Walter Treser may be one of the finest automotive thinkers of the past two decades. Here is how he sees the future:
'Improved aerodynamics are essential for lower fuel consumption. A Cd [co-efficient of drag] of 0.20 should be the objective, and it may only be realized with new under-hood aerodynamics and advanced radiator systems. But larger car bodies will make this more difficult to achieve.
'We must also search for lighter structures, if only to offset bigger bodies and future safety legislation, including pedestrian protection. New powertrain systems such as fuel cells will also add weight.
'The biggest potential for innovation is in packaging - the ability to include comfort accessories such as multi-media and navigation systems, refrigerators, in-car espresso coffee machines and couch-type rear seats.
'To implement this, packaging will become the most essential part of developing a car. We need longer wheelbases and slightly higher architectures while maintaining a compact exterior length.
'With the Signum and G90, we have already defined such concepts. Future car interiors will feature re-positioning of the handbrake and gear lever. Seat systems should become even more flexible and lighter, with new materials and constructions such as thin-wall net seats that take up less space. You can expect something interesting next year at the Geneva auto show.'