Earlier today I wrote about the latest version of the Ariel Atom, and I have to say the one thing I wasn’t expecting to be that impressed about on the car was its instrument cluster. But, as usual, I was wrong! The new Atom 4 has a fantastic instrument cluster, an all LCD one that’s not hampered with needless and silly fake-analog skeuomorphism. I hope this catches on beyond niche cars like this.
I don’t think they’re getting enough credit for this, really. Especially that simple and effective fuel gauge solution with the little donut there. Very effective and easy to understand.
It looks appealing, too, managing to be clean and simple without feeling sterile, largely thanks to some good typographic choices. Sure, Ariel has it a bit easy, since they don’t have to worry about HVAC systems or infotainment or nav, but a lot of that stuff would be center-stack screen material on a more conventional car, anyway.
There’s not many cars that completely eschew traditional gauge designs on their all-digital screens. Usually, we get stuff like what you see on the right there.
There are a few, though, like Tesla’s Model 3, which famously has that large centrally-mounted LCD monitor for the entire instrument cluster and everything else. That display looks like this:
If you’re not using the nav, that’s a lot of screen real estate to take up. It’s hard to find essential information on here, and some of the most important bits of information, like battery level and range, is surprisingly small and gets lost in the mix.
So, with all this in mind, I’m even more impressed with the Atom’s dash design. Maybe an Atom really is a sensible next car?