The car as a self-contained microcosm is undergoing radical changes due to the advances of electronic technology. We need to rethink what a "car'' really is and the role of electronics in it. Electronics is now essential to control the movements of a car, of the chemical and electrical processes taking place in it, to entertain the passengers, to establish connectivity with the rest of the world, to ensure safety. What will an automobile manufacturer's core competence become in the next few years? Will electronics be the essential element in car manufacturing and design? We will address some of these issues and we will present some important developments in the area of system design that can strongly impact the way in which a car is designed.