If you do a search on Google or MSN, you will come up with a number of firms that specialize in configuration. Here is a handy link that list a number of the companies that focus on configuration:
The area is fairly specialized. Like Casino says you need to have your "rules" in place probably before you start building the system. You may already have these. Many companies will have charts of allowable options etc... listed in tables in their product catalogs, and these can often be used for the configuration.
To be accurate, there are two ways to go about configuration. There is a "rules" based approach. For example only "sports" model cars can be "red". But there is also a constraint based approach. For example only cars that have X amount of room left under the hood can take an engine of Y size. (Not the best examples.) There is a better white-paper on this at the iLog web site: www.ilog.com.
The whole area of configurators is pretty complex. The one organization that seems to follow it is a branch of an Artificial Intelligence organization.
The one thing I might ammend to your comments, is that I think the most important thing wrt configuration is not so much the product visuals (although they are important). I think the most important thing to think about is the system for entering/maintaining constraints. Most companies can't afford an army of developers to keep this up as products/rules change. You may want to look at these management systems as well. Here's one example: