March 27, 2023
Materials and Technology Contribute to These Premium Auto Interiors

Aion Hyper GT

GAC Design recently revealed the interior of its flagship electric grand tourer. In a world of “more is more” the cabin is relatively restrained, with muted tones and limited visible hardware. The focus was instead creating a sanctuary, with traditional interior elements reduced to improve leg room and enhance the feeling of openness. The glovebox has been rethought, for example, boosting space for the front passenger who gets what GAC describes as a “Queen’s Throne” for a seat. As would be expected there are plenty of eco materials in play, but perhaps not the usual synthetic alternatives. There is genuine Nappa leather, sustainably cultivated wood and even wood sourced from the Amazon rainforest (eco-friendly in that selective logging supports healthy growth of the forest canopy). Elsewhere, the so-called “bar counter” design on the central armrest is inspired by organic forms such as the Eames chair. Unlike the iconic 1956 armchair, the bar counter offers 50W wireless fast charging for mobile devices.

2024 Mercedes E-Class

While others withdraw from the trend for ever-bigger touchscreens, Mercedes is doubling down with its new E-Class. Chief design officer Gorden Wagener told CDN that small screens look dated and it is about “the bigger the better” for the brand. That is certainly the case with the interior of the new E-Class, due in late 2023, which sports a huge Hyperscreen-style display that dominates the dashboard. It is slightly different in that there is no curved glass and not all displays are integrated into one surface – there is still a separate, smaller display for the instrument cluster. It will eventually be underpinned by Mercedes-Benz’s own operating system, creatively dubbed MB.OS, which is expected by 2025. Beyond this, the rest of the interior carries the usual blend of premium materials and ambient lighting, with seamless lightbars wrapping around the cabin that accent the doorcards, instrument panel, header and centre console.

Rolls-Royce Phantom Syntopia

This is a high-end project even for Rolls-Royce. Created in collaboration with Dutch fashion designer Iris van Herpen, the Syntopia is described as the most technically concept Phantom ever produced. That’s no small statement, and inside offers an immersive experience based on the theme of being overwhelmed by forces of nature – and more specifically, water. Tailor-made and bespoke on every level, the interior features a luxurious mix of materials; the front seats are upholstered in durable leather while the back row sports a silk-blend fabric. The main attraction is arguably the “weaving water” Starlight headliner, crafted from a single sheet of leather with symmetrical cuts that reveal a silver ‘liquid metal’ texture underneath. This liquid metal is in fact made from woven nylon fabric, the very same that is used in van Herpen’s ‘Embossed Sounds’ fashion line. The weaving water theme continues elsewhere, with flowing ‘petals’ on the dash – attached by hand over the course of 60 hours – and seats that are quilted with a weaving water motif. This is something to be seen in the flesh, we’re sure.

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