Ethernet technology using a single unshielded twisted pair (UTP) is considered to have a promising future in the automotive industry. While 100Mbps transmission speeds can be achieved with standard connector platforms, 1Gbps requires specific design rules in order to ensure error free transmissions. This paper explains the specific challenges for high speed UTP solutions applied in automotive environments. Automotive relevant signal integrity (SI) and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) connector limitations are also discussed in detail. Through simulations and testing, the connector design criteria and rules necessary for meeting all the electrical and mechanical requirements for such automotive applications are evaluated and shown. This is followed by the introduction of a modular and scalable MATEnet Ethernet connection system utilizing an optimized cable termination technology. Lastly, the electrical performance of this hardware will be demonstrated with both component and link level testing results.