Remember how cars from the '70s and early '80s sucked. There was an 85 horsepower Corvette, and sadness did ensue. It was for a good cause, as cars without catalytic converters produce mush nastier gasses than today's cars, but while the industry was getting used to the new requirements, the cars were really, really terrible.
It looks like we're coming up upon another similar era, as the EU has set a 106 mile per gallon fleet average as a goal for 2025. This won't be measured with the very lenient formula that is currently used in Europe either, it will be measured with the much more accurate World Light Duty Test Procedure, which is designed to accurately predict fuel economy for the majority of customers.
In addition to the fuel economy requirement, manufacturers will need to average 95g/km of carbon emissions or less. Mainstream European manufacturers think this will be a much larger problem for premium carmakers, whose buyers expect larger engines and more power.
Might this be the push needed to make alternate fuel like hydrogen really go mainstream? Might it also drive the cost of a new car up so far that the average person can't hope to own one? Might this make our job of writing about new cars really suck for a few years?