The future. In the automotive world, it's often hard enough for one manufacturer to get a year or two ahead of the competition, but there have been some revolutionary leaps forward since Karl Benz started the car game 131 years back. General Motors created the first automatic transmission that actually worked, and everyone played catch-up to the Hydra-Matic for years. The original Ford Taurus looked radical at first, but eventually just about every car on the road had those jellybean lines. BMC made the transverse front-wheel-drive layout a success, with the original Mini. And so on.

1965 Austin Mini

Today's question is broad, its edges left blurry and full of room for arguments: which car was so futuristic, across the board, that it looked and drove (and did any of the other things cars do) like something that belonged many years into the future? I say it was the Citroën DS, and not just because, at its debut in 1955, it had the appearance of a machine left at the top of a pyramid by a superior civilization from another galaxy. The DS, with its hydropneumatic and fully independent suspension, had the best combination of ride comfort and handling of anything on the road at the time. You'd be hard-pressed to find any car built before, say, about 1990 that could match the DS in the ride-quality department, and it wasn't slow. What do you say?

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