Study: car evolution trends

Car classification in Europe is not officially regulated, instead, it is defined in relative size with other cars.

Today the average lifetime of a car model is 6 years for compact and medium cars and 8 years for mini and luxury cars. Is normal for cars to grow over years, as technology advance and more gadgets should be included under body, but in Europe since 1990s, the cars are growing crazy with about 10-20 cm per model change, which is exaggerate, based on technology evolution, 5 mm per year is enough. This non-natural grow causes companies to abandon large models and introduce new smaller models below existing models.

Some brands do not follow the common class sizes, making cars with intermediate sizes, these are usually considered being part of the smaller class, causing further increase in size of car classes.

Seems that all European companies wants to make a car bigger than competitor’s cars of same class. This leads to 2 cm / year increase in average car length in each class. The cars get fatter also in width, this is an issue for parking design, since in most countries the parking lots are 2.5 m width, most compact cars were under 1.7 m width in 1998 but since 2008 most are over 1.8 m.

Toyota lineup Japan

How many distinct car models are being produced in the world?

The answer of above question depends by how do you define “one model”.

Should we count BMW 3-Series as one model? Should we count each body type (compact, saloon, touring, coupe, cabrio)? Should we count each engine version (318i, 320i, 325i, 330i, 335i, 316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d, 335d, M3, in case of 3-Series E90)? Should BMW M3 or BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo be counted as submodels of 3-Series or as separate models?

Porsche 911 too many models

Carmakers produce too many models?

The number of models produced by each car manufacturer increased over years, modular platforms allow car markers to produce a large number of models with little cost, creating new niches to cater different types of buyers. But is this really necessary? How long this trend can continue until they realize that have too many models?

If you make a saloon on a platform, and a wagon on a platform, why not make a crossover? Why not make a slightly sportier version of that crossover? Why not make a really sporty version of that crossover? Why not make a coupé version of that crossover? Why not make a slightly sporty version of that coupé version of that crossover based on the saloon? Why not make a really sporty version of the slightly sporty version of that coupé version of that crossover based on the saloon?

Maybach

Biggest cars

If you are an architect and designing parking garages you may ask how big are the biggest cars. Biggest mass-produced cars are today in 5.1-5.3 meters range, such as Audi A8, BMW 7-Series, Jaguar XJ, Lexus LS, Mercedes S-Class. However, there are few even bigger cars produced in low numbers, some over 6 meters long, they are listed in this article.

Car classification

Car classification in Europe is not officially regulated, instead, it is defined in relative size with other cars. Since 1990s, the cars in Europe are growing in length with about 10-20 cm per model change. Seems that all European companies wants to make a car bigger than competitor’s cars of same class, increasing car class standards with about 2 cm per year, which is exaggerate, based on technology evolution, 5 mm per year is enough.