May 17, 2024
New Approaches to Vehicle Design
 
Four years after its initial launch, Aston Martin’s DBX707 has been given an all-new interior. A super bright CMF theme matches the magma exterior finish and touches virtually every element of the cockpit, draping the seats, upper and lower IP, armrest, steering wheel and doorcards in a tangerine-orange glow. Elsewhere, carbon fibre inserts and glossy black metallic surfaces, are outlined by thin strips of chrome.

There is a new infotainment system and more of a balanced HMI that is as physical as it is digital, complete with single- and multi-finger gesture control, consisting of a 12.3-inch driver instrument cluster and a separate 10.25-inch central display screen. Physical buttons are still present for driving mode selection, heating and ventilation, suspension, ESP and exhaust, lane keep assist and park distance control. Also, a new three-spoke steering wheel design with a flat bottom houses a couple of extra control switches, while the D-pull door handles and vertical air vents have also been redesigned.
Visually striking with a unique silhouette, the Italdesign Quintessenza concept pickup-cum-coupe is exceptionally long and tall with a 3,240mm wheelbase and 24-inch wheels. Stepping away from the brutal ruggedness and hardwearing functionality of many current models on the market, the Quintessenza instead takes its cues from smaller cars and is plush with soft surfaces, slick lighting and even an embedded projection system that displays information in place of a standard screen.

There is also a haptic controller on the floating centre console which lights up when in use and dims when it is not needed. A dock system is found behind the racing-like steering wheel and can be used to house a smartphone to serve as a driver cluster, displaying different information depending on installation when connected to the vehicle. Perhaps the most endearing element is the swivelling seat functionality on the truck bed, allowing space for two more passengers to ride in the open air and stretch out.
Offering an idea of how future VW SUVs will look, the Volkswagen ID. Code concept seems to blend SUV and coupe design cues and was the result of teams in China and Europe working together, although it is designed specifically for customers in China. A minimalist and roomy interior is characterised by the sweeping tiered IP that cocoons the occupants in three layers. The top is a display screen that stretches from A-pillar to A-pillar and houses the AI-based avatar that serves to help with information and instructions.

A second narrow shelf rises upwards at the doors to include a linear ladder-like lighting design, reminiscent of scales or waves. The third layer is a soft grey block from which the futuristic steering wheel extends. Floating centre consoles sit between the front and rear swivelling seats, both of which are complete with large touch screens that can nestle away underneath. The seats can also be moved to a sleeping position to create what VW calls a “mobile living space”.
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