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Key designer of the utlimate male American icon sports car is a British woman

Helen Emsley says she has been designing interiors for General Motors vehicles for nearly 20 years, first in Europe for GM's Opel (in Europe) and Holden (in Australia) brands, and for the last 14 years in Detroit.

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The Touchskin interface has beeen on display since last October; now it's at a stage where Magna is shopping it to automakers. Although Magna is the marquee name, the various components that comprise Touchskin are produced by nine companies: Plastic Electronics, Engel Mould Technologies, Schöfer, Magna Exteriors and Interiors, Hueck, Niebling, Votteler, Hennecke Polyurethane and formquadrat.

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Michael Arbaugh, chief designer of Ford interiors, describes center console space as "oceanfront property" – already fully populated, with more tenants trying to move in every year. Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Arbaugh said one tenant he'd like to evict is the CD player because it's dead weight for audio Luddites.

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Michael Arbaugh, chief designer of Ford interiors, describes center console space as "oceanfront property" – already fully populated, with more tenants trying to move in every year. Speaking to the Automotive Press Association in Detroit, Arbaugh said one tenant he'd like to evict is the CD player because it's dead weight for audio Luddites.

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Ford and the Scotts Miracle-Gro Company are researching the use of coir (coconut fiber) as a reinforcement for the automaker's molded plastic components. The coconut coir (or husks, as they are more commonly called) currently make up a waste stream from Scotts' soil and seed division.

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2012 Ford Grand C-Max: Disappearing middle seat – Click above to watch video after the jump

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2010 Lexus HS250h – Click above for high-res imgae gallery

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Most everyone is familiar with the Ward's Auto 10 Best Engines award where BMW, Audi and Ford took several honors for 2010, but a less prominent, though perhaps more eye-catching, award given by the magazine is the Ward's Interior of the Year awards.

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The field of car design has been about as stable as an active volcano lately, with several major automakers replacing their design chiefs in quick succession. Over the past couple of weeks, Volvo's styling guru Steve Mattin quit, and he was replaced by Ford designer Peter Horbury, whose post in turn was taken up by Moray Callum. Before that, Volkswagen designer Derek Jenkins defected to Mazda, while Mazda's chief designer Laurens van der Acker was replaced by Ikuo Maeda. But in advance of all th

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Click above to watch video after the jump

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