At the annual Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) World Congress this week, speakers and members outlined what powertrains and alternative fuel sources will move tomorrow's vehicles.

All agreed the gasoline engine will continue to dominate the North American market, the world's largest, until at least 2020. However, with technologies such as direct injection and turbocharging, the future gasoline engine may scarcely be recognizable as it delivers fuel economies nearly equal to today's best diesel. As for diesel, panelists noted such engines, which already dominate in Europe, will constitute around 25-percent of cars sold in the U.S. within 15 to 20 years.

Interestingly, everyone was in agreement that hybrids such as the Toyota Prius would probably never go fully mainstream in the market. Even Toyota representative Dave Hermance stated that a 25-percent share would be 'optimistic.'

Other powertrain technologies discussed were BMW's lean-burn engines and hybrid types. 

Where do you see future powertrains? Fire away in Comments.

[Source: The Car Connection]