Or in other words: ugly cars. As CO2 emission rules get tougher, design might have to be sacrificed in favor of optimal aerodynamics and better fuel efficiency, according to VW Group design boss Walter de Silva.

He warns, in an interview with Autonews Europe that vehicles with complex, cluttered design could arrive before the end of the decade.

“While my view on simplicity won’t change, I fear stricter emission rules may permit a resurgence of decoration and graphics that are not aesthetically pleasing,” de Silva says.

“While there are multiple ways, such as using different materials, to reduce weight, aerodynamics is not an art, it is a science. A wind tunnel does not care about brand image or family feeling, it just measures the model’s aerodynamic performance, its drag coefficient,” VW’s design boss explains.

“Their proportions and their side views are almost identical. The only way to distinguish one from the other is with graphic elements,” the designer says.