carguy123 UltimaDork
April 25, 2013 11:26 p.m.

I've just come back from watching "Oblivion" with the banty rooster struttin' around a lot (it's a very good watch BTW) and we saw a couple of Sci-Fi trailers for coming movies and I got to wondering what would the future car culture be like?

I'm not talking fusion generator powered car future, I'm talking next gen or the one just after.

What will your home hot rodders & Locost type of guys & gals be using for motivation and other extras?

Tablets to control shock dampers &/or active suspensions plus power control?

What will be the motors? Will there be a retro movement for piston power or will it be electric? What else revolutionary, or at least revolutionary to us, will be the rage?

What do you think?

ransom UltraDork
April 25, 2013 11:39 p.m.

Off the cuff, I'm hoping for a big jump in batteries or capacitors. When that happens, we'll see some astonishing performance.

I can imagine fossils like me with noisy internal combustion engines being the Harley guys of 2035, with my cars that make way more noise than power...

aircooled PowerDork
April 25, 2013 11:52 p.m.

I can see a sort of RestoMod trend of converting all sorts of old cars to electric. Some of the older lighter cars will be ideal candidates.

Seems like 80's and early 90's cars would be good candidates, if there are any left / saved (besides Miatas of course)

Trans_Maro SuperDork
April 26, 2013 12:08 a.m.

Cars will be banned due to the environmental hysteria created by greenwashing.

We'll all have to ride a tube like in futurama.

The good part is, I won't be here for it!

fasted58 UberDork
April 26, 2013 12:20 a.m.

There will be a huge rise in historic racing.

Beer Baron UltimaDork
April 26, 2013 2:09 a.m.

Honestly, I think we're going to see people come up with efficient ways to produce petrol and diesel type products without having to mine from oil. Just input biomass, add heat and pressure, get refineable crude. Or more efficient methods for producing bio-ethanol.

Or it will be some sort of liquid or semi-solid capacitor.

Basically, people will come up with a new technology that keeps the same advantages of the current one. Namely, that it is easy to transport large amounts of it to refueling stations; it will stay good for a long period of time; and you can refill the car in a matter of minutes.

We might see something like super efficient, semi-solid electrical storage hooked up to electric motors to give everyone ZOMFG-INSTANT-TORQUES!!!!

driver109x HalfDork
April 26, 2013 3:41 a.m.

I like the restomod thing powered by whatever will be the hybrid/electric/hydrogen powerplant of the future.

OR... spec prius....

FranktheTank Reader
April 26, 2013 4:05 a.m.

I think all racing will be spec'd for fuel economy. NASCAR will be required to get 35mpg but can make as much power as they want.... The kicker is fuel will be weighed measured and handed out in tea cups.

Big block guys like me will be obsolete. In the future all these huge jacked up beater trucks will be owned by the wealthy because only they can afford fuel. The poor people will be in the economy cars.

JoeyM MegaDork
April 26, 2013 6:17 a.m.
Beer Baron wrote: Honestly, I think we're going to see people come up with efficient ways to produce petrol and diesel type products without having to mine from oil. Just input biomass, add heat and pressure, get refineable crude. Or more efficient methods for producing bio-ethanol.

This will only be effective if we've got a way to obtain the energy needed to make the heat and pressure. Oh wait, we might already have that, if people would get their heads out of the sand.

MadScientistMatt UltraDork
April 26, 2013 7:35 a.m.
Beer Baron wrote: Honestly, I think we're going to see people come up with efficient ways to produce petrol and diesel type products without having to mine from oil. Just input biomass, add heat and pressure, get refineable crude. Or more efficient methods for producing bio-ethanol.

Leave it to the Beer Baron to predict brewing will be applied to gasoline. Seriously, that's something I suspect may happen myself. Or they might use coal as a feedstock instead of biomass.

I sort of expect a lot of cars to shift over to electric for daily use, as they're already cheaper to operate, just need some improvements in range at this point to really catch on. And I expect people are going to find some sort of way to hot rod them. Such as maybe a switch that lets you boost the motor voltage with an ultracapacitor, as an electronic equivalent of a nitrous hit.

mad_machine MegaDork
April 26, 2013 7:48 a.m.

electric is here... you want to see a good use of batteries and electric motors.. check out the new electric motors for boats.. Boats are notorius for bad fuel economy.. so if electric motors are here.. just imagine them in the car in a few more years.

Torqueedo

4cylndrfury MegaDork
April 26, 2013 7:59 a.m.

Hydrogen? If the big problem with a hydrogen car is that the energy needed to propel the car and crack the molecule exceeds the energy output of the hydrogen engine, I think increases in capacitor/motor/battery efficiency and output could potentially overcome this catch-22, and maybe harvest enough energy from the harnessed hydrogen to both sustain the cracking process, and propel the car? I like the idea of a fuel tank that you fill with your garden hose.

Im sure my theory posted above is rife with misnomer and woefully simplistic, but in general, couldnt there be a future in Hydrogen as well? Replace the ancient dino-juice engine in your classic 2004 mustang with a state of the art, new for 2045 hydrogen mill, and go-baby-go?!?

mad_machine MegaDork
April 26, 2013 8:08 a.m.

well.. there is always LPG for stop gap measure. Less emissions, still lots of it in the ground.. allows for higher compression/boost due to natural octane of about 110

While I like the electric outboards.. I do want something I do not have to worry about running out of Juice with on my sailboat.. so this is the outboard I am getting later this summer. Nice thing about them.. you can either run a 5 gallon BBQ grill tank, or just screw a 16oz bottle right into the engine itself

LEHR -- LPG powered outboards

PHeller UltraDork
April 26, 2013 8:31 a.m.

I think "stance" will stay around. We'll see growth in interest by young people for vehicles that are multi-purpose but covered in style, likely one we "old folks" will hate. I expect to see more bike racks. I hope to see more bike racks.

Little cars will be more common with young people, and I think we'll see more kids interested in rally and less interested in drag racing.

GameboyRMH UltimaDork
April 26, 2013 9:17 a.m.

I think the cultures won't change but the cars will.

We'll have the same performance-oriented guys fitting electric powertrains to S2ks, Elise/Exiges and Toyobarus and whatever old good stuff is left. Swappable battery packs will be a popular mod since they run down fast on the track.

There will be the classic muscle guys driving classic muscle cars...just less of them I guess. Hotrodding will still be around and again, smaller.

There will be the offroad crowd pretty much following slight evolutions of the same old formula and getting closer to a KoH-style truck where prices allow. I think DIY hybrid powertrains will be popular with them. Struggling in a pit or heading up a steep hill? Hit the electric boost!

And there will be the ricers sticking new kinds of ugly crap to regular production cars (I predict laser projectors will be popular), and there will be some new silly descendant of "stance."

rebelgtp UltraDork
April 26, 2013 9:24 a.m.

Hmmm interesting ideas. I am intrigued by the concept of taking the future power plants and transplanting them into older rigs. I think before that we might see a rise in home grown alternative fuels that can be utilized in current engines.

carguy123 UltimaDork
April 26, 2013 9:45 a.m.

So virtually everybody thinks we'll be electric.

How about the DIY guys? Swapping motors will now mean putting in electric motors?

I'm not sure the batteries will ever get to the point we can have good long term usage without making the standard light car several orders of heavier than present day cars.

I think computers will get more and more invasive to the culture, BUT I believe they will be more user friendly to make your upgrades and changes.

If you don't have exhaust fumes then the car manufacturers won't be so worried you'll modify their code and give them a black eye in the emissions arena.

I'm thinking be able to modify your spring rates, sway bar rates, shocks, etc. wheel by wheel, possibly on the fly. Kinda like video games.

Except for the batteries, electric motors would definitely be easier to swap.

The modular crank thread makes me wonder about a rich guy, Hobbyist, modular engine that can be made in different sizes to fit different needs once the internal combustion engine is gone.

There's still so much more that can be done in the way of injection, ignition & fuels to make a more efficient internal combustion engine.

Some sort of compact powerplant to make a hybrid might solve the battery issue. Of course then you'd upgrade your generator motor when you upgraded your electric motors. We might get back to the Cadillac swaps of the 50's.

ransom UltraDork
April 26, 2013 10:22 a.m.
carguy123 wrote: How about the DIY guys? Swapping motors will now mean putting in electric motors?

Or winding their own? I know ridiculously little about modern electric motors. I'm just thinking of the most radical thing you could do to the electric R/C car motors when I was doing that sort of thing. Given the move to brushless stuff that's happened, we might see the future of hot rodding already underway.

Regarding the mass of batteries, I'm not sure when, but it seems likely that there's a big improvement out there. Some of the current (Li-Fe?) batteries are already staggeringly compact and light compared to what we had ten years ago. Google "graphene" for what I think is the most exciting thing I've heard about lately. Relatively easy to make, absent of heavy metals and similar nastiness, lightweight... It's not ready for prime time, and it may not be The Answer, but it's another compelling step.

Beer Baron UltimaDork
April 26, 2013 1:11 p.m.
MadScientistMatt wrote:
Beer Baron wrote: Honestly, I think we're going to see people come up with efficient ways to produce petrol and diesel type products without having to mine from oil. Just input biomass, add heat and pressure, get refineable crude. Or more efficient methods for producing bio-ethanol.

Leave it to the Beer Baron to predict brewing will be applied to gasoline. Seriously, that's something I suspect may happen myself. Or they might use coal as a feedstock instead of biomass.

Well... yeah. The way I see it is, plants and algae are already way more efficient at absorbing solar energy and converting into a stable stored form than any technology we have yet. We just need to find a good way to convert that stored energy into a form we can utilize to power large vehicles.

And scientists are already working on synthetic fuels: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/12/121205200216.htm

JoeyM MegaDork
April 26, 2013 1:26 p.m.
ransom wrote:
carguy123 wrote: How about the DIY guys? Swapping motors will now mean putting in electric motors?

Or winding their own?

If you're willing to talk about 1/4 mile, straight line stuff, homebrew EVs are already doing some cool stuff http://www.evparts.com/galleries/GALLERY1/

Awesome BMW EV
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=eVB-Tszp_LY

ransom UltraDork
April 26, 2013 1:42 p.m.

In reply to JoeyM:

Yeah, the current EV drag cars already show electrics can be wicked fast, even while carting around some pretty hefty battery packages.

I expect that's the first step in changing perceptions, while progress continues on lighter weight, longer range, and recharging time.

Beer Baron UltimaDork
April 26, 2013 3:08 p.m.

I don't see EV as the end of fun cars. We just need to get batteries figured out so that they're compact, light, and can provide range and recharge speed.

Instant torque and the ability to rev to infinity and beyond sounds awesome to me if we can get the weight down. I can imagine the day when the right pitch and intensity of electrical whirr gets us as excited as the sound of a turbo spooling up. 50 years ago, they would have only known a loping V8 as the sound of real power.

Hopefully in 50 years, we can enjoy the sounds of V8's, turbos, and electric motors.

ransom UltraDork
April 26, 2013 3:11 p.m.
Beer Baron wrote: I can imagine the day when the right pitch and intensity of electrical whirr gets us as excited as the sound of a turbo spooling up.

At some level, this has already been true for me during my R/C racing days.

I also to a great extent came to associate quiet with speed, as the fastest cars were usually the ones with the best-set gear mesh, belt drives, etc... Loud cars were usually set up badly.

mazdeuce Dork
April 26, 2013 3:29 p.m.

Small cars. As the country becomes more urbanized more people will embrace small cars and we will have some sort of goofy culture will evolve around weird little cars. I'll probably make fun of it while secretly liking it.
I think we'll also see an urban electric hotrod bicycle culture develop. Lots of room for unregulated unlicensed home brewed speed right there.

e_pie HalfDork
April 26, 2013 3:51 p.m.

Better batteries and perhaps hydrogen will render the ICE irrelevant.

Which in all honesty, I'm all for electric cars once battery technology improves.

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