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Electrification is bringing flexibility to mechanical layouts. How much will mainstream cars change? 

“Depends how far you want to push. The opportunities are great: a wheel at each corner, shorter overhangs, more flexibility around the apertures, even changes to where you put the occupants. Up to now, that big lump in the nose has controlled almost everything. We’re looking beyond 2028 right now, and the opportunities are great. But it’s still a matter of designing cars people like.”

How far ahead do you look? 

“For us, a 10-year horizon is about right, and the sheer breadth of future opportunities put a lot of strain on your engineering and your opportunity to invest. You can’t make big decisions too far out because the pace of change might catch you out.” 

Hot hatches have been crucial over past decades, both for image building and selling cars. How will they fare in future? 

“They’ll be around, but they’ll change. Our GS-e line will appear soon to show our view. Cars like them will have strong performance, but it won’t be explosive. The opportunities to use huge power are in decline. But driving enjoyment must and will survive. We’ll concentrate on driving enjoyment, responsiveness, agility – stuff like that.”

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