Mercedes has yet to fully reveal the new 2017 E-Class, but we had the chance to experience the next best thing: a hands-on preview of the interior. After spending some time with the new model, we can safely say it shakes up the game in terms of cabin design and user interface design for luxury cars in its segment. Here are 12 of the most notable design features on the new 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class and our thoughts on each. A pre-production 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class is shown below. An 8-inch display is considered luxurious by today’s standards, but the new E-Class features a 12.3-inch screen. Not just one, but two of them. In fact, the 12.3-inch instrument cluster and 12.3-inch central display screen blend together to form one large, extremely thin unit under a common glass cover with piano lacquer framing. The whole unit can be lit up by ambient lighting, which makes it appear as if the display is floating above the dashboard. Snap Judgment: Home run. The new display is … [Read more...] about The 2017 Mercedes-Benz E-Class: Our Take on 12 New Interior Design Features
Schools for interior design
Beautiful, functional, award-winning interiors. It’s something Lexus is synonymous with, and has been since its inception. So it should surprise no one that the luxury automaker racked up yet another award for interior design at this year’s Detroit Auto Show. Namely, the EyesOn Design Award for “Design Excellence – Interior Design” for the all-new Lexus LC 500. The EyesOn Design Awards honor the very best production and concept vehicles making their auto show debut each year at the North American International Auto Show. Specifically targeting design elements, a panel of judges from around the world comes together to select the winners. Those judges represent not only automotive manufacturer design leaders, but also chiefs from top design schools around the globe. The new, fifth generation LC 500 was designed by Lexus Design Division in Toyota City. The goal when designing the latest iteration was to embody traditional Japanese culture, yet start with a … [Read more...] about 2018 LC 500 Wins EyesOn Design Award
Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar, has been declared Interior Designer of the Year in the Automotive Interiors Expo Awards. The Automotive Interiors Expo Awards celebrate the world’s finest designers, innovations and products in the automotive interiors field. Ian studied Industrial Design at Glasgow School of Art and tailored his talents with a two-year course in Automobile Design at the Royal College of Art. The first car Ian Callum designed fully was the Aston Martin DB7. He was working for Ford at the time, and he was quite literally thrown into the deep end. He was simply asked to design a brand new Aston Martin and left to his own devices. But Ian Callum isn’t one to look back, or the kind to sit on his laurels. Ian joined Jaguar in 1999 and under his direction, Jaguar Design have taken the brand into an exciting new era. Following concepts including the R-Coupe, RD-6 and Advanced Lightweight Coupe, within the space of just three years the Jaguar production range … [Read more...] about Ian Callum, Director of Design, Jaguar wins Interior Designer of the Year Award
If you’re hankering after the new Audi TT, sit tight: this is the cabin that awaits you inside Audi’s new third-gen sports coupe. Although it retains classic TT design cues like triplet central air vents, and the instrument binnacle’s rounded hood, this is a step-change for Audi interior design, nicking cues from the 2013 Sport Quattro concept and pointing to the future of all Ingolstadt’s cockpits.The slim, almost Ferrari 458-like dashboard structure has come about through Audi ditching the central MMI (MultiMedia Interface) screen altogether. So, does that mean no sat-nav or on-board computer in the new TT? Nope – it’s actually migrated to the driver’s instrument panel, creating a 12.3in configurable display that can show a full-screen map, render analogue speedo and rev-counters, or show information about driver assistance systems, in-car entertainment, or access the Internet. Audi claims the HD display produces 3D-effect graphics.By … [Read more...] about Audi TT interior (2014) first official pictures
Paul West of Mahoning Automotive Design is a tenacious guy. While most merely rolled their eyes at Cadillac’s front-drive “XTS” flagship plans, West wasn’t going to take Cadillac’s flailing sitting down. With Mahoning, D&D Classics and some promising industrial design students, he mocked-up an SRX-based study for a potential Cadillac flagship. “We did our best with the prototype,” he says “but only Cadillac can do the idea full justice.” It takes balls for a few upstarts from Ohio to show a major luxury brand how it should be preparing a flagship, and West knows it. But Cadillac’s inability to develop a true flagship gives West’s study a significance that is more than just skin-deep. It’s a provocative, gutsy way to shake up the thinking at Cadillac. And if nothing else it’s provided plenty of food for thought. [West’s complete powerpoint proposal can be found in the gallery below] TTAC: What … [Read more...] about Interview: Paul West and the Search for a Cadillac Flagship
Bill Mitchell, only the second man to head General Motors styling when he took over from the monumental Harley Earl, was not a man about whom people were impartial. GM’s official history reveres him. Harley Earl’s family reviles him. His coworkers and subordinates at GM either loved him or despised the man. Even landmark designs that were signatures of his reign at GM Styling, the split-window 1963 Corvette Sting Ray and the boat tail Rivieras, are polarizing designs that had detractors, including some on the GM Styling staff. He admittedly ran that department like a dictator, though he rarely fired anyone. Mercurial in temper, he’d have screaming fits at his design staff, laced with the most vulgar epithets, then defuse the tension with an offhand joke as he left the room. Shamelessly ambitious and self-promoting, often taking personal credit for his staffs’ designs, had the term “larger than life” not existed, Mitchell would have coined it to … [Read more...] about Was GM Design Head Bill Mitchell A Sexist Bigot?
While Volvo has had the occasional flirtation with performance (the 850R and S60R/V70R twins spring immediately to mind) the Swedish brand is most know for a dedication to safety. It was safety that attracted me to buy my first Volvo, a 1998 S70 T5 (5-speed manual of course), but it was performance that resulted in my second Volvo purchase, a 2006 V70R (6-speed manual). Unlike my Swedespeed.com brothers, however I had no delusions about the future of the R brand as Volvo doubled-down on their core. The R-Design models are a concession to speed freaks with a Swedish soft spot. Let’s see if they can fill the void.Much like Audi, Volvo believes in the “one sausage different lengths” school of design. From the S40 to the S80 and even the XC60, the Volvo “look” of “narrow at the shoulder, broad at the hip” is unmistakable, often imitated and undeniably sexy, in a safe, practical sort of way. While the front overhang on the S60 is long compared to … [Read more...] about Review: 2012 Volvo S60 T6 AWD R-Design Take Two
Update, 9/11: An intrepid, camera-toting pilot managed to capture a more complete-looking Millenium Falcon and an accompanying X-wing fighter while flying over an airfield in Britain. The aerial photo was tweeted by user FlyMAC, and it shows the Falcon prop’s impressive scale, as well as the X-wing’s size and level of finish. If only they could fly for real . . .Yes, we know this has basically nothing to do with cars, but it’s the freaking Millennium Falcon.When word came that Hollywood auteur J.J. Abrams would helm Star Wars: Episode VII, the forthcoming first installment in the long-anticipated sequel trilogy, the series’ fans were concerned that he might rely too heavily on digital sleight of hand to re-create some of the film series’ most iconic vehicles and characters. But Abrams appears to be adhering to the spirit of the original films: Images leaked from a U.K. soundstage and published to TMZ show what appears to be a full-scale … [Read more...] about Spied! Millennium Falcon Being Constructed for Star Wars: Episode VII! [Updated w/ New Photo!]
Car designers are a competitive lot. Some, whose familiar names we hear often, never fail to make the grade. Even though these design superstars often move around from one automaker to another, they nonetheless find themselves sitting at the head of the class no matter where they’re employed. And then there are a few designers whose obscurity is a function of their failure to produce a memorable design. These lesser-known designers probably aren’t in any hurry to bring home their report cards. Holding the grade book for us is Phil Patton, a teacher at the School of Visual Arts in New York and automobile-design writer for the New York Times. On the following pages, Patton’s industry-wide critique calls out the brightest kids in the class, the cheaters, and those who might want to put their heads down on their drafting tables until recess. All of Mr. Patton’s grades for this year are final and, unlike in real school, cannot be negotiated. The … [Read more...] about Car Designers Graded
To paraphrase former editor of GOOD, Cord Jefferson, we Millennials are cold-blooded killers. Whether it’s due to lack of income or interest, few industries have been unaffected by our non-traditional spending habits. The auto industry has been especially vulnerable; I have attended academic conferences and read countless thinkpieces theorizing ways to motivate Millennials to fall in love with automobiles like their parents did. Finding buyers for all of these future cars will be tricky, but there’s a greater problem: If nobody in my generation cares for cars, who will do the work to design them?Even more bleak are the prospects for students who are actually passionate about automobiles. One current transportation design student told me it is easier to get picked for NFL draft than it is to get a job designing cars for a major automaker. In the past, two schools dominated auto design education in America: Detroit’s College for Creative Studies and … [Read more...] about Who Will Design the Cars of the Future?