For the most part, car designers are pretty good at their jobs. It’s not often that we see a car that’s genuinely, objectively hideous. Only a few cars come to mind, like the Pontiac Aztek, the Nissan Murano Cross Cabriolet and the FIAT Multipla. However, we might now have to include this Hartge BMW X3.
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Based on the E83-generation BMW X3, which was never a beautiful car to begin with, the Hartge version is just shocking to look at. To be honest, Hartge didn’t do much aside from adding new wheels and that horrifying front bumper. They gave it a second set of Kidney Grilles, ones that are larger than the actual Kidney Grilles and headlights combined.
To me, Kidney Grilles always looked like mustaches, especially on cars like the BMW Z8. So this one seems to me like they added a second set of mustaches but on its chin. It really looks quite absurd. We’re not sure who thought, “Yes, this is what we’re going to sell. This is an improvement”.
Apparently, there were suspension and performance upgrades done to this BMW X3 as well. But, honestly, I don’t even care to know what they are. I can’t stop looking at the strange front end. It’s like watching a car crash, it’s horrifying but you can’t look away. It’s captivating and nauseating at the same time. It’s also a shame because Hartge has done some cool cars in its day and continues to. This one, though, is a bit of a swing and a miss.
Okay, so maybe I’m being overly harsh and, to be honest, the X3 upon which it was based wasn’t really a looker anyway. And, obviously styling is subjective so there are probably some enthusiasts who like this, to which I apologize for my harsh comments (sort of). But this is just such an odd design, hilariously so, that it needs to be poked fun at because, well, that’s what we as car enthusiasts do.