Car Interior Design Overhauls

Car Interior Design Overhauls

Think a silky engine and uber-glitzy exterior shell are all it takes to sell a new car? Oftentimes, you'd be wrong. The real key to selling a car is its interior. With data increasingly showing that car interiors are one of biggest selling points, carmakers have turned their focus to interiors in a bid to attract new buyers. Here are nine of the most dynamic rehabs undertaken on new-model cars. We were not surprised to find that GM has four models listed.
Honda Civic

Honda Civic

Brief: Become a benchmark

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.
Honda Civic

Honda Civic

Features: Electro-luminescent spectral lighting, voice-activated DVD player, generous dash space, smaller steering wheel, spacious center console.

Result: Modernized without losing appeal to repeat buyers
Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

Brief: Build on heritage, execute with precision

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.
Chevrolet Corvette

Chevrolet Corvette

Features: Gorgeous two-tone bucket leather seats. Retains sporting look but feels like a cruiser.

Result: Best 'Vette yet?
Lexus 460

Lexus 460

Brief: Incisive simplicity, intriguing elegance and seamless anticipation

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.
Lexus 460

Lexus 460

Features: "I-package" includes semi-aniline leather seats, wood grain and heated steering wheel, the world's first cabin oxygen-level sensor and four-zone, pollen-minimizing AC. With multiple storage points and an extra five inches of room in the back of the long-wheelbase variant, it's like traveling first-class in a private jet.

Result: Expect it to outsell its BMW and Mercedes rivals at the top end.
Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado

Brief: Vastly improve every aspect of interior quality

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.
Chevrolet Silverado

Chevrolet Silverado

Features: Three trim levels, from workman's vinyl wipe-down seats on the basic to full-leather bucket seats and wood trim on the top-of-the-line LTZ.

Result: 2007 North American Truck of the Year winner
Volvo S80

Volvo S80

Brief: Elegance, alertness and smooth movement

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.
Volvo S80

Volvo S80

Features: Smooth contours. Rectangular vents/panels with rounded corners. Sat-nav system pops out of the dash. Can you say Bang and Olufsen stereo?

Result: A welcome break from sister Ford's ubiquitous spare-parts bin styling. Set bar high for C70 redevelopment.
Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

Brief: Rejuvenate and refresh

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.
Toyota Camry

Toyota Camry

Features: Ergonomically sound switchgear similar to high-class Avalon, power leather seats, tapered central stack.

Result: Almost everybody's Car of the Year on its 2007 rollout
Cadillac CTS

Cadillac CTS

Brief: Avant-garde excellence

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.
Cadillac CTS

Cadillac CTS

Features: Intricately paneled seating, Sat-nav, which shows real-time traffic, pops out of top of center stack. The interior feels roomier than it is, with generous storage space. Mix of wood and chrome details. Sculpted, vertical air vents.

Result: Look for the CTS's successful interior design template to be rolled out across the range
Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu

Brief: Very iconic, very Chevrolet

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.
Chevrolet Malibu

Chevrolet Malibu

Features: Lots of dual-tone leather. Details include tipped leather and aluminum trim separating colors and textures. Innovative central console lends integrated storage space. Luminescent lighting creates harmony and mood.

Result: Spectacular for a mid-size
  List
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