Evolution is the only constant in our lives. And it applies to everything we do and everything we experience. We are in an age where car-technology is only going to evolve further. There is no scope of going back.
So as the technology keeps pushing the ‘what’s next’ button and the design styles of cars constantly evolve, it appears that several contemporary car features are about to either go extinct or become as they say, redundant.
Let’s take a look at 10 car features that are about to go extinct in the times to come:
They were iconic. They were cute. And unless you witness some seventies or eighties Hollywood joy-ride flick, it doesn’t appear that there are too many cars out there with pop-up headlights today.
No longer do we see the pop-up headlights- those that emerged outwardly with the click of a button- frequenting today’s roads- do we?
Legendary Sports Cars such as the Lamborghini Countach, the Ferrari Testarossa, or the Mazda RX7 were decked with this nostalgic feature.
But from the onset of the 2000s, as the European design laws directed that the front-end of the cars be made more readily deformable, the pop-up headlights fell came under the scanner and went under the hammer of cost-cutting measures.
Thus, the famous 70s feature of the cars quite simply fell out of flavor with readily accepted designs and have now become a thing to be visited with sepia-tinted glasses of nostalgia.
Among the car features about to go extinct completely are the rotary engines that cars, particularly in the mid-60s, were engineered around, such as the NSU Spider, released in 1964.
The rotary or the ‘Wankel’ (named on the German founder) were considered more powerful than the conventional car engines owing to their ability to produce high power from a small package, generating a high power-to-weight ratio.
Speed enthusiasts, those who typically enjoyed high-revving nature in compact forms, loved these and they made their way to the famous Mazda stable: the RX series of Sportscars being adored by fans the world over.
Among the car features about to go extinct is the manual transmission. One could say it’s increasingly becoming an element of the cars from the yesteryears.
Among the things that one doesn’t find in contemporary cars is the manual transmission.
Perhaps, it’s a signature of luxury. Perhaps it’s an incessantly normal demand to have nowadays.
Whatever it is, having a car built on automatic transmission seems the order of the day. Does it not?
Back in the day, only select cars offered the pricier, wallet-taxing offer of automatic transmission. But has car engineering has evolved over the decades, manual transmission- although undoubtedly, the preferred choice for those who desire absolute control in their driving- paved way to a more mechanical, smooth, imperturbable way of car-handling: automatic transmission.
Without a morsel of doubt, the car keys happen to be the smallest yet the most valuable possession in the hands of a car-owner.
And yet it’s tremendously exciting the way this minuscule feature of wagons has evolved over the years.
Think of a normal day scenario in a house. Apart from locking your home, the next most important thing aside house-keys were the car keys, something you’d much rather not step out of the home without.
Today, a great facet of modern cars is the keyless facet. You don’t need a manual injection to start the wagon. Nowadays, a simple start-stop button suffices.
The keyless entry and ignition technology make the cars handy for day-to-day operation.
The Spare Tyre
Here’s an important constituent of the car features about to go extinct. The moment one hears of the term ‘spare-tyre’ one cannot place an SUV, a rough-terrain scorcher out of the mind-isn’t it?
Remember the time when several feisty-looking, powerful road-cars came with a spare tire that was clung to its back, akin to a warrior wielding a shield at the back?
It can be said that the jeeps were the custodians of this classic imagery. However, today, nearly a third of the cars produced around the world come minus any spare.
Bumpers protecting the cars
Picture old cars. Picture the Clint Eastwood or any of Steve MacQueen’s seventies epic. Picture the high-speed chases on the freeways or luscious-looking svelte machines raging across the Hollywood hills. The cars of yesteryears essentially came with bumpers that were meant to protect the car from sustained damage.
Although, in any odd day, a collision with the car moving at nearly 5-10 mph would result in the bumper falling harrowingly down the ground. Little wonder then the contemporary cars have come out sans the feature.
Audible turn signals
Many of today’s luxury sedans and SUVs are eschewing the idea of noisy, chirpy sounds that once gave the drivers a reminder to turn off their blinkers. Although, a crucial feature to avoid accidents, modern safety in cars has undergone a paradigm shift and the focus rests more on other safety facets.
Driver-Passenger Window hand-barrels or cranks
An incessant feature of manual cars, it could be said, with great confidence that among the car features about to go extinct completely with the hand-barrel.
Somewhat laborious, it did prove to be a bit of irritant when suddenly the car entered a polluted zone or during times of inclement weather, that gave little chance to evade splashes of rain soiling your clothes.
How impressively, it must be said, has modern technology evidenced rapid change that what was once considered an inherent car-ritual- loading your favorite audio CD whilst on the road- is no longer around!
Such was the ubiquity of the cars in the 2000s, right? But where’s this feature gone today?
The CD player took place of the audio cassette and today; the replacer has been replaced thanks to the changing vagaries of time.
The thumb-drive has presided over a rule of the thumb, hasn’t it?
Simplistic car designs
Whether it is the outer body or the innermost sanctum of the cars, only some of the yesteryears’ cars have stood the tests of time.
For example, one would quote the classic Ferrari F40 or the air-cooled 911.
Those cars neither had complex lines or complicated body structures. Sleek and simple, efficient on the road- weren’t they quite literally from another time?
Today, a marked difference of contemporary car architecture is the sizable chunk of features being under the driver’s palm of control.
Take the venerable MG Hector for example. Can a modern car encompass the features similar to an iPhone’s Siri or the Amazon Alexa?
Yes, to a large extent.