I haven't touched my beloved 3D Studio for quite a while because I started a company here in Holland (www.viadrupsteen.nl). We focus on 'SurroundFoto's', which contain the full 360x180 surroundings for viewing online (www.surroundfoto.com). When I picked up the old habit of staying up late with 3D Max I soon discovered that my own product fits perfectly in 3D space as a backdrop and such. One step further came HDR (High Dynamic Range) SurroundFoto's, which contain not only the complete environment, but also the light intensity and color which gives the CG image that extra feel of realism. I used an HDRi backdrop in the above image and I made the car using patch modeling.
Some stats for the concept car image:
Render time: 14h @ 3000x2250px
.MAX scene size: 4,7mb
Memory usage while rendering: 1,5GB
CPU: 1400mhz AMD with 700mb memory.