However, judging by the following two pictures, it doesn’t seem the idea actually translated to the running version and, instead, operated like a standard hatch using basic struts. (In the picture below right you can see the built-in NES controllers.)

1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept rear open1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept rear open

On the inside

Those assigned to sit at the back of the bus would not necessarily be relegated to third-class accommodations. Indeed, factoring in all the gadgetry, conveniences and spaciousness being bumped a row might be considered an upgrade.

“Behold “seclusion” class.

1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept interior rear seat

In that vein, Ed Donaldson, manager of Advanced Interior and Environment Design, said, “When you get on a commercial airliner, you always see this kind of indirect lighting which has a rather subdued yet dramatic effect. And that’s what we’ve tried to do with Expression in keeping with the philosophy of the whole vehicle.”

1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept interior lighting

The diffused lighting is complimented by reading lights for each seating position. Donaldson continued, “Inside, we’ve tried to create the feeling that this is a vehicle for an upscale family raising children and who are looking for an innovative family vehicle.” (For the record, Donaldson too stated, “It’s a sporty type vehicle, it’s not a station wagon.”)

Burke sounded confident he’d created a response to the formidable wagon-slayers, the minivans and SUVs. “I’d envision younger families being very enthused about the versatility of this vehicle,” he said. “Whether you’re at the beach, the football game, or the county, you have your own personal entertainment center right with you.”

But the attention wasn’t placed exclusively on rear passengers as all seating was covered in sable and tan leather, and lined with orange piping that matched the exterior. Contrary to the industry, Oldsmobile said they opted for “a more simple, useful interior.” Donaldson said, “I think you’ll see with the interior that we’re tried to communicate a more contemporary environment than today’s cars, a little snappier, without going overboard with the gadgets.”

1990 Oldsmobile Expression concept interior dashboard

Examples of the clean-look technology include analogue gauges, pod-mounted controls, “hands-off cellular telephone,” console-mounted CRT screen with Navicar navigation system, and a Head Up Display (HUD). Controls for sound and ventilation systems were located on the steering wheel, radio and CD player controls were provided for each passenger, and ventilation and related controls were provided for the second and third rows. Air bags were provided for the front two occupants.

Continue this story on page 5.

Pages: 1 2 3 4 5