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Botched surgery: The massive Youabian Puma road boat


November 25, 2013

The Puma was one of the most talked about cars at this year's LA Auto Show

The Puma was one of the most talked about cars at this year's LA Auto Show

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Last week's LA Auto Show had plenty of head-turning cars and concepts, but easily the head-turningest of the bunch was the Youabian Puma, a brand-new car built to "stand out and be unique." People are saying a lot of unflattering things about it, but the one thing that they cannot say is that it fails in its mission. Good or bad, the car is like nothing we've ever seen.

"The Youabian Puma's design was based on feedback from many wealthy individuals around the world who wanted something different and unique," the Puma website explains, "wealthy individuals who were bored of owning exotic sports cars like Ferrari and Lamborghini. The Puma's goal is not to be the fastest in the world, but to be the most unique, just like its owners."

Well, as they say, you asked for it. The Puma puts the desire for uniqueness to the absolute test because, near as we can tell, that's really all it has going for it. And at US$1.1 million, it really will only appeal to very wealthy individuals trying to scratch a burning itch to stand out.

The photos don't effectively convey how large this auto is, though the tiny man in the photo below does give you some idea of the scale. It's something you really have to experience for yourself, an experience that's intensified when darting between two show floors filled with countless normal-sized cars. Every time we walked past it – and there were many such times, since it was in the hallway – the Puma just beat us over the head with the fact that it is HUGE. It's nearly impossible to walk by and not stare dumbfounded, at least for a moment.

The Puma measures over 20 feet long

To quantify that mass, the Puma measures 20.2 ft (6.2 m) from bumper to bumper, stands as tall as a 6-ft (1.8-m) man and packs 7.75 ft (2.4 m) of width. Those are some big numbers to start with, and within those dimensions, the Puma sports some heavily bloated body work – panels that look like they were pumped vigorously with air before getting secured to the aluminum/steel chassis. The mission of standing out in the crowd is clear in every curve, fold and bulge. Also clear is the fact that the Puma wasn't the brainchild of an actual professional car designer, but of a plastic surgeon.

As difficult as it is to get past that outrageous styling, eventually you have to turn your attention to the specs. The Puma pounces forward under the power of a 505-hp 7.0-liter V8, which drives the rear wheels through a six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic. Front suspension with upper and lower A-arms and coil over shocks and independent rear suspension with coil overs help cushion the 20-inch chromed forged aluminum wheels, which are wrapped in bulging 44-inch tires.

The 5.9-second 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) time confirms that the Puma was not built for speed. There's no listed curb weight, but it's clear that the big, bulbous construction dilutes the potency of the powerful V8 engine. The car returns an estimated 22 mpg (9.3 km/L) on the highway and 14 mpg (5.9 km/L) in the city.

The Puma is a four-seat convertible

Underneath its fully automated retractable hard-top, the Puma has a leather interior with room for four. Features include a touchscreen infotainment system, electronic gauges, a 400-watt, 8-speaker audio system with Sirius XM and USB port, and dual climate zones. Driving and safety technologies include electronic transmission shifter buttons, cruise control, front- and rear-view cameras, front and rear bumper distance sensors, and an anti-roll bar. It also has an anti-theft alarm system with keyless entry.

The LA Auto Show was no incidental debut locale; the Puma was conceived, designed and built in the City of Angels. Those interested can register that interest through the Puma website.

Okay, "wealthy individuals around the world who wanted something different," it's your play.

Source: Puma Automobiles

About the Author
C.C. Weiss Upon graduating college with a poli sci degree, Chris toiled in the political world for several years. Realizing he was better off making cynical comments from afar than actually getting involved in all that mess, he turned away from matters of government and news to cover the things that really matter: outdoor recreation, cool cars, technology, wild gadgets and all forms of other toys. He's happily following the wisdom of his father who told him that if you find something you love to do, it won't really be work.   All articles by C.C. Weiss

Five stars for the headline. Message to whoever did this: Next time go easy on the botox.

I just can't believe how the dashboard looks. They must have had a bunch of totalled Civics in their yard.

What sayz that price tag again...ah, right...yah...

25th November, 2013 @ 09:09 pm PST

I think someone spilt coffee on the plans early on....I can see many a Texan driving that beauty!

Bob Humbly
25th November, 2013 @ 11:05 pm PST

Could have made that amphibious without much effort. Might have increased the number of people interested.

Thing is there are lots of existing cars you would get noticed in...especially with a shop-modified whatever.

Or you could have an Oscar Meyer Hot Dog Car. About as attractive, and better aerodynamics.

25th November, 2013 @ 11:55 pm PST

It's surely a joke...

It's a joke, right?!?

At first, seeing the word boat in the title, I thought it was going to be some sort of amphibian car (and the odd looking tires were spot on)... but such a monstrosity with no added benefits is unbelievable...

I believe it's a joke or a way of proving that in this world you can make money out of someone's stupidity...

Giolli Joker
26th November, 2013 @ 02:09 am PST

That whole company should probably stop drinking.

26th November, 2013 @ 02:47 am PST

It looks like a vehicle suffereing from bloat or severe weight gain.

There are less expensive ways to stand out. There are vehicles that do that at a fraction of that cost.

26th November, 2013 @ 06:03 am PST

Wonder if the guy who designed this was moonlighting from BMW's supposedly British MINI division, such are its horribly bloated and overstated contours?

Agree with BeWalt's comments re Civic dashboards. I'd imagine that the screen in front of the steering wheel is probably a forward view CCTV screen, as the thing is so massive that a 6' bloke probably can't see over the steering wheel... Well, at least that means he can't be seen driving it. Not sure I'd want to be!

What is going on with those bizarre high-flotation swamp tyres? Handy for crossing the La Brea tar pits maybe, but elsewhere in LA, except where the traffic is moving slowly, this thing is going to handle like a John Deere tractor.

26th November, 2013 @ 08:16 am PST

A bad joke that shows how stupid people are.

Interestingly I drive my composite EV subcar and everyone looks at it instead of any other no matter how expensive car, truck is next to me.

And it didn't cost a rounding error of the example shown. It also gets 300MPG equivalent and women love it.

26th November, 2013 @ 08:54 am PST

So bad I'm almost speachless, but I can still type.

FAB 1 is a far better design, done long ago for a puppet, who is not allowed to drive. Such a terrible driver her license was taken away and her parkinson's inflicted chaufer must drive her.

Dave B13
26th November, 2013 @ 09:43 am PST

Hey, hey, hey....bergamot69.

Not very nice to disparage a wonderful machine, the John Deere tractor! My big green tractor is a real piece of art!

26th November, 2013 @ 10:03 am PST

This "car" takes obscenity to a whole new level.

Obscene appearance.

Obscene size.

Obscene price tag.

Allegedly designed by a plastic surgeon. If this is his/her idea of beautiful I dread to think what his/her patients look like after treatment.

26th November, 2013 @ 10:06 am PST

Looks like it was designed by Homer Simpson...

26th November, 2013 @ 12:51 pm PST

The perfect car for it's intended market. Minor improvements could be made:

1) The purchase price emblazoned on the side of the car in 200mm lettering

2) A diaphone, operating continuously.

26th November, 2013 @ 06:50 pm PST

What did the designer do here, - 3-D 'print' a Hipopotamous? Well, - different strokes for different folks, I guess! There is no denying that any expression of pure abstract. art, although of limited appeal, and confined to an elect few, - will nevertheless, bring out the the latent bizarre nature of those who walk among us, masquerading as 'normal' resident humans!

Robert Arthur Gillis
26th November, 2013 @ 07:25 pm PST

Some of the plumbing under the hood makes it look like the driver could increase ground clearance at the touch of a button. Why? To roll over the cars in front of you in case of zombie apocalypse, snarled traffic on the way to the airport due to impending radiological disaster or too many fans trying to get to the stadium and you really need to get to your skybox in time because Warren Buffet said he'd drop by. No, you can't use the helicopter, your pilot refuses to break FAA regs about landing in uncontrolled parking lots.

Just some wild ass guesses.

Windsor Wilder
26th November, 2013 @ 08:53 pm PST

I was there for the media days last week and I'm amazed you managed to find shots of it without someone stopping to see this thing.

This car is beyond any rational comment, let's face it. It actually looks as if someone took a Hot Wheel and enlarged to unreasonable dimensions. I took a lot of pictures with people next to it, in order to give you an idea of the disproportionate size of this thing.

It's a bit funny, isn't it? We used to be the obnoxious big polluting capitalists and China the opposite. Now China owns Hummer and wants to give us this cross over from a 60's Saturday morning cartoon to a Hot Wheel look alike contest.

27th November, 2013 @ 11:03 am PST

Excessive? Certainly. Practical? Hardly. Innovative? Not too much else like it. Not my style, (or most others, apparently) but it is creative at a time when most car companies have generic styling that almost defies the availability of CAD design tools.

27th November, 2013 @ 05:04 pm PST

We sure have come a long way in performance expectations

"The 5.9-second 0-60 mph (96.5 km/h) time confirms that the Puma was not built for speed."

0 to 60 times in the 6 second range used to be pretty quick.

Captain Danger
28th November, 2013 @ 10:13 am PST

"P.U.M.A" Possibly/Perhaps Ugliest Machine Around.......

28th November, 2013 @ 08:06 pm PST

Looks like a garage built DIY kit car but if you could sell one it would probably show a huge profit. I'd rather have 10 Vette's (different colors of course).

3rd December, 2013 @ 09:08 am PST

Does it have rack and peanut steering?

Danijela Totic- Klanac
8th December, 2013 @ 03:16 am PST
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