The Pre-SUV Era: When Minivans Ruled.
As individuals in the U.S. celebrate a drawn-out holiday respite, let us reflect on the globe roughly 29 years before and revisit that MotorWeek retro clip that transports us to 1995’s version of the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. On January 7, it opened its doors to everyone, offering a look at what cars might be like in the days ahead.
Reflection upon that event prompts us to take a speedy gander at what was happening in Motown during that era. The 1996 Ford Taurus boldly presented a new jellybean-inspired look, with rounded fragments and oval curves appearing throughout the auto. Risky? Undoubtedly so. But unfortunately, this more daring notion on design did not meet the approval of many – a refresh in 2000 could scarcely revive the car’s glory and another update in 2004 barely managing to delay its demise. With an awkward reappearance in 2009 as part of the Ford Five Hundred’s facelift, nothing could rescue the beloved motor vehicle from its fate of underachieving.
Undeniably, it was one momentous entrance for the event; however, this wasn’t the only uncover. An up-to-date Dodge Caravan was seen soared into the demonstration, and yes, that does mean literally. As far as its show, Dodge had organized something very impressing; the minivan presented to the public new styling and rounded off with conveniently removable seating – truly pioneer for that era. The Voyager and Town & Country incarnations of Chrysler accompanied it, yet nowadays no longer exist in that way. The day did include at least one prophecy for the future though. General Motors promoted four start variants of the Chevrolet Tahoe and GMC Yukon SUVs.
One might consider the ’90s as a prosperous period for concept cars, to the extent where even minivans had some recognition. The Ford SHOstar growth was a great example, initiating the 220-horsepower 3.0-liter Yamaha V6 from the Taurus SHO in the Windstar. Despite being mooted, the front-wheel-drive van got this SHO manifold for the 3.8-liter V6 throughout 1996-1998 which yielded 200hp.
For 1995, the Ford GT90 certainly was the talk of the town. We have previously praised this auto and lauded its formidable V12 engine as well as its clean, modern aesthetics. Contrary to this dream car patented by Ford, the actual Ford GT produced a few years later lacked the V12 and also failed to sport distinguishing lines. In 1999, however, other Ford models received freshening touches. The SN95 Ford Mustang featured the ‘New Edge’ design. Also noteworthy are Lincoln L2K, a two-seater automobile, and the F-150 Triton pickup which served as a faint glimpse of its tenth-generation variation.
The iconic Blue Oval brand had a major influence at the Detroit exposition, yet there were various other attractions as well. Oldsmobile unveiled its new Bravada SUV and the very stylish Antares concept, which then inspired the development of the 1997 Intrigue sedan. Acura removed the top from the first-generation NSX and showed off the CL-X concept as an anticipatory preview of the CL. The Plymouth Backpack concept resembled the Suzuki X90 in an unusual way. Furthermore, Eagle revealed the sleek Jazz sedan concept that ultimately never saw the light of day – as was the case with the Chrysler Atlantic inspired by the 1930s.
Chrysler triumphed in the 2nd North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY) prize with its … Cirrus? Absolutely, people were enamored by the affluent Dodge Status back then, yet similarly to the Ford Taurus, we understand that the Cirrus chapter does not reach a happy ending. Should you be eager to find out why it was such a big deal, you can probably find one now on Facebook Marketplace for $5 or an exchange for a Sony PlayStation 5.
Take a break, recline, and reflect on the ’90s, all while chowing down some of that lingering turkey.
Source: MotorWeek via YouTube