Originally Posted by conrad325i
I agree though that there will never gain be a car of the same caliber as the E3x/4x M3s.
Never is a long time
A lot of people said the same thing about cars in the 70s when EPA standards clobbered the hell out of Detroit's offerings. Cars went from 300 HP factory beasts to 170 HP out of 6L V8s. It was terrifying, but look at where we are today.
The E3x couldn't be built today because of two factors:
1) Safety requirements
2) Our current building materials
In order to build a car as light and focused as the E3x, you'd have to either ditch all the extra safety engineering (not possible because of gov't regulation) or use advanced materials (carbon fiber), which is currently too expensive.
Looking toward the future, I think we'll see a second coming of the E3x spirit. I think it might even be an electric. DARPA just introduced a significant program that seeks to improve battery capacity by 5x. A 5x improvement would mean much smaller batteries that deliver the same power.
I also expect that someone will eventually solve the problem of mass production carbon fiber. There's too much money on the table for that problem to go unsolved forever.
Combine advanced battery technology with ultra-light composite materials and you've got a combination that could completely change the way we think about electric vehicles. It could be the second-coming of the enthusiast automobile.