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Thursday, July 26, 2012

What’s the future of car interiors?

New S-class test mule
I’ve been patiently waiting for one of the car companies to make a bold move in interior design for years now. Every time a new car comes out from one of the German luxury brands, or the self-proclaimed technology leader – Acura, I anticipate a daring design, with large electronic displays and new control systems. They throw us a tech bone here and there, but the layout and controls remain basically the same.

Lexus GS 350
Chevrolet Volt
 I’d like to see new colorful, large touch screens that are easy to operate and provide the car’s data in a way that can be understood at a glance. And how about a joystick instead of a steering wheel? That would open up all kinds of space in front of the driver for the display and operation of secondary controls. We’ve done this in fighter jets and airliners. 
Fisker Carma

This shot of a new S-class test mule’s interior looks promising. The centre stack display seems large, but the steering wheel and the secondary controls are conventional. The new Lexus GS has a beautiful centre display, but overall it’s still a traditional design.

GM was more daring when designing the Chevy Volt. At least they put two fairly large screens with lots of colour in front of the driver. So far the new electric upstarts have the boldest dashboards. The Fisker’s centre stack is pretty good and Tesla’s huge centre screen is very impressive.

So who’s got the nerve to go all the way? We know it’s too late for Mercedes with the new S, but the new CL is not far behind… Can you imagine a new tech version of the personal luxury coupe with a truly innovative interior? I can…

Tesla Model S

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