Ten Concept Cars That Woulda Coulda Maybe Even Shoulda
1. The Cadillac V16 Concept – If GM had dared take the brand way up market, where it belongs, things would have been different for the “standard of the world.” But the nettle was not grasped, and the brand continued—and continues—its long march downmarket, into extinction.
2. The Lincoln Continental concept – There was a time when someone at Ford thought that the Lincoln brand shouldn’t be a Ford trim level. Would that it was.
3. Chrysler ME 412 – If memory serves (and thank you for your service), the ME 412 was little more than a re-sculpted Pagani Zonda. But WTH. If you’re going down in flames, you might as well do so in one of these bad boys. Again, it’s a case of a brand deciding to go WAY upmarket. Or not.
4. Porche Tapiro – Giorgetto Giugiaro’s answer to the question: can we please move beyond the 911 now? Of course, the equally dippy 928 did just that, while not making a po-faced mockery of the family face (bonus!), as today’s non-911 Porsche’s do. The new Panamera, in particular, demonstrates the silliness of trying too hard to hold onto the past.
5. Maybach Exelero – There was no reason for Mercedes to reconstitute Maybach, given brand overlap, the dead marque’s association with the Nazis and a design that makes Wonder Bread seem like an artisan’s handiwork. And then a tire company—yes, a tire company—built the Exelero. Suddenly, Maybach made sense.
6. Holden Efijy – Struth! I know the Chevrolet SSR bombed. And I realize that this car probably has a go-kart’s chance in hell of passing U.S. safety regulations. But I’ve always thought that American carmakers needed to return to their brash, big car roots (which the Chrysler 300’s initial success proved IMHO). Imagine if this—or something similar—had been the new Pontiac. Ha!
7. Jeep Gladiator – No brainer.
8. Mercury Messenger – Is/was there a place for Mercury in Ford’s lineup? Nope. But if there is/was, I reckon it is/was in the luxury coupe sweet spot (leaving luxury four-doors to Lincoln). Unfortnately, the Glass House Gang shot the Messenger, if you know what I mean.
9. Buick LeSabre – Just kidding. Buick made some spectacular concept cars back in the day, and even built the Riviera. Nowadays, LaCrosse be damned, Drive Beautiful is a cruel joke.
10. BMW Mille Miglia – Just kidding, again, only not. BMW’s current design language is so hideously overwrought that the company should have built an entire run of these things and given one to every exec in the company. That way they could get the Chris Bangle Axles of White Power thing out of their collective system once and for all.
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