By on June 3, 2015

1999 Buick Cielo Concept

This is the 1999 Buick Cielo Concept and its incredibly similar in form and function to the Soarer Aerocabin we featured yesterday. As a hardtop convertible that retains its roof rails, the Cielo (which isn’t brown, unfortunately) isn’t the only car – or even the only Buick – to leverage this concept.

A year later, Buick built the Regal Cielo Concept, applying the same technical idea to a production sedan.

“This is a translation of the most significant feature of the Cielo concept car directly into a potential production application,” said Mark D. Hines, Regal brand manager at the time. “Although Regal Cielo is technically a concept car, it is clearly a vehicle which can be built.”

Like the Regal GNX concept of the same year, the Regal Cielo never did see production.

2000 Buick Regal Cielo Concept

The idea of a convertible car that retains its roof rails when the roof panels are down hasn’t been entirely abandoned – it’s only disappeared on bigger coupes and sedans.

Switching our focus to Fiat, the 500C makes use of this roof rail concept, though the panel itself is made of fabric instead of metal, probably due to the fact the diminutive hatchback lacks any modicum of trunk space.

500c6

With the number of glass panoramic roofs on factory vehicles in the market today, a case might be made for replacing these fabric or metal panels with something a bit more transparent.

Best & Brightest, what body style do you think should make an encore appearance? My vote goes to a return of what I call the “private convertible” seen above.

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117 Comments on “QOTD: What Body Style Needs to Make a Comeback?...”


  • avatar
    geozinger

    Speaking of convert-sedans, back in the Neon days, Chrysler also made a similar roof concept on the Neon. I would have loved that as a runabout.

    I personally think that we need a return to hatchbacks, but especially mid-sized hatchbacks. I had a Dodge Lancer and a Chevy Malibu Maxx, those were some of the most versatile cars I think I ever owned. Most mid sized cars (and below) have such a fast roofline anyway, they should be hatches…

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, kind of like the bygone Mazda6 hatchback.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed, I had an 85 LeBaron GTS 5-door hatchback, and that was awesome.

      Tesla’s Model S has the hatch/trunk feature.

    • 0 avatar
      eManual

      I had a 1987 Dodge Lancer with 5MT, and the only issue was the high lift-over height of the trunk opening. The Malibu Maxx (2004-2007) would have been a great replacement, but the Lancer died in 2000 and I bought a Chevy Impala to replace it. The Chevy has a 60/40 backseat, a requirement to carry a String Bass and other goodies.

      A midsize hatchback is a very versatile vehicle. For short (in-town) distances, the back can be left up to carry bulk packages, having more volume than the equivalent wagon. Unlike the wagon, it has the same (or more) covered trunk space than the sedan, increasing privacy. And the backseat headroom in the Lancer and Maxx was geared for adults, unlike the present “fastback” design.

      A recent TTAC review about the Audi A7 ($80K hatch) had me write:

      How come a near-luxury company (Acura, Lexus, Infiniti, Lincoln, Buick, Chrysler) can’t build something like this for about 40K? A luxury hatch (without 4 wheel drive} based on a good platform, not a German maintenance worry. I’d be all over it, even if it didn’t come with a manual transmission!

    • 0 avatar
      ClutchCarGo

      The mid-size hatchback has the additional value of being wagon-like without being a wagon. My wife won’t have anything to do with a wagon (because, station wagon), but she drives a Maxx and is very happy with it. Sure, there are compact hatches available, but a mid-size is much more pleasant as a daily driver.

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        I mean, I get it. People are irrational about labels.

        But I look at the Maxx (which I thought was the best Malibu, and would be still, if they still made it), and I think “yes, that is basically a wagon”.

        I’m baffled by how a mid-sized hatch is different from a short wagon. As far as I’m concerned it *isn’t*.

    • 0 avatar
      twotone

      Dual Cowl Phaeton

      http://public.fotki.com/Zincs/greystone-mansion-c/1930-packard-741.html

  • avatar
    an innocent man

    Body style comeback? My wife’s, pre-kids.

  • avatar
    Zackman

    This is easy: Pillarless hardtops.

    A simple way to sell usable and functional coupes – usable for back seat passengers, that is, without fixed rear glass.

    I also believe true, three-box cars with more formal rooflines would be desirable as well.

    The pictured above roll-top-desks-with-wheels need not apply.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Nah, we need side windows sealed. That way, air conditioning works at its best, second-hand cigarette smoke from the occupants of the car becomes a virtual non-issue, and most importantly . . . . . . that ‘effing jerk in the next lane who insists of giving the drivers around him an impromptu rap concert at every traffic light gets to blow his own eardrums out with the over-blast being muted behind glass.

      Roll down windows are overrated.

      • 0 avatar
        Zackman

        “… jerk in the next lane who insists of giving the drivers around him an impromptu rap concert at every traffic light…”

        Doggone it, Syke, you may just have a valid point there. Now I have to re-think everything!

        You are correct about the A/C being more efficient, however.

        Where’s a good Colonnade Chevelle or Cutlass Supreme when I need one…

      • 0 avatar
        Sigivald

        Roll down windows are only overrated if you never go to a drive-through, have to deal with a policeman, or (less relevantly) don’t live or care about selling the car in New Jersey or Oregon where we have to let someone else pump our gas.

        It’s really, really, really handy to be able to roll down a window, honest.

        (Also, summer – drop all four to let the hot air out, then back up to let A/C do the heavy lifting.)

      • 0 avatar
        JK43123

        I have been surprised roll down windows haven’t been outlawed for safety reasons.

        John

    • 0 avatar
      BigOldChryslers

      I’m with you, Zackman. Pillarless hardtops, particularly 2-door hardtops, was the first answer that popped into my head.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Came here to say this, was beaten. I want to see someone who’s really good at unibody structures, say Mercedes, take on the challenge of making a modern pillarless 4-door sedan. And I’d really like to see the ponycars go pillarless, even though I know it would make them a bit heavier.

    • 0 avatar
      TheyBeRollin

      I love them, but I thought they died in the 70s due to crash safety standards, just like basically all good things, then for some reason they never found a way around them…

      So, one more vote for this.

  • avatar
    DenverMike

    The mid-engine sporty compacts. Cheap thrills. Super Car feel.

    And pony cars should be lift-backs. Utility with the fast style. Trunks are for sedans.

  • avatar
    Sam Hell Jr

    T top Firebird. If only so I can have a functional model of my favorite Matchbox car. Though in truth, a good pano sunroof is better in just about every way.

    I also like rear window louvers. Probably for the same reason.

    Other than that? A Bronco-style two-door pickup-based SUV with an enclosed bed, and I do believe Ford could knock that out in ~15 minutes.

    • 0 avatar

      You’re my new favorite person.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      Making a Bronco would be so easy for Ford.

      Shorten the SuperCab F150’s wheelbase
      Give it a top
      Done

      Personally, I think if Ford were ever to bring back the Bronco, it has to be in SuperCab format instead of Regular Cab.

      • 0 avatar
        Drzhivago138

        They could easy make it from the SuperCab Raptor, methinks. There’s more than a few Photoshops floating around the interwebs showing what it might look like.

    • 0 avatar
      Syke

      Yes, T-top Camaro’s. And my wife would be in heaven. Just the same, totally based on looks, I’ll still do my shopping from the second, third or fourth generation F-bodys.

    • 0 avatar
      cdotson

      FCA/Ram could do it too. They still make a Regular Cab/Short bed truck they could use as the existing wheelbase, add 2nd row bench seats and bring back the Ramcharger. Given the 1/2 ton Ram’s link/coils rear suspension it should ride pretty well. The 2-door should undercut the Tahoe/Yukon substantially on price; a longer wheelbase 4-door could be offered easily as well.

      As the owner of a 1988 Ramcharger I would gladly buy a modern one. It may be the perfect replacement for our Odyssey as we rarely need a 3rd row anymore and are holding off on a travel trailer purchase as one would tax the minivans and my 2002 Ram is knocking 200k and lacks comforts to which we have become accustomed.

      • 0 avatar
        BigOldChryslers

        +1
        Did you see the (photoshopped) Ramchargers that Four Wheeler magazine showed as their 2015 April Fools article?

        FCA won’t make a new Ramcharger; it would cut into Jeep and Durango sales.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        “As the owner of a 1988 Ramcharger I would gladly buy a modern one. It may be the perfect replacement for our Odyssey as we rarely need a 3rd row”

        Wouldn’t a Wrangler or JGC be a replacement?

        No one is going to do a two door. The market is too limited. The best chance in something like this happening is Ford because they still make the clamshell doors.

    • 0 avatar
      Sigivald

      I think you’re aesthetically insane on the first two. (De gustibus, etc.)

      But I think the Bronco-ish SUV suggestion is the first compelling one I’ve seen in this thread.

      They’d actually *sell*. Not like hotcakes, but well enough to make a profit.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        Sigi, that’s assuming it’s not some crappy rehash of the explorer.

        I almost feel safer not asking the automakers to return something, just because I know they’ll screw up something as dead simple as changing a major selling point.

    • 0 avatar
      racer-esq.

      Full size 2-door SUVs are awesome. The problem is with CAFE the new Blazer, Bronco or Ramcharger is going to 50K-plus.

      Still, there would be a lot of buyers at that price.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    Someone needs to bring back the convertible SUV.

    Murano CrossCabriolet. Suzuki X-90. How can you lose!?

  • avatar
    heavy handle

    I predict that the next Wrangler will offer a roof-rail option, in addition to the standard soft top and optional hard top.

  • avatar
    FormerFF

    Three door wagons, especially small three door wagons. This is a car mainly meant for carrying two people and stuff efficiently, with the option for occasionally carrying four people and less stuff.

    I’d also like to see an affordable targa topped mid engine sports car, a successor to the Fiat X/1-9, which I’d have to say is the most enjoyable street car I’ve ever driven. If that’s not coming, how about a hatchback coupe version of Mazda’s MX-5? MX-5 GT, anyone?

    Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting any of those would be big sellers, so I don’t expect to see them made. Maybe the MX-5 GT, since it wouldn’t require all that much extra development.

  • avatar
    sproc

    I’d vote for C-pillars that aren’t thick as redwoods. Surely modern materials can make this structurally possible. It would be nice to see the return of delicate rooflines and functional rear visibility.

    • 0 avatar
      statikboy

      Yes, the return of windows would be awesome. Even a lot of A pillars in the last 10 years have been creating unnecessarily large blind spots.

      Advanced materials wouldn’t be required to achieve good visibility if vehicles were not so heavy.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    How about the reverse: which body-styles should go away? I would like to see two-door cars with more than two rows of seats vanish forever.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      Agreed.

      I’d also like to see an end to captured back doors, which require the front doors to open first.

      • 0 avatar
        bball40dtw

        No no no

        I love the doors on the F150 SuperCab.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        F-series Clamshell doors are the best thing ever. Easy throw/access gear/tools, and load/empty kids and dogs as I load/empty myself.

        But the best part is the enclosed changing area, parked next to an SUV/minivan/pickup/wall.

        I’ll make the long rush-hour trip to the city for meetings in comfortable clothes, and arrive at the meeting fresh pressed, instead of sweaty and wrinkled. And no food stains. Or hiking gear to work clothes in a snap.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          “F-series Clamshell doors are the best thing ever”

          This is a true story.

          • 0 avatar
            cdotson

            They’d be better if you didn’t have to always open the front door first and always shut the rear door first. They’ve figured it out for dual-door wide refrigerators with bottom freezers; they could figure it out for car doors.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            Invariably a kid will forget to close it or commit suicide. Who needs the liability? But if it’s a problem for your passengers. you probably ready have a crew cab or sedan.

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            Refridgerators don’t have to be crash tested.

          • 0 avatar
            redav

            Requiring the rear door to close first simplifies the structural interface and allows an unobstructed opening. The rear door can act as the pillar for the front, which really wouldn’t work well if it could open by itself.

  • avatar
    juicy sushi

    3 box sedans. Everyone is trying to do a fastback thanks to the bloody CLS, and they all look horrific with the massive sense of weight the extra metal creates.

    Longer hood than the trunk, same amount of metal over the front and rear wheel wells, a small grille that doesn’t look like the gaping blowfish maw that UK journalists inexplicably find so attractive about Audis.

    It really isn’t that hard, yet everyone seems to have forgotten.

    • 0 avatar
      redav

      They are doing ‘fast-backs’ because that’s what’s necessary for mpg ratings, not to copy anyone else.

      I think the excessive grilles are due in part to pedestrian safety, higher hoods, and more upright front ends.

  • avatar

    The Citroen Pluriel used the idea of roof rails that could stay in place. But, there was the option of removing them entirely. The designer was Geoff Gardiner.

  • avatar
    Hummer

    Cars should make a comeback, blobs like the Camaro, Highlander, Focus, murano, all need to go to a corner. Cars with A pillars the size of trees need to go away as well; getting out of the H2 into any modern car/CUV makes me uneasy with the A pillar being a foot from my face taking up a large viewing area.

    Also 2 door fullsize convertible SUVs need to come back, crossovers don’t count, if it doesn’t have a frame or a solid rear it’s not going to work.

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      “Also 2 door fullsize convertible SUVs need to come back”

      I’d settle for a 2 door full size SUV that isn’t a convertible.

      • 0 avatar
        Hummer

        I’m not sure, you can get that very wrong, I would hope a convertible would be slightly harder to get wrong. The GMT400 2 door Tahoe was very right, but if they did a 2 door of the current, it would look horrible.
        2 door SUVs must be masculine, which is why the 400 worked so well, and why the K2XX 2015 would look so bad.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford and GM would have to use their trucks as a starting point for 2-door SUVs, not the existing full size SUVs. A chop job on the Yukon, Tahoe, or Expedition would look weird. A shortened up F150 or Silverado with a top would look much better. I know the SUVs are related to the trucks, but they are different enough that I consider them different for this exercise.

          • 0 avatar
            DenverMike

            The original Blazer does look funny, and it was a chopped Suburban. But that’s part of it’s charm. The Suburban and Expedition did run the same front end as their pickup cousins, at one time. But a “pickup truck” front ends look better/stronger/tougher.

            The 2-door Explorer Sport should’ve ran the Ranger front end, like the Bronco II, to gain appeal/respect, not just an Explorer minus 2-doors and less useful “utility”.

  • avatar

    I second the idea of bringing back the three door wagon. The Volvo 480ES and Lancia Beta HPE showed how good they could look.

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    OMG, OMG! I’ve had my answer ready for years:

    TALL BOY WAGONS!

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Mid-engine minivans.

    And the Lancia Beta Scorpion.

  • avatar
    Acd

    The Boat Tail Speedster. There hasn’t been a good one since the 1936 Auburn.

  • avatar
    krhodes1

    Wagons that are not on stilts.

    I also very much agree with proper 3-box sedans, 3dr wagons, and pillarless hardtops. But more than anything else – WINDOWS. I don’t want to drive a bunker. I want to drive something I can see out of. Lots of glass, thin pillars, exceptional visibility. A window opening I can comfortably rest an elbow on during those nice days with the windows down. Is it really so hard??

    • 0 avatar
      Truckducken

      Wagons? Hear, hear. And to increase the chances of this happening, let’s rename them ‘Lowrider SUVs’ or something, to avoid the dreaded term ‘wagon’.

      Also +1 on windows, and I’ll add that for the LSUVs the rear window needs to roll down! That’s all the air conditioning a man needs.

  • avatar
    bunkie

    Go take a ride in an MKZ with the monster glass roof. While not as open as the Ceilo or the Fiat, it is so much more open-feeling than any other sunroof car. If I were to end up with an MKZ, it would be a required option.

  • avatar
    turf3

    Full size pickups the size of the 1963 Chevy pickup. It was available with a 4′ x 8′ bed, so it was a true full size pickup, but with entry height and bed height that were useful for actual normal size humans; and you could actually see over the top of the truck!

    True minivans for people who need to carry stuff. Ideally, the minivan should have a side ramp. Check the Corvair Rampside pickup. I had one of these for a while. With a two wheel dolly you could load and unload almost anything singlehandedly. If you put this ramp on the side of a minivan, with the minivan’s flat floor (and only the front seats present) you could carry pretty much anything.

    WINDOWS YOU CAN SEE OUT OF.

  • avatar
    cdotson

    Body-on-frame sedans and wagons that can actually tow something their own weight or greater. I get the BOF sedans went away due to high cost/low popularity, but the Panther was a perimeter frame long/low/wide sedan of a bygone era. Now everyone wants high hip points and tall vehicles. You could plop a sedan/wagon body on a lighter-duty version of a truck ladder frame and make cars like they used to before 1950.

    And make them wide anyway; it sucks that you have to shop endlessly online for a precisely narrow enough child safety seat to put three LITTLE KIDS across the back seat of anything smaller than a minivan or full size truck. Someone 5′-6 should be able to lay down on the back seat without their head or feet touching the door panels.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      Basically, the people who used to like BOF sedans/wagons for their BOFness now all drive trucks, and prefer them. 1/2 ton crew-cab short-bed pickups are the new BOF sedan. Suburbans and their ilk are the new BOF wagon.

  • avatar
    jeoff

    5 seat convertible.

  • avatar
    NoGoYo

    Huge 2 door coupes with a fastback roofline, like a late 60s full size Ford.

  • avatar
    akatsuki

    Lots of missing niches

    Many convertible variants:
    – Full size convertibles with rear rear seat room
    – How about 4 doors?*
    – Targas and T-Tops – where is the new Civic Del Sol?
    – What happened to the casual convertible like the mid-90s Celica?

    Larger, more practical vehicles
    – a 3 row SUV with real third row room and… 3 doors on each side! Then I wouldn’t need a minivan.*

    The Bronco – agree with the people above, just chop an F-150, do some offroad tuning and call it a day. Parts bin special that nobody will mind. Don’t make it look like a toy like the FJ which nobody could take seriously.

    More cute-utes – Suzuki Samurai type.

    * Yes I am aware that the chassis will flex with a 4 door convertible and a 6 door SUV. So what?

    • 0 avatar
      bball40dtw

      If there was a Bronco Raptor, Mark would show up to the press event even if he wasn’t invited. I can see him running through Ford security, jumping in the Bronco Raptor, and trying to drive it back to Canada.

      • 0 avatar

        You know what? I’d hate a Bronco with the face of a current-gen F-150.

        The 92-96 Bronco is attractive because it sports no “I’m macho macho” front fascia bravado. It was a simple, clean design with a tasteful grille and flush headlights.

        A new F-150-faced Bronco would be a travesty of the highest order.

        • 0 avatar
          bball40dtw

          Ford would take the grille for a new Bronco from an MRAP if they could. I think a Bronco with the XL/XLT Sport grille would be fine. No chrome! Ford would also try to sell it in King Ranch and Platinum trims though. This ain’t the early 90s anymore.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            We won’t has a Wrangler – Bronco item from Ford unless it’s a Wrangler competitor.

            Which is something they can and should have done years ago.

          • 0 avatar

            EDDIE FREAKING BAUER

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            They can’t really because they don’t have a midsized BoF platform in the US. It would have to be bigger and F150 based. Even the shortest Ranger and F150 are over 3 feet longer than the Wrangler Unlimited.

            And yes, let’s get the EB badging back with more taupe than ever before!

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Boo, I didn’t consider how big the Ranger is. Isn’t there something else around the correct size they could bring over, an Everest platform or something!

          • 0 avatar
            bball40dtw

            All the midsizers are massive now. The Ranger is longer than the shortest F150 and less than a foot shorter than the SuperCab F150.

            They could chop the rear doors off the Ranger and add a cab. The Everest is built on the same platform as the Ranger. It is like Explorer to Ranger used to be.

            Jeep has been very successful with the 4-door Wrangler. A two door competitor would miss 75% of the market. That’s why the anything that is two door only makes no sense. Well, plus, it isn’t a Jeep.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I think then, they can do a soft-roading Bronco on the Escape platform, which will both capture the nostalgia but comfortable older people market, as well as the want tough looking but not actually truck-Jeep customer.

            Win-win. The only people pissed are the “It should stay a hardcore truck” people, and there are few of them (and they’ll get over it.)

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      “So what?”

      So the car won’t meet modern safety standards. On a unibody vehicle, you practically have to have a super-stiff unibody for that. It’s one reason current convertibles are heavy and have such small back seats — they need the space for chassis reinforcement.

      6-door SUVs are available from a number of aftermarket outfits. They’re super-long, probably too much so for most buyers.

      The Samurai/Jimny type of vehicle also fell to safety standards. The closest we can get now is a Wrangler.

      • 0 avatar
        akatsuki

        The six door SUV could be a suicide door style vehicle for the rear. Take an MDX which is just an Odyssey with SUV styling and add better access to the rear to seat kids.

        I am pretty sure Tesla with its chassis on platform structure could do a 4 door convertible.

        As for convertible rigidity – they really can’t add 5 inches of legroom to the back of the E-class convertible? I mean Mercedes and Porsche have both talked about full-size convertibles multiple times.

  • avatar
    ajla

    I love the formal roof line and wish it would come back.

    • 0 avatar
      NoGoYo

      It certainly would be nice to see notchbacks again.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I do enjoy a formal hardtop sedan. The 929 wore it well, and is one of the later examples I can think of.

      http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/39/1987-1989_Mazda_929_(HC)_hardtop_(2010-07-21)_02.jpg/800px-1987-1989_Mazda_929_(HC)_hardtop_(2010-07-21)_02.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        NoGoYo

        Wow, that sure does look like a Cressida or LS400 from that angle.

        • 0 avatar
          CoreyDL

          It does! I really like the 929. You just never see them, I’m guessing they were hella expensive when new and were aimed at the Lexus buyer.

          • 0 avatar
            krhodes1

            No, and no. More like Acura/Volvo money, and aimed at the same market. You never see them because they were not all that competitive even in that market. Just a big RWD 626.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            But weren’t they on a totally different platform (the Luce)? I can see how they weren’t competitive.

          • 0 avatar
            bumpy ii

            Mazda never quite launched their luxury division, so the 929 was squashed out by the other Japanese lux brands just like the Cressida was.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            The premium brand thing couldn’t have come at a worse time for them. The Enfini (Millennia) was all ready to go, then financial trouble after the Japanese bubble.

            We could’ve had a Cosmo!

  • avatar
    DevilsRotary86

    I would love to see the return of the “personal luxury coupe”. I think the Accord coupe EX-L V6 is the last one alive. Well, arguably the BMW 6 and the Mercedes-Benz S-coupe count as well.

  • avatar
    mcs

    I think we more heavy truck based SUVs like the SportChassis P4XL. Gas is cheap and other vehicles on the road are getting larger, so for true safety it’s time to up the game a bit. Get hit in a Suburban by an 18 wheeler or a locomotive and you might as well be in a smart car. At least in a Freightliner based vehicle you have a chance. With all of those CUVs and bro-dozers on the road, visibility isn’t what it used to be, so you need something taller. Plenty of space too. Why not have a cab the size of a Manhattan studio apartment to make the trip home from Golden Corral a bit easier?

    http://sportchassis.com/p4-xl

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      International MXT would be much more likely to get my money, that sport chassis you posted is too awkwardly proportioned, though if you love the Colorado I could see you liking that.

  • avatar
    7402

    Sedanca de Ville, please.

  • avatar
    APaGttH

    Three door coupes.

    Fine, I’m probably the only flippin’ person in ‘merica that would buy one but I miss the plethora of 3 door coupes and shooting brakes (Nissan Pulsar and Geo Storm had shooting brake options that they called wagons) that were available in the 80s.

    Most people don’t use the backseat consistently, the hatch offers far more utility than a trunk, the larger glass gives better rearward visibility, the greenhouse is brighter, and you could make some very attractive body design with the form factor.

    • 0 avatar
      JMII

      I love shooting brakes but you NEVER see any. Basically the BMW M Coupe was it. And remember that Nissan Pulsar with the swappable back section? That was so cool in the 80s.

      Really hatchbacks in general need to make a comeback. I’m talking true hatchbacks, 3 door variety, not these 5 doors. Choices these days are the Scion Tc, Fiat 500, the Golf, Beetle or Audi TT and… well that’s about it. My wife’s beloved Volvo C30 is no longer an option.

      And fast backs – why can’t the Mustang or Genesis Coupe come in this configuration? They could maintain their current look but have the added storage of a hatchback. The trend of coupes with high belt lines and curvy backs results in very small trunk openings. Due to areo reasons the rear glass sweeps way back robbing you of even more space as the trunk lid is tiny. However as the Scion Tc proves you keep a coupe profile but still have a hatchback setup.

      Ditto on targa or t-tops coming back as most convertibles look terrible with top up. But an easy to remove top that you can store in the trunk is nice. T-tops at least allow some rigidity in the roof to remain.

      • 0 avatar
        bumpy ii

        The big knock against sporty hatchbacks is the loss of rigidity caused by the larger opening. The Nismo 370Z has a huge chassis brace in the back, which pretty much wipes out the hatchback functionality.

    • 0 avatar
      shaker

      I miss my ’97 Camaro :-(

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I’d buy that for sure. If the Clown Shoe was still available, I’d have one over the coupe I ordered. I’m also a huge fan of the 3dr Saab style hatch. Very useful, loved both the old gen and new gen Saab 900s I owned. Had ’85 and ’95 3dr turbos, both black on tan. I have people in the back seat almost never, but junk in the trunk all the time!

  • avatar
    Mr. Bill

    Don’t forget the Nash Rambler Convertible which had a canvas top that slid electrically up and down side rails. Introduced in 1950, the Rambler was available as a convertible through 1954.

  • avatar
    28-Cars-Later

    The bodystyle which includes open visibility.

  • avatar

    I would say that we need the 5-door slant-back hatch a la the Rover SD-1 or Saab 9000 to make a return.

    The A7 is kind of on the way…but it’s service costs are way to high for my tastes.

    AND we need a 5-door, sedan height wagon (I am speaking to you, Subaru)! With a turbo!

    Nor would I mind something in the general shape of the Citroen SM…or Subaru SVX!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Give me a break. If you can afford a car that *starts* at just shy of $70K, you can afford to service it. Or would you buy one used for the price of a Camry, when all you can actually afford is a Camry?

      Personally, I’d have a new Rolls-Royce, but the annual service is just too dear.

  • avatar
    PentastarPride

    The cab-forward Chrysler LH platform needs to come back in the worst way. The second-gen Intrepid would be the best thing to start from.

    If not…if there was ever a way to go back into the past, Chrysler would have purchased the rights to Tesla to get the Model S, dumping the electric drivetrain stuff to save for something else, something not as worthwhile. It looks very much like an LH car, and if the LH evolved, this would be it.

    Every time I see a Model S, I’m not thinking about a premium electric car. I’m thinking of a premium RWD American full-size sedan–an alternative (and maybe an eventual replacement) to the Charger and 300–with a 3.6L Pentastar and a 5.7L Hemi under the bonnet. An all-new Intrepid and Concorde with better drivetrains and a more refined look and feel.

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