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Chrysler Turbine returns, in tribute form

  • turbines-660.jpg

    Chrysler

  • turbine-300-660.jpg

    Chrysler

It was a forward-looking product of the jet age, and now it’s back, in tribute form.

The experimental Chrysler Turbine turns 60 this year, and Chrysler has created a special edition version of its 300 sedan to commemorate the anniversary.

The one-off car is finished with a number of features that pay homage to the original, including Turbine Bronze paint, machined-billet grille work and black light bezels meant to echo the 1963 car’s distinctive shadowed, intake-style headlight design.

Unfortunately, the one thing missing – other than a vinyl, landau roof – is an actual turbine under the hood. Instead, the 300S is powered by a fuel efficient V6, which is what turned out to be the engine of the future.

As cool as the concept is, however, turbines don’t deliver any better fuel economy than piston engines and Chrysler eventually gave up on the project. The only vestige of this – literally -- revolutionary motor on the 300S is its 22-inch turbine-fin style wheels.

One thing the new car can’t do, however, is run on alcohol, kerosene, diesel or, believe it or not, perfume like the turbine could. Mexican President Adolfo Lopez Mateos even filled one up with tequila for a test drive.

The 300S is currently on display at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit. Whether or not there’s a worm in the gas tank is Chrysler’s little secret.