick-leave the day the i-flow was being assembled?

Hyundai may be selling a gazillion cars around the world, but someone needs to get down to the design department before they put out another car that's as dated looking as this latest concept.

Lexus CT 200h

Lexus CT 200h (© Photo: John LeBlanc)

Based on the CT 200h's conceptual predecessor - the LF-Ch four-door hatchback Lexus unveiled at last September's Frankfurt show - I had high hopes for Lexus's first dip into the premium compact hatchback market. The production CT 200h, though, is yet another Toyota product that's been sanitized for our protection.

First-gen Mazda3 Sport owners will feel comfortable with the Lexus hatch: it looks almost identical with the now six-year old design.

And until we know what other drivetrain options will be available, the front drive CT 200h will initially only be powered by a 134-hp Prius drivetrain. Yet parent Toyota thinks the CT 200h will snag BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 owners out of their rides. Good luck with that.


Mazda5 (© Photo: John LeBlanc)

Like last year's Mazda3, the refreshed 2011 Mazda5 mini-minivan receives the wind-swept sheetmetal treatment based on the Nagare (flow) series of concepts. But like the compact 3, the end result is a compromise that looks awkward and overwrought.

On the Taiki, Kiyora, Ryuga and Kazamai Nagare concepts, the flowing sheetmetal theme along their sides was designed from the start. But the Mazda5 is still a few years away from an all-new platform. And like having a parent on Facebook, the 5 looks like it's trying way too hard to be cool.

Until we see from Mazda a production car designed via Nagare from the start (the next RX-8, perhaps?) any application is going to look half-pregnant.

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