Time magazine included the model in its "50 Worst Cars of All Time" list.
[Update] And the answer is... Jaguar X-Type.
Following last week’s four-door model, which turned out to be a first-gen Smart ForFour, for this Saturday we have another prototype with four doors. This time around we’re looking at a larger model from the upper segment with a price to match its status. Considering the car went on sale towards the end of 2001, the spy photo was probably taken in 2000.
Available in a single generation, the model also spawned a more practical wagon body style about three years after the sedan’s introduction. Both of them shared a platform with a considerably cheaper model, prompting some people to criticize the automaker for resorting to the underpinnings of a lesser car in order to save money.
For that reason, Time magazine used some rather harsh words to describe the model, calling it a “tarted-up insult to a once-proud marque and a financial disaster for the company.” Not only that, but Time also characterized the car as being an “English version of the Cadillac Cimarron,” which was one of GM’s biggest failures.
Jeremy Clarkson had a different opinion about the model in question, praising its all-wheel-drive layout by saying the car “laughs in the face of the weatherman, the police and the AA, with their advice to stay at home.”
While the model was launched exclusively with an AWD layout, about a year later an entry-level variant was added to the range with a FWD setup available at a more attainable price tag.
Ultimately, the car was discontinued in mid-2009 and it wasn’t until early 2015 when the automaker launched a replacement on sale today with a different moniker. It’s available strictly as a sedan, with no plans on doing a wagon.
As usual, the article will be updated tomorrow morning (GMT) with the answer. Meanwhile, you can try to guess the identity of the mysterious prototype in the comments section below.
PS: Searching those quotes with Google to find out the answer is considered cheating!