Automotive enthusiasts?

Flying Pancake
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@SeraphimDawn  
If they de-emphasized the headlamps a bit and moved the vertical lines to the grilles, it might have more of the classic Cougar look.
 
The O4 was Olds’ last concept, and it was supposed to be a preview of the next Alero before GM shuttered them:  
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Not sure how the Cutlass would have looked with the “90s concept car” design language they had at the end there, but if they went retro, maybe something like this?  
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(Another modded Camaro, but you get the idea.)
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@Flying Pancake  
That concept Alero looks like crap. Aesthetic wise. Maybe if they’d make the front more… “pointier” and the headlights look a bit more aggressive.
 
The last “Cutlass” was essentially a slightly upscale 1998 Chevy Malibu midsize family sedan.  
full  
I just saw one for the first time in person today in the parking lot of a Superstore. Red one.
 
This was what the Chevy Malibu looked like in 1998/1999  
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@RainbowDash69  
That was what went wrong in the American car industry.  
The rebadging shenanigans that started in the mid-80s all the way to the financial crisis of 2008. It was what defined most mainstream American cars, and to an extent Japanese cars, during the 90s and early half of the 2000s.
 
Turning what once were kickass classic performance models into rental family cars.
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@SeraphimDawn
 
I think it’s the generally poor quality and for mainstream models that sent them down. Sure engines might be built to last, but that doesn’t matter if the rest of the car has had corners cut. I’m glad that American cars (for the most part at least) are far better than they was 10 years ago.
 
One example I like to use is the Corvette. If you look at the C5, it was competent in performance tests, but atrocious at nearly everything else. The C6 improved on that, but only so much. And if you look at the C7, it’s a genuinely quality car that I would actually buy if I could.
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Since a concept car was mentioned I might as well mention the Chrysler Norseman. For the mid 1950s it would have been a different kind of car, there were literally no pillars to hold the roof except in the rear. Keep in mind this was before seat belts were mandatory, anyone in a significant wreck save for a rear-end collision could have been lacerated in one way or another and the car may have been totaled easily by insurance companies.
 
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The one and only prototype sunk on a boat on its way over. I’m a little surprised that there’s no news of a finished replica. Note how in the second interior photo the back of the driver seat was rotated.
 
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Marty Martino started making a replica years ago but I haven’t found news of it being completed. This news, though at least repeated on websites in 2011, may date back more than ten years now.
 
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@SeraphimDawn
 
The best I know is it’s a pile of rust now. The ship listed to its side before sinking so even if it was retrievable in the 1950s the glass may have been a goner after it sank. Even more so, the ship was struck in the side by another ship which is how the one sank so maybe the car was hit in the collision. Oddly enough the other ship didn’t sink.
 
I don’t know how a replica would be made. I’m thinking perhaps the plans weren’t shipped over with the car or Ghia - who yes, I hadn’t mentioned, worked on the car - kept copies of the plans. Outside of photos or plans (if any exist) I’m not sure what to go by.
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@BarryFromMars  
A floating roof effect is really sweet. Totally unsafe epsiecally in the 1950s. I bet the designer wad criticized… Mercedes-Benz could probably make something cool like this now
kleptomage
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Cadillac made some spectacular concept cars in the recent past like the Elmaraj
 
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Ciel
 
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and Sixteen (so named for having a 1,000 hp 16 cylinder engine with deactivation to make it a 4 when cruising).
 
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Flying Pancake
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@SeraphimDawn  
Yeah, Olds kind of painted themselves into a corner with that design language. It worked well on the Aurora:  
full
 
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But try to translate it to anything with much of a different profile and it just looks wrong.
 
@kleptomage  
The new Escala is pretty sharp too (uncreative name aside):  
full
 
Now if Cadillac would just quit with the concepts and actually build a big land yacht flagship already.
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@RainbowDash69  
The Ciel has great lines that emphasize its length. It’s a beautiful car that would be right at home cruising coastal highways.
 
@Flying Pancake  
Cadillac doesn’t like to admit that their unofficial flagship is the Escalade. They need a big luxury sedan to run with the likes of the S-class. Unfortunately the CT8 looks like it’s going to take a while to build if it comes at all. Some say it’s been cancelled.
 
The Elmaraj is the kind of car Lincoln should make. Take a stretched Mustang platform and make an elegant sedan/convertible with suicide rear doors and the Coyote V8.
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@kleptomage  
What is Lincoln’s current flagship car?  
Can’t be as embarrassing as Kia’s “K9” large sedan that sold nits.  
Now with the Genesis brand on the waters, what will happen to that model of Kia?
 
Why should Cadillac be embarrassed by the Escalade? That thing is a BEAST among luxury automobiles. To think, it even has a hybrid model.
Flying Pancake
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@kleptomage  
The Escalade does just about everything you could want from a big luxury car, but the thing that gets me is that its proportions are too trucklike. Take the current generation Escalade and give it a body height to body width ratio like this:  
full  
Or this:  
full  
And I’d probably love it.
 
@SeraphimDawn  
It was an interesting idea, but GM quit with the Tahoe/Escalade/Yukon hybrids after they realized that they could just add one more gear to the transmission and get better fuel economy for cheaper and simpler.
 
And Lincoln’s current flagship is the Continental.  
full  
While I personally wish it looked more like the one from the 60s, it is supposed to be a good car.
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Pomegranates :P
@kleptomage  
It really sucks people don’t appreciate sedans anymore… at least not as much.  
Practicality and economy aside of regular consumer brand SUVs and crossovers, I do not get the appeal of luxury SUVs and crossovers. They’re so boring. If I’m blowing money on luxury and if I have the money, practicality wouldn’t be the first thing that pops into my mind.
 
This crossover craze is cancer. It’s devouring pretty much all other segments in the industry.
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@SeraphimDawn  
I knew a guy with a Mazda CX-5. I asked him why he didn’t buy the Mazda 6 and he said he needed space to carry a bike. I can’t argue with that. To a prospective buyer who needs a single vehicle with practical cargo space without the offroad ability of an SUV or the size and cost of a truck, a crossover makes more sense than a sedan. Maybe if there were more choices for affordable wagons, people might consider those instead of crossovers.
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@kleptomage  
So far, Subaru is the only brand that offers affordable AWD compact sedans in its line up.
 
There are only a handful of station wagons to choose from in the current North American market are from:
 
Volkswagon  
Dodge  
Subaru(If you can consider the Outback a SW anymore)  
BMW  
Audi  
Volvo
kleptomage
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@SeraphimDawn  
I have never even seen a Volkswagen Sportwagen in real life.  
Dodge quit making the Magnum years ago.  
Compare a 2017 Subaru Outback to one 10 years ago and see the difference. The Outback is more SUV than wagon now.  
All the rest including the upcoming Jaguar and Volvo wagons are too expensive.
Flying Pancake
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@SeraphimDawn  
What look do you mean? The big split grilles with vertical lines? The later ones look nice to me, but not so much the older ones. They were a bit overdone, and alternately make me think of a either a whale mouth or a cowcatcher.
 
 
@kleptomage  
@SeraphimDawn
I have never even seen a Volkswagen Sportwagen in real life.
 
Really? That must be a regional thing then, because I see them pretty regularly. Of course, almost all of them are diesels, so…
 
And if we’re tallying mass-market wagons, I’ll nominate the Flex, though admittedly its production days are numbered.
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