Amid the long and winding halls of automotive history, there are shining rooms of inspiration and cellars of despair. We suspect an overwhelming majority of Motor1.com readers would categorize the infamous Yugo in the latter of those two categories, and there are plenty of reasons to rationalize that decision. However, being a passionate auto enthusiast generally means throwing rationality out the window, which is why the little ol’ Yugo has something of a cult following.
Honestly, we don’t know if Mihael Merkler is a Yugo fan or just a talented designer exploring roads less traveled, but we’re impressed with his modern-day reimagining of the infamous hatchback. It’s called the Yugo GT 5000 Concept; we have a small gallery below but you can see more of it over at Bēhance.net. We recommend doing so because it’s worthy of your attention for several reasons, not the least of which is the diffuser neatly rendered on the rear fascia? A diffuser on a Yugo hatchback? We like where this is going.
Gallery: Yugo 5000 GT Concept Fan Renders
Actually, Merkler incorporates several interesting details we wouldn’t expect to find. The door handles appear to be retractable, and how about the Subaru SVX-themed side windows? Granted, we don’t see any reason why the entire window couldn’t retract into the doors, but that’s not the point. This is a brand-new sporty Yugo, which by itself is a quirky step into the world of fan-rendered cars. You know what else is quirky? The grille that lights up in the shape of a Y. We like that, and if the 5.0 fender badges mean there’s a thumping Ford Mustang V8 under the vented hood, we like that too.
We also like the fact that Merkler retained an overall boxy shape that doesn’t really look modern, yet somehow doesn’t look old. It’s not pretty by any means, but we don’t mean that in a negative way. The original Yugo wasn’t pretty either, and as such this feels like it could be a proper revival of the brand.
Yugos were only sold in the United States for a few years back in the 1980s and early 1990s, but worldwide sales amounted to almost 800,000 cars by the time production ended in 2008. In other words, there could be a lot of people willing to embrace a new Yugo.