Coolest Concept Cars 2006
by Dan Lienert
Fins. Turbine power. Separate bubble domes over the driver and passenger seats.
These are the kinds of features that can make concept cars so delightful. Special prototypes are beloved by auto enthusiasts, and carmakers have historically unveiled concept cars at auto shows with the goal of making jaws drop as far as possible.
In the past 12 months, such concept cars as Daimler Chrysler's (nyse: DCX) 700-hp Maybach Exelero prototype and Mercedes-Benz's bionic car, which is based on the shape of a tropical fish, accepted the torch from history's best concept cars--that is, the ones that live in the world of the wild, the improbable and the radical.
Fans of American cars will love that old-school Detroit attitude abounds in the slide show, thanks to such prototypes as the Chevrolet Camaro from General Motors (nyse: GM), the Challenger from Dodge and the Imperial from Chrysler.
We say "radical" knowing that the car business is a conservative one, and that concept cars are not just working prototypes of future production models. January's North American International Auto Show in Detroit, for example, featured a concept version of a small, forthcoming Acurasport utility vehicle from Honda Motor (nyse: HMC)--a perfectly respectable car, but not one that sets your imagination on fire the way a 16-cylinder Cadillacprototype or a revival of the Lamborghini Miura does.
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by Dan Lienert
02/27/06 - 12:30 AM ET