Ten Concept Cars That Woulda Coulda Maybe Even Shoulda

Robert Farago
by Robert Farago

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.

Robert Farago
Robert Farago

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  • BigOldChryslers BigOldChryslers on Oct 19, 2009

    @PeteMoran: Yes, I've seen this car in person. I said in my previous post that not only was it a showcar, Harley Earl used it as his personal means of transportation. Even better, the engine is also a prototype with a supercharger and two fuel systems: gasoline and methanol.

  • Russycle Russycle on Oct 19, 2009

    How did Jeep not build the Gladiator? Tallk about a sure thing. Thanks for the Buick, I'll be seeing that in my nightmares for weeks!

  • Ajla I'm going to whine about it. It should have a V8 available. Preferably a new one but at least offering the old one as a mid-level option. That this brand new engine outperforms something introduced 2003 and last updated in 2009 doesn't impress me. Also, journalists seem to be unaware that it is possible to add forced induction to a V8.
  • Calrson Fan I'll say it again, terrible business model doomed to fail. If your gonna build an EV PU the only market that makes sense to go after is fleets. How many other BEV companies are making money pushing only truck type vehicles?
  • Kcflyer Well it's a better waste of my money than the 1.5 billion sleepy joe's handlers gave away this week to pay for gender studies tuition.
  • Dukeisduke SK Siltron - they make blank wafers, so this isn't really a semiconductor factory (wafer fab). Siltron just polishes wafers sliced from silicon carbide ingots. Sometimes these plants are located close to fabs, sometimes they're halfway around the world from the fabs.Wafer fabs take those wafers and run processes on them (photolithography, etch, deposition, etc.) to produce finished wafers. Those finished wafers go to an assembly/test (A/T) site, where they go through probe and other testing, they're cut up into individual chips and inserted into packages with lead frames. After testing on the finished chips, then they're ready to sell.
  • Argistat If China invades Taiwan (becoming even more likely thanks to DT's isolationist rants) , then the US is completely screwed. If someone tried to list all the manufactured items and manufacturing equipment that contain semiconductor chips, the list would be so long you'd never complete it. Finally a real effort to help bring this into the US.