What trends in the motoring world are going to stick around?
In today's motoring world, fuel economy and safety have become a higher priority than performance and handling. Rightfully so.
As a result, cars have become more boring, but safer and more fuel efficient. There are a few trends that have come as a result of this. Here are four trends that are here to stay in the motoring world, and one that should come back.
Continuously Variable Transmissions
Continuously variable transmissions are undoubtedly the worst nightmare for anybody concerned about performance. That being said, they are very good for fuel economy. As a result, they are becoming increasingly popular, with Nissan, Subaru, and even some Audis using them.
CVTs get a bad wrap for their tendency to shift up or down for no apparent reason, and their sluggishness to respond to driver input. That being said, they are getting better and more popular as it is refined.
Many inexpensive family cars are turbocharged nowadays. Usually powered by 2.0 liter or smaller engines, the turbocharger helps to boost fuel economy and performance. Turbos are becoming increasingly more popular, and they will undoubtedly become increasingly more popular in the years to come.
Electric Cars and Hybrids
Electric cars and hybrids are unfortunately taking over the world. The Toyota Prius, introduced in 1997, was the first popular and affordable hybrid. It has been the standalone dominator in the hybrid-electric segment since its introduction. Its superior fuel economy and inexpensive purchase price attracts numerous buyers.
Furthermore, electric cars are becoming more popular. Tesla has dominated the premium luxury segment of the electric car market. The Nissan Leaf had reasonable popularity, as does the Chevrolet Bolt. With countries such as the UK trying to end the sale of gasoline and diesel fueled vehicles in a few decades, electric cars will become much more popular and will eventually dominate the market.
Complicated Infotainment Systems
In many modern cars, infotainment systems have become very innovative, though arguably unnecessarily complicated. The latest Chevrolet models offer WiFi in their cars, while Ford's SYNC system has the capability to download apps. Some systems even let you change the climate control settings, even though the car already has the typical analog controls.
That being said, they are more popular than not. As a result, complex, touch-screen infotainment systems will become much more common in coming years.
A Trend That Should Return: Manual Transmissions
It is not a secret that automatic transmissions dominate the market in the United States. Most cars with manuals nowadays tend to be enthusiast-targeted cars. You can't really get your average, everyday car in manual. Even if you can, it isn't easy to find one that is a manual.
The fact of the matter is, most Americans don't want to deal with the distraction of a third pedal and a wobbly gear stick. As a result, manual transmissions are dying very quickly. Many cars aren't offered with them, and as the electric car takes over the world, it could die completely very, very soon.