GALLERY: GM's future interior designs

Interior design is one area where GM is lagging behind its European and Japanese rivals, but there's hope just beyond the horizon. Fully aware of its shortcomings, GM has put a new, more focused emphasis on improving the style and quality of its vehicles' interiors and a handful of official computer-generated concept renderings reveal that there's some very innovative thinking going down in Detroit.

The soon-to-be released Cadillac CTS is one such car that has shown what can be done. Its new interior shows a level of craftsmanship and style that not so long ago was limited to the domain of significantly more expensive imports. If all goes to plan, you won't have to shell out big bucks to enjoy a car with a nice cabin, either. These new concept sketches show several interior design elements, one specific to the Chevy and Pontiac brands as well as designs for GM's SUV and trucks.

[Source: Cheers and Gears]

Most of the renderings depict concepts for vehicle center stacks and climate-control systems of the future, but one of the more interesting images reveals a future multi-function key fob with an LCD surface and voice recognition features inspired by none other than Knight Rider's K.I.T.T.

Other drawings preview future designs for the center stack of GM's Lambda-based crossovers, better known as the GMC Acadia, Saturn Outlook and Buick Enclave, as well as a new design for its Chevy Malibu and Saturn Aura models and an upcoming SUV from Cadillac. Another highlight is a configurable instrument cluster with a jewel-like central dial sitting atop an electronic faceplate that can switch between the speedometer, tachometer or navigation system. Not just a pretty face, the designs have some ergonomic benefits, as well. Integrating the vehicle's sat nav screen into the main instrument cluster, for example, would mean drivers no longer have to turn their head away from the road to look up directions.

The latest Cadillacs have shown major improvements in quality and design, and as these new renderings show, there's more in store for the rest of GM's fleet. Now the race is on to see how quickly the systems move from the design studio to the showroom, and hopefully it's sooner rather than later.

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