Want to know what drivetrains I think will power different types of cars in a few decades from now? Spoiler alert: they’re not all electric.
Ok, the vast majority of them are, because the mass market, restricted by emissions limits and urban bans on combustion engines, will be filled with all-electric cars that focus on maximising range.
Then there’ll be a couple of smaller but still popular segments for the likes of performance electric vehicles, which are allowed to venture into city centres but prioritise accelerative performance and driver engagement over absolute maximum range.
But I also expect that there’ll always be a place for extreme, hardcore petrol engine sports cars - even 50 years from now.
They won’t be concerned with urban emissions limits because no sports car owner in 2067 would dare venture into the now fresh air zone of a city in one. They won’t be muted by big turbochargers or bother with a zero-emission electric mode. They’ll be the silliest and most childish kind that are deliberately engineered to be wasteful of fuel so their exhausts splutter and bark. The kind that scare sheep and anger the Green Party.
They’ll be like the Jaguar F-Type SVR.
This is a car that sounds as angry as the cat on its badge and instantly gets under your skin with its muscular supercharged V8 that belches and barks with every prod of the throttle. This is a car that sacrifices efficiency for character and engagement. It is a car that has been developed purely to be fun.
Yet it comes from a brand that is racing in Formula E to emphasise its commitment to zero-emission transport and will launch its first all-electric car, the I-Pace, next year. It’s a brand that wants to electrify close to half its range by 2020 in a bid to cater for the future. A brand with one eye on sustainability.