Visionary: 1994 Eagle Vision Aerie Concept in an alternative timeline


Chrysler showcased this enhanced version of the then-fresh Eagle Vision at the 1994 Chicago Auto Show, amidst what seems like bubble wrap. The Eagle Vision Aerie Concept benefited from a pokier development of the 3.5-litre V6 under the hood: the regular, consumer-issue unit had 214 horsepower, but the one in the Aerie was said to produce as much as 274 horses. As well as the improved engine, the Aerie had fancy phone and fax capabilities with an automated emergency call system.

In any case, the Vision was short-lived in Eagle guise, even if the capable FWD platform ended up birthing the even-more-swoopy Chrysler 300M. The Vision nameplate died without siring a son, and there were no latter-day Talons to accompany Mitsubishi Eclipse sales. But looking at the concept’s front end treatment, there’s something unanswered deep inside that can only be brought to the light of day via PhotoShop.

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Hot Hatches You Should Know: Nissan Sunny 305/306 NISMO (B12)


I’ve found the perfect combination for an absolutely unhindered workflow. This consists of brewing a very large cup of strong black coffee and browsing crystal clear promotional images of Japanese cars while listening to vaporwave music. You’re probably very familiar with the first two, and the third thing is basically slowed down corporate elevator music with effects. It sounds like you’re trapped in a 1990s consumer electronics showroom and everything is plastic and great. This suits the smooth, pastel coloured backdrops of Japanese cars like nothing else.

The result of all this, uh, painstaking research is that I keep uncovering some definitely interesting 1980s cars, featuring combinations of noses and tails and dashboards and seats I have not been aware of. Sure, most everything sporty back then was uniform in colour and had a 16-valve engine, but the trim options are endless. And for obvious, 0-in-the-middle-forbidding Peugeot reasons, the Nissan Sunny 305 and 306 Nismo never made it to European or American shores. Here they are.

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Retard vers la futur: DMC-ized Citroën BX for sale


There’s a few good possibilities for a DMC replica build, if you’re extremely fond of that Giugiaro folded paper design but lack the wherewithal to get an actual, legit, crowd-pulling DeLorean DMC-12 just in time (groan) for October 2015. You could start by dressing up a Volkswagen Scirocco, or if you’re into the more obscure, you can get a LeMons-grade Isuzu Piazza and slap some ducts on it.

This guy who will remain anonymous, but lives at the post code 50400, has built his own DeLorean that’s both closer and further from the original, using a Bertone-designed Citroën BX diesel. Hey, if you’re going to build a DeLorean out of a car, why not do it with style?

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Weekend Edition Last Call: On Promotional Material Yellow


Thinking back on the cars posted, dissected and discussed this weekend, it dawned on me that perhaps flat-out cynicism isn’t always the best way to treat a car sprayed in a radiant shade of yellow. Some time in the past, maybe in a simpler time like the 1970s, a yellow served the car the best, as every other vehicle on the street wasn’t white or silver. There were unapologetic bright shades, sometimes even lurid choices, and it almost seems like the perfect way to seize the moment, to celebrate the ability to slip behind the wheel of a sports car of your own. Go for yellow. You might as well.

A great example of this is the Mazda RX-7 seen above. Roulette wheels, fender mirrors, a removable sunroof, and a colour choice so careless and worry-free it jumps at me from the screen and gives me sunburn between the ears. It makes me consider early September road trips, when the mornings aren’t yet cold and the evenings don’t yet force you to escape indoors too early. It’s almost a shame my NA MX-5 was sprayed Silverstone at the factory and not Sunburst. Almost.

Weekend Edition: 1995-2001 Fiat Bravo HGT


Pop quiz: how many hot hatches you remember, that came with an inline-5 engine? Before the second generation Ford Focus ST and the Volvo C30 T5, there was the Fiat Bravo HGT, with the 20-valve, 155-horsepower five.

The HGT never caught the top laurels in 1990s comparison tests, but it was uniquely true to its own concept. Rounded Fiat designs from the period have aged with varying results, and it’s easy to pick the Coupé and the Barchetta as the ones that still appeal to the eye, and still: the Bravo HGT somehow works. Four-spoke wheels and all.

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Weekend Edition: 1995 Renault Laguna Evado Concept


In late 1993, Renault unveiled the Laguna as the replacement for the 21, which was sold in the States as the AMC/Eagle/Renault Medallion for a short period. Come the 1990s, Renault moved away from the number-based model portfolio, replacing the 5 with the Clio, the 19 with the Megane and the 25 with the Safrane. The smaller the cars were, the better they did in the market.

The initial Lagunas were five-door versions with a large hatchback, and there was no four-door saloon. To drum up interest for the upcoming wagon, Renault built a show car called the “Evado”, the name perhaps a nod towards the earlier 21 Nevada, which was a fairly long-wheelbase wagon version. Here’s the Evado in all its pearl effect glory.

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Weekend Edition: Volkswagen Golf Colour Concept


Hot on the heels of last weekend’s Polo Harlekin article, here’s another example of dressing a fairly everyday car in a jazzier colour – or several – in an attempt of making it just a little bit cooler, to enable it to stand out on the street. Volkswagen offered a “Colour Concept” trim level of the GTI, the Golf Cabriolet and the Variant wagon, which meant you got the car in either an interesting colour with matching leather seats – or jet black, if you were the kind of person to order a colour concept car in black. Maybe that’s German black humour.

In any case, and in conjunction to the earlier Weekend Edition posts this time around, there was also a possibility of choosing a very 1990s shade of yellow, with yellow seats. It’s my favorite.

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Weekend Edition: Nissan Pulsar N10/N11/N12


Nissan’s Pulsar line has awakened recently after years of slumber. In 2015, you’ve been able to walk into a Nissan dealership in Europe and get yourself a swanky new Pulsar, which continues the path laid down by the Sunny and the Almera in earlier decades, both originally available as Pulsars in Japan. Of course, in the interim period there was the Tiida, but somehow it never gelled the way the older offerings did.

The N11 coupe in the lede image gave you what was probably one of the smallest vinyl roofs in existence. It looks especially good in Promotional Material Yellow, doesn’t it?

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Weekend Edition: 1983-1987 Toyota Corolla ZX EFI Liftback


The mid-1980s Toyota Corolla remains my favorite Corolla of all, as it combined the airy-glasshoused five-door version seen here, the rear wheel drive AE86 variants that were to become cult cars later on, the three-door hot hatch FX, and the previous-generation wagon that was dressed with a more modern look to survive until 1987.

Later Corollas were more rounded and more boring, but the five-door “Liftback” was a sharp box on wheels that found its way onto our driveway as well. There had to be a reason why I’d name it as my favorite, wouldn’t there?

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Weekend Edition: 1985-1988 Opel Corsa GT


This weekend, I’ll be focusing on quirky versions of once-everyday cars, ones that were represented in promotional material in glorious, eye-catching yellow. It’s obviously worked well for a long time: take an otherwise boring, appliance-like car, add some interesting trim, spray it in exciting yellow and the brochure practically writes itself.

The first one to step into the limelight is the Spanish-built Opel Corsa A from 1983, in GT trim. It’s one of the most likeable Opels I’ve discovered in a good while.

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