Fail of the century #20: Peugeot 308 CC
If you’re looking for a material from which to construct your car, metal is widely regarded as a better choice than cloth. More robust, more rigid, less likely to shrink if you accidently put it on a 60˚C boil wash. However, for all its advantages, metal is very bad at folding efficiently into a small space, at least if you plan on unfolding it again at any point thereafter.
All of which is by way of saying: folding hardtop convertibles have big butts and we cannot lie. This is why, with the tiniest handful of exceptions, they tend to boast all the visual elegance of botched surgery. Unfortunately this significant downside failed to deter, for a terrifying chunk of the Noughties, pretty much every mainstream manufacturer from cooking up a steely folder or two, in what appeared, at times, to be an active bid to out-ugly each other.
Arguably top of the ugly tree sat the 308CC, which melded the inevitable coupe-cabrio muffin-boot to Peugeot’s trademark late-Noughties honking snout (“the biggest headlights on the market!” boasted its designers, like that was a... good thing?), to create a machine of rare terror. The chubby Pug’s handling was as doughy as its design, while the rear diffuser arrangement was utterly inexplicable: what with 300kg of roof stacked atop your tailpipes, did you really need any more downforce back there?