The Auto Manufacturers hear and obey you, chancel:
At the 2001 New York Auto Show, as well as other national and international shows, both Nissan and Honda introduced concept vehicles based around that very idea -- that younger drivers use their car as a personal space for relaxation, socialization, storage, entertainment and even work, rather than just as a means of transportation.
The concept vehicles (the "Chappo" by Nissan and the Model X by Honda), in a radical departure from the sleek and rounded look of paradigmatic modern car design, are both stout and boxy in shape with large wrap-around windows. The interior has been designed with maximum flexibility and functionality in mind -- i.e. movable, removable and reclining seats, small tables that fold out from the side-wall as well DVD/game/internet consoles and even an in-car digital camera in the Nissan. Rumor has it that in the Honda model, the interior upholstery will be removable so that, when needed, the car can be conveniently hosed out.
The target market for these vehicles is the so-called Generation Y buyers, many of whom will be purchasing their first new cars by the time these vehicles are slated for release in 2005.
Personally, though I'm supposed to be more or less Generation Y, I find that they look a bit like something that the Power Puff Girls would drive -- yet they have an eye-catching, almost pornographic allure to them. These cars will also be billed as perfect cars for the college student lifestyle; now this idea I can agree with: having been sexiled now and then I could have always used some portable work space. (And, conversely, having been displaced now and then by studious (or just plain punk-ass) roommates, I could have used some portable privacy with mood lighting ;-)