The only retrograde step I feel sure we won’t make (ha, I’ve said it now), is in the materials we build cars from and furnish them with. The Daimler weighed a tonne (literally), with wooden wheels, metal and glass lamps, and huge leather guards arching over the wheels.
The i8 is a supreme example of how light, yet how strong, chassis are getting, with a carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) tub and exceptional dynamic composure through the corners. And look at Bentley, in particular, for the attention focused on sustainable materials as well as those that are merely light and strong. They frequently wheel out Stefan Sielaff, their Design Director, on numerous occasions to talk about the sustainable materials they are looking at, like protein leathers, stone veneers, textiles and so on. A walnut burr veneer or a hide-bound seat from the rarest cows will command an unimaginable premium in a few years’ time; they’ll be the bespoke options in commissioning suites.