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pcread
02-25-2005, 07:51 AM
Looking at the way that fashion follows trend in the automotive industry, as elsewhere; what do the esteemed members of this forum think will be the "next big thing", the future fashion on sale at a dealership near you?<p>We've seen the rise of the SUVs, first in the States and now in Europe, but as the backlash intensifies and counterfashions gain ground, will it retain dominance, or will smaller, more carlike Crossovers take over?<p>Will hybrids explode (not literally we hope) onto the scene and grab marketshare, or will the new, cleaner diesels fight their way back?<p>Do we foresee a stabilisation of oil prices or a steady rise? What will that mean for car/engine sizes? <p>Where's the dollar going? Surely it must have hit bottom by now, or is there still some way to go? What will that mean for imports/exports?<p>What do you think?

Santeno
02-25-2005, 07:59 AM
I think the next big thing is going to be ultra flexible vehicles. Like modern crossovers but smaller, and which can handle both on-road and moderate off-road driving with a fair degree of sport, luxury and composure. a bit of everyhing for everyone in a very felxible and competent package. I also see distinctive styling taking an ever increasing and important role in automobiles.

MontrealMustang
02-25-2005, 11:59 AM
Next big thing? Custom Vans<p>They can be built on carlike chassis and customized in every way imaginable. Plus younger people will love them because you can have a minibar, a bed and a huge stereo/TV system in the back and/or fit in about 10 people to go cruising. So for anyone living at home or in small appartments, it's a place to party. I was never a big fan of them but I always wondered why they dissapeared and am waiting for them to come back. I know GM has been looking into reviving them as a way to bolster the flagging van market.<p>I also think we'll see a new 4 door musclecar era kind of blurp ahead. Won't last long, with the retiring baby boomers being the big buyers, but it should produce a lot of neat cars on the order of the Dodge Charger R/T and Pontiac GTO. Guaranteed that Ford is bringing the Aussie Falcon to America. Look for GM to create a Rear Wheel Drive Monte-Carlo SS. If the Mustang sales are strong, and they look as if they are, we might also see a new incarnation of the Camaro (but not the Firebird) and maybe a rear wheel drive offering from Dodge.<p>This is all educated guessing if course, with a bit of wishful thinking added, but I've been right before and the car market is angling in this direction. We shall see.

CalinG7
02-25-2005, 01:26 PM
Zebra and Leopard-print interiors. Definitely!!<p>That, or what Santeno said.

bolita
02-25-2005, 02:57 PM
I think that the next big thing will be Built to Order or a much higer degree of customization by part of manufacturers. Toyota is working on this andI feel they are leaders in lead time to launch vehicles at this time <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/tuut.gif" BORDER="0">

taskbearer
02-25-2005, 08:11 PM
A renaisance of the pre i-drive interior where interaction with the car electronics is more straight forward and you don't have to wait for the bloody computer to boot just to change teperature or radio station................NOT!............integrated controls are not even a mainstay yet. After they flood your honda civic, then we can expect the NEXT BIG THING. <IMG NAME="icon" SRC="http://www.germancarfans.com/images/forums/icon11.gif" BORDER="0">

anonms
02-25-2005, 09:04 PM
The Boxmobile: Perfect for the America of the Future<br>Cheap, compact, yet roomy and efficient. With gas prices, obesity, and inflation on the rise, what could be better than an affordable box on wheels that can be parked just about anywhere legally possible, features good fuel economy, and provides roominess and versatality? Honda may have attempted to start this with the Element, but Toyota just may make this the next big thing, as their xB has become quite a success despite the criticisms concerning its shape. Now other companies are preparing competition-- Nissan plans to sell the Cube in the US in 2-3 years and Ford may have been giving everyone hints with their Synus concept.<p>The Microvan: Smaller is Superior<br>Bigger is better, right? Sure, it might hold true. Bigger means more space and more space means more junk and/or more comfort. But when the garage door and the rear end of your minivan meet, it ain't a pretty sight for both your eyes and your wallet. Now that nearly all minivans on the market are bigger, what can soccer moms do to? Introducing the Microvan! Proof that smaller is superior, these marvelous vehicles have been prospering in Europe and Japan. They are still capable of carrying more passengers than the average sedan or station wagon and they fit in parking spaces of all sizes! If Mazda can pull it off with the Mazda5, then housewives rejoyce while garage door repairmen weep! Many other companies what already sell microvans in other countries will surely be ready to invade America!

Top Secret
02-25-2005, 09:13 PM
The trend I can see currently is that car makers are beginning to get more performance-orientated. I think a fair amount of high-performance cars will be a big thing in the near future (think 3-5 years). But after that, who knows. It could be fuel-cell cars, luxury sedans - anything.

Nick
02-26-2005, 02:24 AM
The trend seems to be that car makers are starting to move more upmarket with their vehicles, and many are getting more performance oriented. The horsepower war will never end, so that wont be a future trend, I deffinitely see alternative fuels as a future trend, such as hydrogen, I can also see vans starting to go more sporty, if not turning into CSV's altogether (and no, I don't necessarily mean like the CSV's GM has)...I can really see sports cars becoming big, especially muscle cars coming out of the big 3, such as with the new hemi powered cars, and then the mustang, and the soon to be revived camaro, the gto, the V-series caddies along with all the other upper-level performance vehicles such as the m-series, amg's, etc...I really do feel with a lot of the automakers going hybrid/fuel efficient/ small sport compacts etc..there will be a huge push for these powerful performance oriented cars...But then, smaller roadsters may be the next big hit also, such as GM with the upcoming kappas, and mazda with the miata, there may bea push for more of these vehicles and more competition now that the market won't be completely dominated by mazda anymore, so we could very possibly start seeing a push for these vehicles as well...Then there are the big bad SUV's which I have a feeling will stay pretty much where they are in sales...maybe drop a little bit due to rising gas prices, but if anything they will just get more powerful and bigger...I'm sure the popularity of them may start to decrease, but with the introduction of new models and updated versions of older models, I think the mroe things change, the more they will stay the same...and while I hate to say it, I think the manual tranny may be almost nonexistent in the near future with the exception of a few cars such as some porsches, the corvette, maybe some of the detroit muscle, and maybe, just maybe, some of the germans...but I see it slowly starting to fade away...which is sad because manual trannys are much more fun to drive than automatics, and still more fun to drive than SMG's/steptronic/tiptronic/ whatever you want to call it...I guess, overall thats pretty much my take on things...I guess time will tell and we'll just have to sit back and go along for the ride...

pcread
02-26-2005, 05:21 PM
I like the custom vans idea. My cousin owns a Chevy Starcraft and it is so cool. just get a teetotal driver and a beer-cooler and take your mates for a drive.<p>Personally, I think that electronics are going to be the backbone of whatever trend arises. We're all familiar with ABS, GPS and traction control systems. Next we get stability control and parking aids, automatic parallel parking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and black boxes. Soon our beloved four-wheeled friends will be doing more and more on their own. How long must we wait before it'll drive us home from a night out on the town? <p>Fuelwise, I think diesel will beat hybrid in Europe. The taxing of diesel isn't coherent within the EU, but Brussels will pull everyone into line on that. I don't know what the state of play is on the other side of the Atlantic is, but with proper filtration of particulates, modern diesels are nothing like the noisy, sooty tractors of even 10 years ago.<br>But then again, hybrid does have a lot to offer in the urban environment, quiet and clean. The biggest inner-city polluters are buses and delivery trucks. I expect hydrogen to make (sponsored) inroads there. Maybe the dash for H2 gas will beat hybrid. We'll see.<p>As to cars. SUVs will retain a lot of market share, but I do think crossovers will gain though. And AWD. That's gonna be big. Huge. The HP race will continue but, as Top Gear proved, all that power over just one axle is relatively ineffective. So more and more manufacturers will option AWD. First the Germans and Jaguar, then the premium Japanese, then everyone else.<p>

KebabGud
02-26-2005, 07:12 PM
i hope the next big thing is .. roadsters!<br>just look .. Saturn roadster, VW roadster...<br>ehh .. .. get the idea? i have never heard of a VW roadster (i the last 20years) nor a saturn (even tho it is a Opel)<br>i like rodsters...<br>

mzoltarp
03-06-2005, 07:04 AM
I look at the Honda Element and think that sooner or later someone is going to make a vehicle the size of a Golf that is like a swiss army knife. I imagine a vehicle that is even more configurable than an Element, perhaps with body panels that can substantially alter the appearance of the vehicle with possible interchangeable roofs like the old Nissal Pulsar (I think that is the one I'm thining of.).

Soul Man
03-06-2005, 09:46 AM
im going to put my money on frosted taillamps, i just see them on being a new gen altezza style taillamp and that the kids will find ways to eat them up

Aidan
03-06-2005, 12:18 PM
personally i think it will be the rise of the sub $5000 new cars...........<br>