For as long as there have been cars, there have been predictions of what’s coming next.  But, just as the future never actually arrives, many crystal ball prophecies fall short.  Add in a global pandemic and increasing calls to move away from fossil fuels, and it’s hard to say exactly what to expect in the next 40-years. But here’s how we see it right now. 

We’ve certainly seen glimpses of the “Car of the Future” in the past 40 years, and we’ve applauded each effort regardless of the outcome. 

The Bricklin Safety Car answered a question nobody was asking at the time.

And, the DeLorean DMC-12 still makes more sense as a “Back-to-the-future” movie prop than it ever did as a real car.

While none of us mourn the death of automatic seatbelts, innovative technologies like night vision, accident avoidance, and automatic braking will make all cars safer to drive. 

That elusive “Car of the Future” may in fact look very similar to what we’re driving now… modern crossover designs strike a good balance between utility, agility and live-ability, while providing a suitable platform for packaging a variety of drivetrains.  In fact, already EVs don’t look so much like EVs anymore. 

No doubt, the biggest certainty of our roads yet traveled, is that they will be full of electric vehicles.  All major brands have full-EVs in the works; with some already planning to leave internal combustion engines entirely in the past.  All while historic names like Mustang and Hummer are either reborn or reimagined to embrace the future of battery power. 

That shift opens up new lanes for manufacturers such as Karma, Rivian, Byton and of course Tesla to figure into the mix as well.

The push for full autonomous driving seems to have slowed some, but a big change we do see coming is how we buy our cars.  More and more manufacturers are going direct to consumer with “buy now” options on the web. But, don’t worry, your local dealers will still be there with folks to handle vehicle delivery, financing, and maintenance.  

We may also see short-term subscription leasing services becoming a bigger part of the deal making too. 

Whatever happens, MotorWeek plans on being here to see you through it all; giving you the info you need, to make the best buying decision.  For now, and for the future.