Close coupled catalysts and new ceramic catalyst substrates have significantly improved the light-off performance of automotive converters required to meet stringent emission requirements. The hotter environment of these catalytic converters and the lower structural strength of the ceramic substrates require the rethinking of converter designs. The development of new package requirements to accommodate the change in environment and new substrates are discussed. A historical perspective on converter durability is presented as reference. Development of durability test protocols is essential to verifying product durability performance to these new environments. Data collection and documentation of testing templates are shown to demonstrate the effectiveness of tests that represent real world environments. Design improvements to address failure modes are discussed along with durability improvement results.