Four years from now, vehicles emerging from the world's design studios will be more aerodynamic -- and more sculpted.

Extreme design will be out of favor. You'll see fewer bumps and bulges and asymmetrical shapes, the kinds of things that kept popping up in the past decade.

Glitzy, blinged-out headlights may disappear, too, but in general front ends will be more distinctive and more expressive of the brand. Wheels could be smaller, and downsized engines may allow for shorter overhangs and longer wheelbases.

But above all, designers toiling away today are driven by the need to smooth the progress of air flow over the body surface. Yes, aerodynamics is once again dictating design, though not in the way it did 30 years ago, in the era of jelly bean cars.