What Car Was Ahead Of Its Time?

Illustration for article titled What Car Was Ahead Of Its Time?

The slow automotive product planning process requires car designers to act as futurists, predicting what will be important years later. It's fascinating when they succeed and often better when they don't. What car was ahead of its time?


The concept of a coupe-like sedan's recently been resurrected by Jaguar, Volkswagen, and Mercedes, but the design is nothing new. Before there was the Rapide, there was the Aston Martin Lagonda, combining the impossibly sleekness of a contemporary coupe with four long doors. Incorporating computer control and a purely digital dash, it struck a futuristic note to match its forward-looking design and predicted the increase in electronic car management. Unfortunately, the computers were burdened with the same the kind of half-assed engineering that's a hallmark of British electronics from the era. Yet we still love it. It's hard to build a car that'll stick out three decades after its production, but the Lagonda is clearly one of them.

Whether a CTS-level success or an Aztek-style failure, what car successfully envisioned the correct future reality?

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Dodge Stealth. Seriously.

1991 - Twin turbo, AWD, AWS, digital climate control (that worked), active suspension, active exhaust, active aero (3000GT).

Compare it to the Mustangs, Camaros, Supras, and RX7s of the year and the Stealth/3000 were the supreme victor. The only other car that was close was the 300ZX but the Stealth packed more technology.