The rise of tiny LED projectors, steel-strong composites that bend like rubber, and advanced propulsion systems have given designers the ability to make car interiors that appear as beautiful as we hoped cars of the future would look. And these are more than just concepts, they're all for sale now or coming soon.
While the Frankfurt Motor Show is the world's largest by size, it's typically where automakers show off their important mass-market wares and not fanciful concepts. Therefore, the vehicles they've shown almost all are going to production or have some production intent.
Gaze into the future where you won't mind being stuck in your car and, in fact, you may prefer it.
Porsche 918 Spyder
Key Feature: The cockpit is portioned, star-fighter style, between the driver and the passenger. In between the two of them is a new type of black panel tech that gives full control of the 918 Spyder's controls including the climate, wings, lighting, and infotainment.
How It Will Impact The Future: The Porsche 918 Spyder the fastest hybrid in the world. It looks like sex, goes like stink, and doesn't ruin the planet. It's a race car for the street. It's for sale now. It sets the bar for future performance cars.
Kia Niro Concept
Key Feature: Exterior-mounted cameras controlled by those winglets on the interior of the steering wheel, connected to the onboard computer that allows video to be uploaded directly to the web.
How It Will Impact The Future: While the Kia Niro is a concept-only, automakers like Ford and Nissan have been experimenting with putting more cameras on the exterior of cars. This is a necessity for automated cars and being able to use that equipment to share is a novel idea.
Aston Martin Vanquish Volante
Key Feature: Touch-capacitive glass buttons with haptic feedback turn the car off/on and help the driver switch between features. Aston Martin was the first to use this tech, which is derived from smartphones, on a car.
How It Will Impact The Future: The Aston Martin Vanquish Volante is a lovely sports car from one of the more traditional British brands, but it's far from uptight. This car is for sale now and includes the wild blue interior.
Opel Monza Concept
Key Feature: Rather than a collection of LED screens, this interior uses 18 separate LED protectors to create a car world's first continuous and adaptable multi-function display.
How It Will Impact The Future: While the Opel Monza Concept isn't going into product, this technology is ideal for the car world in many ways and I'm sure Opel's parent company GM is taking notice.
Mercedes Concept S-Class Coupe
Key Feature: While this concept has two 12.3-inch touchscreens and a clever packaging of airbags to give the dashboard more shape, its' those lines on the door that are the most interesting.
Using computer algorithms delicate topographic lines were milled into the metal and mimic the contours of the door-mounted control elements. This creates an interesting light pattern with tiny sparkling highlights. For this creation the designers drew their inspiration from rock formations in Utah, USA. The progressive perforations of the loudspeakers were also generated using algorithms and display some intelligent aesthetics of mathematics.
How It Will Impact The Future: While Mercedes pretends the S-Class Coupe is a concept it's something in the post-Maybach world they'll have to build. These production techniques weren't developed on a lark and those screens are from the production S-Class, meaning this is nearly reality.
Jaguar C-X17 Concept
Key Feature: While everyone focused on the driver this year, Jaguar looked backwards to the rear seats and created a touch-screen entertainment system for those in the backseat.
How It Will Impact The Future: The Jaguar C-X17 is coming as a production car soon and, while this particular feature may not debut initially, it shows the direction Jaguar is going in. The rest of the interior is probably 75% production intent, if not more.
Anything we're missing? Post your favorite future dash into the comments below.