The industry has a strong demand for sophisticated requirements engineering (RE) methods in order to manage the high complexity of requirements specifications for software-intensive embedded systems and ensure a high requirements quality. RE methods and techniques proposed by research are only slowly adopted by the industry. An important step to improve the adoption of novel RE approaches is to gain a detailed understanding of the needs, expectations, and constraints that RE approaches must satisfy. We have conducted an industrial study to gain an in-depth understanding of practitioners’ needs concerning RE research and method development. The study involved qualitative interviews as well as quantitative data collection by means of questionnaires. We report on the main results of our study related to five aspects of RE approaches: the use of requirements models, the support for high system complexity, quality assurance for requirements, the transition between RE and architecture design, and the interrelation of RE and safety engineering. Based on the results of the study, we draw conclusions for future RE research.