During the last international auto show season, we saw a range of concept cars, some with wild, futuristic designs and some that look like they could roll out of a garage today. Three particular themes emerged amongst these design studies:
- Hybrid and electric power trains
- Small city cars
- Personal electronics integration
Obviously, automakers are making serious efforts to build more fuel efficient cars, prodded by new European and U.S. regulations. BMW and Porsche joined hybrid stalwart Toyota with new gas-electric concepts.
Automakers are also planning for growing urbanization with small cars that are easy to park and maneuver through congested city centers. Even GMC gets into the act of designing small, while Mini shows that it can get even smaller.
A number of concepts shown by automakers try new ways to interact with personal electronic devices. The Peugeot BB1 in particular strives for complete smartphone integration.