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Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. But at the 2024 Canadian International AutoShow, which runs from Feb. 16 – 25 in Toronto, there’s little to be found in some vehicles. Here are four of the ugliest vehicles on the show floor:

1. Rolls-Royce Spectre

Money can’t buy taste. Case in point – this new $500,000 Rolls-Royce Spectre all-electric coupe. Sure, it may be ultraluxurious and uber-classy inside and better for the planet than its V12 siblings, but on the exterior, it leaves a lot to be desired, especially from the side profile and rear end. It’s gaudy, pretentious and unapologetically ugly in its styling because it’s not well balanced in its proportions. It’s too front heavy with its massive long hood, short sloping rear roofline and five-foot long doors – the longest on any Rolls. Frankly, it looks like a bulky and awkwardly designed Chrysler 200 than a high-end status symbol. I’d rather have a more stylish and affordable Hyundai Kona electric vehicle than this Rolls. Points for its performance, though – 584 horsepower, 664 lb-ft of torque, roughly 470 kilometres of electric range and zero to 100 kilometres an hour run time of 4.5 seconds.

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The Rolls-Royce Spectre on display at the 2024 Canadian International AutoShow, in Toronto, on Feb. 15.Chittley, Jordan/The Globe and Mail

The six must-see cars at the 2024 Toronto auto show

2. VinFast VF 3

On the opposite side of the spectrum, comes this mini electric, boxy car called the VF 3 from Vietnamese automaker VinFast. It’s tiny proportions, 319 centimetres long and 168 centimetres wide, make it ideal for parking in congested downtown city cores or driving short distances. It has an estimated range of less than 200 kilometres. Unfortunately this car’s banana yellow colour with white roof and blacked-out windows, square headlights and geometric block design resembles a Lego car instead of a real two-door passenger car. Perhaps a different shade would redeem its looks and make it more appealing. Personally, I’d rather take a Fiat 500e or a used Smart Fortwo than be caught behind the wheel of this eye sore. It’s coming to Canada, but Canadian prices haven’t been announced, yet. In the U.S., prices are expected to start at less than US$20,000. At least the price is right.

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The VinFast VF 3.Liisa Robbins/The Globe and Mail

3. 2003 Deora II concept

The Deora was one of the 16 original Hot Wheels cars and was first introduced in 1968. This life-sized concept was built in 2003 as a modern interpretation of the original Deora – a show car brought to life by Harry Bentley Bradley, the first Hot Wheels designer. The Deora II concept stands out with its swoopy curves and bulbous front end and looks more like a baluga whale than a hot ride. At least it’s practical and able to carry two rear-mounted surf boards like the original Hot Wheels car. It is powered by a supercharged Cadillac Northstar engine with more than 400 horsepower, and it has a top speed of more than 240 kilometres an hour.

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The Deora II concept.Chittley, Jordan/The Globe and Mail

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The car stands out with its swoopy curves and bulbous front end.Chittley, Jordan/The Globe and Mail

4. GMC Hummer electric truck

There wasn’t much love for the original gas-guzzling Hummer SUV. And even though GMC resurrected the old Hummer nameplate as an all-electric truck a few years ago, it’s still not a favourite among environmentalists and others. Its looks are polarizing because it retains its original DNA – a menacing, big imposing presence with a high hood line that could cause serious damage in a collision with a pedestrian, cyclist or animal. Even though it is powered by electricity, it likely isn’t going to save the planet. The electric truck weighs a whopping 9,063 pounds and the battery alone is 2,923 pounds – that’s roughly the same weight as a Honda Civic.

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The GMC Hummer electric truck.Chittley, Jordan/The Globe and Mail

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