Every now and then an idea pops into my head, with some sort of hilarious justification for its existence. Most of these thoughts tend to surround the auto industry, and although they seem far-fetched, they tend to have roots in reality. While comment section regulars tend to spew their opinions and run and hide, I keep a list of these bizarre ideas, and now I finally have enough of them to justify a post.
So here is my automotive wish list, a list of cars I would like to see built, and are, in theory, relatively easy to produce given the current parts and products available to the company in question. This isn't going to be a list of six-speed manuals and screaming V12's, instead, I think my brain has concocted some ideas that are just shy of brilliant, if I do say so myself. If you think you can do better, feel free to comment below with your automotive wish lists.
#1: Buick brings back the Electra
The Electra was, for many years, the top of the line model in Buick's lineup of big sedans, coupes and wagons. Today, the Electra is nothing but a memory, as Buick has abandoned the sedan market. I don't see this as much of an issue for two reasons. One, is that GM has this new Ultium battery platform, and Electra might just be the perfect name for a flagship electric vehicle for the brand. My second reason is that Buick likes to make long nameplates for their vehicles. There used to be a vehicle known as the Electra Park Avenue, with the Park Avenue eventually becoming a separate model. Well what if Buick did the same with Electra, but used it as the name for its hybrid vehicles? For example, a hybrid of its largest SUV would be called the Enclave Electra. I think it’s brilliant, and GM should hire me for their marketing team.
#2: Chrysler brings back the Barracuda
Dodge has a good thing going for them, they make a bunch of powerful muscle cars that seem to chug gasoline from a Big Gulp, and burn through tires for a living, and no one seems to mind, in fact, sales have never been better for a company that hasn't released a new car in a little more than a decade. Chrysler on the other hand, is left selling two versions of the same minivan, and the 300, but what if they had a lower-spec convertible in their lineup based on the LX-Body? I think that a Chrysler Barracuda would do really well, and with the 5.7-liter HEMI as the top spec engine, people could finally put the "bring back the HEMI Cuda" conversations to rest. There's more to this idea as well, but click here to find out what I'm on about.
#3: Ford doesn't make an electric Mustang, but an electric Thunderbird
Bouncing off of my idea of playing up the electric puns, Ford has a lot of EV-esque names in its history, and the funnier part is that they all tend to line up perfectly. Ford could make a big, all-wheel-drive EV based on the Mustang and bring back the Thunderbird. By that same token, they could make a performance version of the F-150 EV and call it the Lightning. While I enjoy the hilarity of the Mustang Mach-E, I think that Ford could, and should, dig a little deeper into their past and revive some of their older nameplates as EVs, I think it's brilliant.
#4: Cadillac gets a Blackwing-Powered C8
One of the weakest points of Cadillac's last sports car, the XLR, was that instead of a basic pushrod LS motor, they deemed it appropriate to stuff their Northstar under the hood. That combined with low sales have made the XLR one of the most peculiar sports cars on the used market, and parts might as well be made of unobtainium, because not enough of these cars were made in the first place, but GM does as GM wants, and so far, according to a quick Google search, no one has tried to fit the Blackwing V8 into a C8 Corvette, which means that there could be the remote possibility that Cadillac is preparing a 550-horsepower luxury sports car, that is dead-set on putting Cadillac back on the map. I've also gone on about this before, so here are the rest of my thoughts on that.
#5: Lincoln makes the Continental Mark E, but not the way that everyone thinks i
When Lincoln announced, and then quickly retracted the idea of making a Mark E SUV using Rivian's EV Skateboard, I was more than interested, mainly because I love a good underdog story, and Lincoln has been doing some pretty crazy stuff recently. So why not add to the craziness with a version of the Thunderbird I mentioned earlier, but with a Lincoln badge on the hood? See, while I love the current Continental, and the generation before that with the 4.6-liter InTech V8, the Continental to me was always a two-door, top-spec model, and with Tesla announcing their next generation Roadster, Lincoln could make a Continental Mark E to compete with it, using the same technology and powertrain that’s underneath the Mustang Lithium show car. It's crazy, but Lincoln put the Raptor motor in the Navigator and charged six figures for it, and people bought them in droves, so it's not the most ridiculous idea in the world now is it?
#6: Mazda brings the Mazda6 Estate to the US as an Outback rival
Mazda is in a weird place right now where they're trying to shove themselves up market to compete in the premium, but not quite luxury segment of the market, case in point, is the next generation Mazda6. The next big sedan from Mazda is expected to have a straight-6 and rear-wheel-drive, and that’s great, but I can't be excited when Europe is going to get an estate version that is going to look even more brilliant than the current one. I think Mazda is doing itself a disservice by not offering the Mazda6 Estate in the US, especially if they're looking to be a more driver focused luxury brand. A Mazda6 Estate, if done correctly, could carve a niche between the Audi Allroad and the Subaru Outback, right about where the Buick Regal TourX used to live. I think it would do rather well.
#7: Kia gives the Cadenza all-wheel-drive
The Kia Cadenza is a great car that less than nobody is buying, which is a shame. No one is rushing out and buying a K900 either, but that doesn't bother me as much, because the K900 got too soft, the Cadenza on the other hand has very cleverly snuck its way to the top of the full-size sedan segment, ahead of cars like the Toyota Avalon and Nissan Maxima, but my issue with all of these cars, is that there is no all-wheel-drive available. Ford offered all-wheel-drive on the Fusion for years and it was a brilliant move. When Nissan announced that the Altima was getting all-wheel-drive, the world cheered. Kia has been trying to make the Cadenza appeal to the luxury side of the full-size sedan segment, while every other automaker still in this segment is appealing to the sportier side. This could give Kia the chance to further differentiate themselves from the rest of the class by offering all-wheel-drive. I think it would definitely help justify the $40,000 starting price too.
#8 Porsche makes a 911E with a KERS system
If there's one thing I know about Porsche, it's that regardless of the price tag, people will show up to buy whatever they're selling. The 918 Spyder was a brilliant car, but now with a new GT2RS and the ever growing list of Turbo S E-Hybrid cars dominating their lineup, I think it's time for some proper sacrilege from the sports car maker turned SUV company. A 911E would be a brilliant compliment to the Taycan, though I'm sure Porsche has an idea of an electric sports car of their own. See, Porsches hybrids are properly ridiculous. They cost too much money, they make too much power, and they defy the laws of physics when you put your foot down, all of which I am beyond okay with. So why not take some of that hybrid-y goodness, and add it to the four-wheel-drive system in a 911 Turbo S, via a Kinetic Energy Response System? It couldn't hurt to put a little more weight on the front axle right? And the instant torque from the KERS system should help develop more power right? I don't think that's too outlandish, but then again the 911 fan club had a panic attack when Porsche put water in the engine, so who knows?
#9: Bentley brings back the Brooklands and Azure
Rolls-Royce is having a field day right now. The Phantom "One of One" Series is filling their social media with some of the finest artistry while the rest of their lineup dominates the upper echelons of the industry, but why isn't Bentley rising to meet them? The Continental and Flying Spur are brilliant cars, but they can't quite match the elegance of the Wraith/Dawn and Phantom. I would even accept four-door coupe and convertible variants of the Brooklands and Azure if that means they can be sold to a wider audience. I think that would give Bentley an edge up on the competition.
#10: Acura brings back regular names
While we are enjoying a naming renaissance here in the US, I think that this would be a brilliant time for Acura to shock the market with actual nameplates. Sure, they have a relatively long history of three-letter names that have attracted quite a following such as the MDX, NSX, and TLX, but before those cars were the Vigor and the Legend. I think that if Acura adopted a set of elegant names that more people would be inclined to get behind the wheel of them as opposed to the ever growing list of alphabet soup cars.
So that wraps up my automotive wish list. I needed to get all of this out of my head, because these ideas were sitting in there with not enough content behind most of them to warrant separate articles on all of them. I am totally open to conversing about these choices, so if you think that you’ve got better ideas for the industry than I do, I look forward to hearing from you in the comments below.