The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

A driver generally needs particular information to operate a car safely, but no one ever said that information had to be presented in a boring way. Throughout automotive history designers have used the latest technology to make dazzling displays. These are Jalopnik readers' picks for the ten strangest computerized driver-data interfaces.

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Photo Credit: Peugeot

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays


10.) Audi Quattro

Suggested By: E39Ed

Why it displays something strange: A rare odd misstep from the Vorsprung durch Technik folks in Ingolstadt. After a few years of legend-building, someone decided that the perfect instrument panel for a street-legal rally car was a digital display scarily similar to later Lincoln applications. "Incongruent" is an understatement.

Photo Credit: Audi

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

9.) Honda Civic Si

Suggested By: valdaviper1

Why it displays something strange: Once upon a time Honda made the best instrument panels in the business — period. They were straightforward, immediately understandable, and aesthetically appealing. Cut to the present day, where Honda isn't what it used to be and this twin-tiered pod monstrosity (with VTEC gauge!) busily tries to impress the Xbox generation while old-school types are stuck relearning everything.

Photo Credit: Honda

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

8.) Pontiac 6000STE

Suggested By: Jonee

Why it displays something strange: Crazy-bad: The first of two GM entries is perhaps one of the most lackluster, unambitious instrument setups ever devised. Admittedly, in the Eighties gray plastic had a certain industrial cool. In the Eighties Michael Jackson also had trendsetting taste in leather jackets. Neither fad has aged at all well, and the dash of the otherwise-likeable Pontiac remains a sore point.

Photo Credit: Pontiac


7.) Renault 11

Suggested By: alan505

Why it displays something strange: If you don't speak German, a rough interpretation: that robovioce is saying is something along the lines of absolutely everything that can go wrong with your car. The dash likewise needs a bit of translation.

Standing rule: If the word "weird" appears in the title, a French car is on the list somewhere.

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

6.) Subaru XT

Suggested By: hexagonist

Why it displays something strange: It would be a terrible missed opportunity if Subaru's cruising-Gundam cyberwedge hadn't had a wacky-sci-fi interior to match its looks and technical spec. Happily the company's designers obliged, and the XT appropriately carries the most sterotypically gaudy convergent-perspective dash of the whole fleet of Eighties Japanese techno-sportsters.

Photo Credit: jah~

5.) Buick Riviera/Reatta

Suggested By: Drachen

Why it displays something strange: Our second GM winner is the opposite of the STE's lackluster arrangement. We now take touchscreens for granted, but in 1988 the ECC (Electronic Control Center) was amazing stuff...that made you hunt around and figure out which sector of the screen you had to press in order to get the evening market reports instead of, like, watching the road. "Tactile feedback" became a big thing after — and because of — this.

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

4.) Vector W8

Suggested By: hexagonist

Why it displays something strange: Gerald Wiegert's star-crossed supercar project remains a lesson in how a brilliant general idea gets hampered by really bad decisions. The use of a hard-to-read, fighter-plane-ish moving-tape display that was all show and no real improvement over traditional gauges was probably as wrong-headed as the sill-shifted three-speed automatic transmission. The rest of the interior is pretty bleak, too.

Photo Credit: Mike Sawyer via Wikipedia

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

3.) Aston Martin Lagonda

Suggested By: SennaMP4

Why it displays something strange: The original dashboard of the immense, avant-garde Lagonda was about as traditionally English as a Korean taco. The car's interior featured the state-of-the-art in Seventies personal tech, all touchpads and CRT screens and ultramodern design. (The reliability of the whole setup was still very English, unfortunately.) Much more SPECTRE than James Bond, and still jawdroppingly odd today.

Photo Credit: Bill Kwok

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

2.) Lamborghini Reventon

Suggested By: For Sweden

Why it displays something strange: Lamborghini apparently decided that its hyperexclusive Murciélago derivative needed a few extra somethings to justify its painfully high (around $1.5 million) asking price, so it borrowed a dashboard from the 22nd century. Impressive as hell, admittedly, but we challenge anyone to figure out what is going on here.

Photo Credit: David W.

The Ten Craziest In-Car Digital Displays

1.) Pagani Zonda R

Suggested By: Defender90

Why it displays something strange: Pagani definitely has their own ideas about style, and it's not just about odd proportions and insectoid headlamps. The driver of a Zonda R looks out over a truly unique information display, combining a Digitek data center with a tachometer in the steering-wheel hub. Practical? Not really. Influential? We hope not. Fascinatingly weird? Totally.

Photo Credit: Motohide Miwa