New car mirror regulations give designers a headache

Munich. New European Union regulations for exterior mirrors are giving car designers a headache.

The new rules stipulate that car mirrors will have to reflect a one-meter wide strip of the road behind a car.

The regulations, to be implemented from the beginning of 2006, mean that mirrors could grow by up to 20-30mm.

Car designers fear bigger mirrors will spoil the lines of their carefully crafted designs.

"It will become more difficult to find a harmonic way of fitting the exterior mirrors into the design," says Audi designer Garry Telaak.

Increasing the size of car mirrors will have an effect on both the cross-sectional area of a vehicle and drag coefficient.

This could increase a car's fuel consumption at a time when automakers are seeking to improve fuel efficiency to meet their obligations to reduce CO2 emissions.

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