1. Low cost vehicles: The trend set by Indian car makers towards lower-cost, more economical vehicles. The focus has been on economy, but I expect future models to offer more in the way of 'lifestyle features'. For instance it would not surprise me to see a vehicle which allows you to increase the storage space, or even to create a sleeping area by taking our the passenger seat, or reconfiguring the driver seat. The trick is to come up with a seat that does it comfortably.
2. Lifestyle appliances: I believe we are going to see changes in the components that make up a car. By this I mean changes in the engine design, the cooling system, the appliances. Certainly a LCD makes sense to play movies if you have kids, but that is a family car. In a lifestyle car, you want a refrigerator, heating, battery support for a day, and the capacity to recharge the battery. Am I dreaming? I don't believe so. The current vehicles are only able to get 25% thermal efficiency. Most of the current fuel economy gains are coming from aerodynamic design, not from a more efficient engine. Wait and see! There is greater pressure to lift fuel efficiency than ever. The Stirling engine is not a substitute for the internal combustion engine. It will take a new design based on the internal combustion engine.
Andrew Sheldon www.sheldonthinks.com