Graphics and AI don't even have to be closed to cutting edge. Keep it simple and low budget.
I wouldn't say that. With realistic physics and dynamic destruction, a high-tech Carmageddon would be awesome. For example, a spike could pierce through an opponent's door or windshield and impale him. Blades and saws would cut realistically. You could plow into another vehicle and smash him through a concrete wall. You could hit a pedestrian, send him flying into another vehicle and then get his mangled corpse stuck in the guy's windshield.
Customizing your vehicle could be equally cool. It would be like Spore in that you'd place various spikes, blades, hooks, saws, etc, on any part of your vehicle. However, unlike the shallow implementation seen in Spore, the angle, placement, size and weight would actually matter and affect your vehicle's performance. Crafting the perfect killing machine would be a game in itself.
That said, Clutch looks pretty sweet. I'm not too interested in Death Track Resurrection since it focuses on racing more of vehicular combat.