This paper presents material and design requirements for future bumper applications to meet the challenges future styling changes will bring. Automotive composites applications have increased steadily over the past several years. Composite bumper beams are becoming more common due to the increased number of low volume vehicles and to the greater emphasis toward weight reduction. Typical bumper systems and impact bars are presented with advantages and disadvantages shown. The competing composite materials are compared with each other and to the current dominate bumper material, steel. Material, processing, and design developments are needed in composites to be competitive with current steel and future 'World Class' steel. Composite materials are needed with increased stiffness, strength, and thermal stability. A competitive piece cost target for composite bumper beams is two dollars per pound of material used. The glass preform reinforced composites best meet the stiffness, stability, and cost criteria in the expanding bumper field.