The popular British automobile magazine Autocar has prepared a rather interesting report that tries to describe what family cars will be like in the year 2020. According to the magazine future cars will be some of the most fuel efficient ever built thanks to a number of cutting-edge technologies.

The report focuses on five new technologies that will shape future cars and make them much cleaner than before. Thus cars that will appear by the end of the decade will achieve carbon dioxide levels of well under 90 grams per kilometer and fuel efficiency levels of more than 300 mpg (0.9 liters per 100 km). Currently the average European family car releases 132 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer traveled.

The cars of the future will feature flywheels that will become mainstream by the end of the decade. The main feature of this technology is that flywheels can store waste energy and then release it when needed much like an electric motor and battery. Flywheel systems are also cheaper than a hybrid set-up, far less complex and much lighter.

Cars of the future will also use engines with variable compression ratios. Details on how this will be executed are not available but this technology improves engine efficiency. On the other hand coasting is a technology that will function when a car is travelling at speeds below 4 mph (6.4 km/h). This technology will allow transmission decoupling and engine shut-down when cruising at speed, travelling downhill or approaching traffic lights that are about to turn red.

Finally cars of the near future will feature electric turbochargers that include a fan that blows air through the turbo when the engine is decelerating in order to spin the turbo fan up to speed so that full boost is available as soon as the driver gets back on the accelerator. Such a system is especially useful for smaller-capacity downsized engines, which generate little exhaust gas energy, especially at low speed. Enclosed wheel wells are the latest technology to be implemented – it will improve aerodynamics and hence lower fuel consumption while increasing drive dynamics.

This is good news for all car lovers – after all many exciting improvements are just around the corner and they will make driving an even greater pleasure than it is today.

Source: Autocar