Like most industries, the auto industry is all about “what have you done for me lately?”. It seems as soon as one set of auto models rolls out, we’re automatically looking to see what the next big thing will be. With that in mind, it’s time to look ahead and see what the major manufacturers have in store for us in 2016.
Not surprisingly, some of the biggest trends in cars these days revolve around technology. With electronic gadgets literally taking over every aspect of our lives, consumers are more and more anxious for their cars to follow suit and the big names in the auto industry are onboard with that particular concept, beginning with some major upgrades to car sound systems.
Already, DVD players are becoming passé and people are looking for new ways to sync their electronics with their car. In answer to that need, Apple and Google will both be introducing fully compatible systems. Apple’s CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto will both allow cars to instantly sync with driver’s phones so that you can enjoy your music no matter what car you’re in. In 2016, both Chevrolet and Hyundai expect to be onboard with this particular trend, with other manufacturers to follow.
Of course, we all know the driving experience begins with what’s under the hood and how cars are put together and there are plenty of exciting things to look for in that area in 2016 as well. Despite recent hikes in gas prices, drivers are still anxious for cars that will give them more bang for their buck and so they’ll be excited to find that several manufacturers are adding forced induction engines to increase horsepower without sacrificing fuel economy.
Everything from the Ferrari 488 GTB to the Chevy Camaro will feature turbo-charged engines that increase horsepower to as much as 660. In fact, this need for extra power is becoming so all-encompassing that industry insiders predict almost all cars will be saying goodbye to natural aspiration and turning to turbo-power as the new standard in the very near future.
While engines are increasing, car designs are becoming more sleek. In 2015, Ford shed 700 pounds from the design of its F-150 and that trend looks to continue and expand across the industry in 2016. Innovations in design, including the use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, will allow cars to get lighter while maintaining their looks and maneuverability.
By far the biggest trend in recent years has been in the field of automation. There has been much talk about auto manufacturers producing self-driving cars and we’ve already seen some progress in that direction, with various models, including the Mercedes S-Class, that have automated parking capabilities.
Now BMW is following suit, with the 7-Series, which allows the car to park itself while the driver is outside of it, using the key fob. The Series-7 also has innovative new gesture controls that allow the driver to control everything from the stereo to the HVAC system with hand gestures. And in 2016, Tesla is also getting in on the act with an autopilot system that is currently in the testing stages.
As you can see, the future of the car industry is full of exciting concepts and many of them will be jumping from the realm of The Jetsons and into reality beginning in 2016. So buckle your seatbelts and get ready, in the auto industry the wave of the future is right around the corner!