The success of Volkswagen AG's New Beetle introduction at the 1998 North American International Auto Show prompts automakers to showcase even more retro concepts for the 1999 show.

Taking center stage will be Ford Motor Co.'s Thunderbird. The automaker is careful not to call the concept “retro,” but classic design elements like the tail lamps, fender vents, hood scoop and opera windows borrow directly from the original roadster.

Thunderbird sits on the same DEW98 platform as the Lincoln LS and also will share a version of the LS 3.9L V-8, albeit a slightly powered-down 240-hp version.

Joining Thunderbird in the retro brigade is General Motors Corp.'s Chevrolet Nomad, which draws power from the 5.7L LS1 V-8 mated to a shift-by-wire transmission.

GM also will show off its Cadillac Evoq roadster concept, expected to make it into production in 2002. Evoq boasts GM's first rear-drive application of its 4.6L Northstar V-8.

DaimlerChrysler Corp. (DCC) will display its alternative power know-how with concepts including the hybrid Citadel, a cross between a 300M and an SUV featuring a 253-hp, 3.5L V-6 driving its rear wheels and 70-hp worth of Siemens Automotive electric motors up front.

The Dodge Power Wagon borrows some retro styling cues from the full-size pickup first introduced in 1946 — with some significant enhancements. Under the hood sits a Caterpillar-built 7.2L direct-injection I-6 diesel that burns a sulfur-free fuel that DCC is jointly developing with Syntroleum.

American Honda Motor Co. Inc. will unveil its V V hybrid concept, powered by a 1L VTEC 3-cyl. engine that is “assisted” by an electric motor during acceleration. It is linked to a 5-speed manual transmission and produces performance equivalent to a 1.5L 4-cyl. while doubling fuel economy, Honda says. The car would meet California ULEV standards.