Porsche Karisma by Bertone

In a few short years, sedans and SUVs from sports and premium brands have gone from a ridiculed, impossible idea to one that's now raking in cash for, well, everyone. Porsche's latest idea, the all-electric Concept Study Mission E, is pretty attractive and shockingly efficient sports sedan.

Your eyes are not deceiving you: technology is warping us ahead. 

Just 20 years ago, Italian coachbuilder Bertone had a question: what would a rear-engined sports sedan look like? Instead of reimagining a new Tatra, Bertone based its concept on the much-loved Porsche 911, a car with mechanical parts that would have instantly catapulted the Karisma to the front of the pack.

Out back, a 250 horsepower 3.6-litre air-cooled flat-6 cylinder engine. Its overall proportions and look remind me of a few Mazda RX concepts from that era, except Mazda never bothered to engineer two huge gullwing doors with Subaru SVX-style pocket windows. Drive-thrus? Probably not a good idea.

The doors echo an earlier Bertone concept, the Lamborghini Marzal, in form and function, but couldn't match the Lamborghini for either style or outright performance. 

More than 20 years on, it's incredible to see how the problems that even a master carrozzeria had with making a fast luxury sedan have been not only solved in production models, but will soon be solved with an all-electric option. If you can afford it, why not?

And aren't you glad the future won't turn out like this?