Tomorrow’s car technology revealed today

The cars of the next decade will be some of the most economical and cutting-edge vehicles ever built, according to an Autocar report.

According to the report’s predictions, the average vehicle produced in the next ten years will easily achieve less than 90g/km of CO2 emissions and boast fuel efficiency levels of more than 300mpg.

The exponential increase in improvements are expected to begin as of next year, with the average family car in 2015 predicted to achieve 130g/km of CO2, down two grams from 2012.

Stringent regulations set by the EU are due to come in to play in 2020 that will require all carmakers to meet a rigorous set of standards, and the report illustrates how technological advances will help to achieve those goals.

Autocar’s editor-in-chief Chas Hallet said: “The CO2 targets laid down by the European Union are set to change the face of Europe’s car industry forever.

“Hitting the targets will be expensive and difficult for nearly all of Europe’s car makers and the fact that early work is already under way on cars that are still at least five years from the showroom illustrates how challenging it is.”

Five on the most important future car technologies

The report also outlined five of the most important technologies that will proper carmakers into the eco-conscious future.

According to Autocar, flywheels, variable compression ratio engines, coasting technology, electric turbochargers and enclosed wheel wells are some of the most important pieces of kit to keep an eye on.

The British-designed flywheel system, which is used to drive the rear wheels of a front-wheel drive car is current undergoing testing.

Storing and releasing waste energy like a compressed spring, the flywheels are due to become a familiar feature on mainstream cars and are around a quarter of the price of hybrid technology, much less complex and a lot lighter.

Variable compression ratio engines and coasting technology are also due to make appearances in future models, saving fuel and money by limiting the amount of fuel mixed in the engine’s combustion chamber and by cutting the engine off when it’s not needed.

Electric turbochargers can use fans to blow air through the turbo when the engine decelerates the same as a regular turbocharger, but electrically-powered.

It could prove useful for smaller-capacity engines, and could potentially make an appearance on units like Ford’s 1.0-litre EcoBoost.

Finally, aerodynamic and enclosed wheel wells could improve efficiency by reducing drag, which some manufacturers have already attempted by directing air across the face of the front wheels.

Many manufacturers are already implementing new measures to optimise efficiency, including Jaguar, whose new XE saloon is promising to be the most efficient Jag ever.