Feeling Good

Feeling Good

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
07 Apr 2013

While I applaud their efforts in improving safety (this should never be compromised) and optimizing performance at the limits of the cars’ envelope (although this appeals to the petrolheads more than anyone else), it does leave me wondering why car manufacturers do not strive to accord their interiors similar treatment. The majority of car journeys are carried out in safe conditions, and at a leisurely pace. Most of the time, drivers are concerned with comfort and being cossetted as they potter along. Tell the average driver that 3000 parts in the 2013 Lexus LS460 have been changed and he’d be hard pressed to identify 50 of them. You'll also be met by a blank stare if you let him know that the revised version of the Porsche Doppelkupplungsgetriebe (PDK) transmission used in the Panamera class differs from the PDK used in the Carrera range with the Panamera variant having its internal shafts mounted above the input shaft so as to achieve a lower centre of gravity and, it uses just one oil circuit, instead of two.

However, soft plastics, highly polished wood surfaces, ergonomically designed switchgear and simple innovations (the cupholders and the “night panel” function in the Saab 9-5, for example) are met with nods of approval. Audi has realized how vital the field of human factors engineering is and as a result, its entire model range as been kitted with premium finishes with almost any review of an Audi usually including some effusive praise about its princely surroundings. Drivers need to match their expectations too, of course. We will not be seeing the Toyota Vios having the same customization options as a Bentley, and machined aluminium and carbon fiber are not about to replace plastic as the dashboard material of choice; but it may be time for carmakers to invest a bit more effort into making the car’s living space more… well…. liveable.

This will promote brand loyalty, save drivers from having to visit 3rd party workshops for window glazing, sound insulation and audio enhancements and generally result in a more holistic approach to car design. It also helps drivers to enjoy their cars in the 95% of the time when all they really want is a quiet place to call theirs as they make their separate journeys. They could take a leaf from Range Rover, whose Range Rover Evoque Special Edition With Victoria Beckham has been a resounding success.

Perhaps in some cases, we may just need more show, and less go.


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