Spare a thought for the ‘uncool’ car makers

Spare a thought for the ‘uncool’ car makers

Aston Martin were today announced as the coolest brand in the UK, outdoing Apple’s iPhone which held the top spot last year. The index was drawn up from a potential list of more than 10,000 brands which are whittled down and rated by a panel of 35 ‘style-experts’, before 2,100 members of the public provided their ratings.

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”center”]Uncool: Definition – To try to be cool, and fail and be an embarrassment to people nearby, or end up looking like a right pillock.[/blockquote]

CoolBrands is an independent process administered by the Centre for Brand Analysis to produce an annual barometer of the nations coolest brands, places and people. The end result is the CoolBrands Top 500, which is published in September each year.

We’ll take a closer look at 2010/11 winner Aston Martin in a separate article, but we thought it worth taking a look at which brands missed out.


Car Makers in the CoolBrands Top 500 [Click to open]

As you can see from the list above, there are unsurprisingly plenty of British brands (Jaguar, Lotus, Range Rover, Mini, Bentley, Land Rover, Rolls-Royce and of course Aston Martin) but we think there are a few ‘glaring’ omissions..

Morgan

Morgan are one of the few independent car makers still in existence and they’re British too. Not only that, but they’re the only car maker to truly bridge traditional and contemporary style (even more so than Aston) and if you’ve ever driven a Morgan then you’ll find they’re a very social brand to wear too – everyone waves at you and each fuel stop is another opportunity to make new friends.

Morgan's four-seat EvaGT coupé broke cover at the recent Pebble Beach and Goodwood events, the EvaGT is capable of 40mpg and has CO2 emission of around 200g/km which in this day and age makes it very cool in our books.

Individual, classy and drop-dead gorgeous – surely that merits being considered cool? Morgan also have a number of spirited and successful race teams campaigning the GT3 Aero SuperSports in the FFSA GT Championship, so this is a British brand with real fighting spirit.

Morgan's SuperSport is based on the Aero8, powered by a 4.8-litre BMW engine producing 368 bhp. Imagine arriving in this at the annual Goodwood Ball, V8 engine throbbing away with thinly-veiled menace. Yeah, really uncool..

McLaren

If excluding Morgan from the index was an understandable omission (small brand, better known to enthusiasts) then missing McLaren off the list must be considered a major faux pas. What were they thinking?

McLaren's F1 is more than 20 years old and arguably has yet to be bettered in terms of its all-round speed and single-minded purity of purpose. We would argue that it is the coolest supercar ever made - way more so than any Lamborghini or Ferrari - a car that would earn nods of respect wherever it goes.

McLaren's second road car, the MP4-12C is due to be delivered to its lucky owners in early 2011 at a price which is likely to undercut a Ferrari 458 Italia. It's been showcased by two of the hottest drivers in the world - ex-F1 champion Lewis Hamilton and current F1 champion Jenson Button and is the most eagerly awaited supercar of the past decade. Now tell us that McLaren isn't a cool brand..

Citroën

Okay, we’ve talked about high-end exotica but what about something more affordable? Well in my mind the most improved brand in terms of coolness has to be Citroën. This is the brand that not long ago was making the Xsara and which put the ‘C’ into Chav (often seen driving their maxed out AXs with the whole car vibrating to the latest solid tunes. Innit Blad?).

But take a look at the Citroën range these days and you’ll find some of the most contemporary and stylish cars around, such as the DS3 or C5 Tourer and then of course there’s the concept cars. Surely a brand that has finally made the electric car cool, deserves a place in the CoolBrands Top 500.

Citroën's Survolt blends exotic looks with 100% electric-powered propulsion creating one of the most stunning concept cars of the moment. But it's not the first jaw-dropper from Citroën - in the past 12 months we've been treated to GQbyCitroën , the product of a partnership between Citroën and the style magazine GQ and of course GTbyCitroën, created to mark the launch of Gran Turismo 5 Prologue. Still think Citroën is an uncool brand?.

Others

There are several other brands that perhaps should make the list. Fiat? They’ve certainly started a trend with the Fiat 500 and you might argue that their current partnership with music duo Faithless is testament to the coolness of the Italian brand, but we’d understand anyone who felt otherwise.

Maserati are also missing from the Top 500 and yet Alfa Romeo were included – and Alfa that’s cooler than a Maserati? We don’t think so.

If you’re a motorbike fan then you may be pleased to hear that brands such as Harley Davidson, Aprilia, Ducati, Kawasaki, Piaggio, Truimph and Vespa made the list, but Yamaha didn’t (ridden for the past 4 years in Moto GP by nine-time world champion Valentino Rossi).

You probably get the picture by now that we’re none too impressed with the quality of the CoolBrands Index when you look at the automotive sector, but maybe we’re wrong. What do you think?