Car Interior Design Overhauls
Design: Honda's traditionally roomy front cabins are no longer enough to stand out in the red-hot compact market. Honda's in-house design team radicalized the Civic's interior with a two-tier instrument panel and commitment to technology by way of advanced lighting treatments and MP3/iPod compatible stereo. The interior is roomy and comfortable with lots of storage space.
Result: Modernized without losing appeal to repeat buyers
Design: The new Corvette was built on a dual-cockpit heritage, with "flowing, wraparound upper feature line and two-tone split between the upper and lower instrument panel," says Eric Clough, C6 interior design chief. The modular groupings of switchgear and lots of padded, ridged leather panels led they way for interior design hints of Cadillac CTS.
Result: Best 'Vette yet?
Design: In its fourth incarnation since its 1989 release, Lexus' luxury flagship sedan has long sought to compete with BMW and Mercedes. Now, the 460s ultra-plush yet highly functional interior overseen by Lexus' takumi, Japanese for master craftsmen, rivals a Bentley's. The style of the cabin is luxurious, intuitive and human-focused.
Result: Expect it to outsell its BMW and Mercedes rivals at the top end.
Design: Lagging in interior distinction through its long history, the new-model Silverado is a different beast inside under the guidance of GM design chiefs Ed Welburn Dennis Burke. Plain surfaces became curved, textured and functional, material gaps were painstakingly closed or narrowed and the instrument panel lowered, to create the feel of a luxury SUV.
Result: 2007 North American Truck of the Year winner
Design: A massive leap forward on the inside and outside, the S80 under design chief Steve Mattin mixed and mashed modern design flair with traditional Scandinavian luxury, clean lines and uncluttered functionality. The floating central console is key to flow between dash to driver. Designers sought "inspiration from natural surroundings," Mattin said.
Result: A welcome break from sister Ford's ubiquitous spare-parts bin styling. Set bar high for C70 redevelopment.
Design: How do you improve old faithful, attract a new audience while keeping repeat buyers happy? Camry chief engineer Kosaku Yamada aimed to break the car's tradition of "tumara nai", which is Japanese for "that which is uninspired". The in-house design team aimed to increase cabin space by pushing the cowl forward and increased headroom width through a wider cabin.
Result: Almost everybody's Car of the Year on its 2007 rollout
Design: First Cadillac to boast an integrated, wedge-shaped center stack, which former GM interior design chief David Rand said lends "aggressive flow via one continuous, sweeping line." Gorgeously supportive, leather-wrapped seating provides a great view of the Caddy's improved dial-cluster graphics and precision-cut switchgear.
Result: Look for the CTS's successful interior design template to be rolled out across the range
Design: Interiors specialist Dave Lyons got to work on perhaps GM's most audacious rehab, taking styling hints from previous Malibus ÔøΩ we know, there can't be that many -- mainly from the '50s and '60s. The car was also influenced by the Corvette Stingray's twin, racing cockpit. The result: a mid-size sedan that gives unexpected quality and craftsmanship.