Look at any of the three Tesla models as examples. The Model S, X, and 3 are sleek, stylish and, above all, simple. Nothing radical is going on inside or out. A Lamborghini Veneno is radical. The latest Toyota Prius is somewhat radical. Radical doesn’t age well, and sometimes doesn’t sell well, either. Like Apple products, Tesla has embraced sexy simplicity and it works wonderfully. When I spoke with BMW design chief, Karim Habib, at Geneva last month, he mentioned that innovation needs to bring something new to the design itself. Given the rapid pace of innovation at the moment, who knows what new designs will be the result. It’s an ongoing, never-ending process.
Innovation and design go hand-in-hand, always have, and by the time 2026 rolls around, our cars could look very different than today. Or maybe not so much. Model year 2026’s cars could look like more advanced versions of a Tesla. Let’s also not forget two other wildcards
: Google and Apple. Both are working on cars, and it’ll be fascinating to see the results. Whatever it turns out to be, the cars of 2026 are going to be jam-packed with tech, and their designs will reflect that.