Significant technological changes are challenging automotive manufacturers’ R&D activities. The electrification of the powertrain, connected car features and autonomous driving bring along new requirements for future generations of automobiles and increase the complexity in product development. Coping with this complexity in a strategic and holistic way will be essential to overcome the hurdles successfully and proactively. For this purpose it is necessary to know about future trends and their impact on product development activities in the firm in the context of the resulting complexity. This contribution offers a framework to identify and evaluate complexity and derive the necessary measures for coping with complexity in the development of future product generations. The theoretical cornerstones of this framework, based on the integrated Product engineering Model (iPeM), are the method of roadmapping and the explanation model of Product Generation Engineering (PGE). Together with a basic understanding of complexity, future product developments are evaluated over several generations and the requirements they have for future product development, thus examining the resulting complexity. ... mehrBy these steps this contribution allows to set the course for an efficient R&D, dealing with future challenges at an early stage in the new Product Generation Engineering.