The sedan used to be one of the world's favorite automotive segments. Just about every automaker had a competitor in the segment at one point, designed for every price point, size preference and driving experience. From the gold standards Toyota Camry and BMW 3 Series and similar, to some totally left-field competitors like the Suzuki Kizashi and the ill-fated Saturn Aura.
Sadly, with the arrival of crossovers and SUVs, sedans are becoming less and less popular. That's a shame, because as well as the plethora of cool sedans we've seen over the years, we've also seen what happens when automakers fuse this classic interpretation of an automobile with some unrestrained concept car design. It led to some of the absolute best concepts for "super sedans" we've ever seen.
10 Ford Interceptor
First shown off at the 2007 NAIAS, the Interceptor concept was Ford's vision of a futuristic, full-size sedan that runs on an intense fuel. The 5.0-liter V8 under the hood is similar to the 4.6 that was used by the Mustang at the time, but it made 600 hp in the Interceptor and it was tuned to run on pure ethanol.
It was based on a stretched version of the Mustang's platform, and it even came equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission. One notable item are the seatbelts on this concept, which were designed to be inflatable. They previewed the next generation of safety belts in cars.
9 Lamborghini Estoque
It's been almost 15 years since Lambo showed off this incredible concept, and people are still aching for a production version. It's easy to see why, as this is easily one of the most groundbreaking concept cars in Lambo's history. That's not an easy achievement, considering what else Lambo has given us over the years.
The Estoque was Lamborghini's idea of a luxury sedan, heavily influenced by its sports cars and supercars. This concept did indeed have four doors, four seats, and the 5.2-liter V10 engine from the Gallardo. A production version is now finally on the cards, but it could be fully electric.
8 Audi Grandsphere
If Audi's future looks anything like this concept car, we're all for it. For once, all the usual buzzwords like "mobility" and "sustainability" are nowhere to be found in Audi's press release; this is simply a rather excellent vision of what we can expect from Audi's future luxury sedans.
As you might expect, the Grandsphere is fully electric and autonomous, though the driver does have the ability to take control whenever they want to. The glass area is enormous, giving the cabin a light and airy feeling, there's no B-pillar for better ingress and egress, and there's even a potted plant right in the middle of the interior "lounge."
7 Honda Kiwami
This rather unusual shaped family vehicle was debuted at the 2003 Tokyo Motor Show. We'd call it a sedan, but its proportions are very odd, like what would happen if GM's Dustbuster minivans of the 90s were fused with some type of sports car design. It looks awesome though.
The Kiwami was intended to showcase alternative powertrains, a lot like automakers are doing today. In this case, the Kiwami used supercapacitor batteries, a hydrogen fuel cell, all mounted low in a skateboard-type chassis. That's very forward-thinking from Honda, since those are technologies that are being used and trialed today.
6 Chrysler Chronos
First shown in 1998, the Chronos wasn't all about the powertrains of the future. In typical Chrysler fashion, it used a giant V10 engine, created by fusing together three 4.7-liter V8s. No, we don't know how the math works out either.
The Chronos was primarily intended as an homage to luxury sedans of the 50s, and it bore a pretty close resemblance to Chrysler's own D'Elegance concept car of 1952. Like that car, the Chronos didn't go into production either, but the production 300C a few years later did draw some design inspiration from it.
5 Cadillac Sixteen
When it comes to super sedan concepts, this is just about the most super of them all. The Cadillac Sixteen was first shown off in 2003, with no plans to put it into production. Cadillac simply wanted to show the ideal, most extravagant luxury sedan they could possibly make.
The most notable thing about the Sixteen is its engine, which is where the name comes from. It's a 12.3-liter V16. That might sound like overkill, because it absolutely is, but the main reason why it's here is to be as smooth as possible. Rolls-Royce did a similar thing. Indeed, the V16 is so smooth, you can easily stand up a coin on the engine vertically.
4 Lotus Eterne
If you know just the littlest bit about Lotus, you will know about the quintet of concept cars they showed off at the 2010 Paris Motor Show, which due to certain financial complications, none of them went into production. Arguably the most interesting one from the whole lineup was the Eterne.
While the other four were all modern takes on iconic Lotus nameplates, the Eterne was something all-new for the British automaker; a four-door sedan. A supercharged V8 would dispatch either 542 hp or 612 hp to the rear wheels, while giving the Porsche Panamera something to worry about. While the Eterne is no-more, the four-door Lotus is not dead.
3 Lincoln Continental
The Continental has given Lincoln a lot of difficulties before. With declining sedan sales, they had to cancel the most recent one after the 2020 model year, and the final few generations in the 90s, the nameplate received the chopping block for a while. But, Lincoln still showed the world what an all-new Continental would look like in 2002.
As well as styling inspired by the legendary 1964 model, it featured a plethora of luxury features, including power-opening doors, aniline leather seats, a drink dispenser with crystal glasses and even a cigar humidor. A working prototype was built and displayed, but the Continental unfortunately never went into production in this form.
2 Lexus LS Plus
If there's anything Lexus is good at, it's making their production cars closely resemble their concept cars. This is true of the LS as well, which originally started out as this suave sedan concept called the LS Plus (LS+).
The two main points of the LS+ were to show off the future of the LS sedan, which Lexus followed through with rather religiously, and to showcase automated driving technology in order to, according to the press release, create a future that's completely free of traffic casualties.
1 Cadillac Escala
We're only a couple of years away before Cadillac's flagship ultra luxury sedan, the Celestiq. If we had to bet, we'd assume it'll look at least something like the Escala Concept of 2016.
The Escala was just a simple showcase of Cadillac's future design language, which we now see on the Escalade, CT4 and CT5, but it's definitely a showstopping sedan. We're very excited to see the upcoming Celestiq, the main difference being that while the Escala uses a 4.2-liter gasoline V8, the Celestiq will be all-electric.