Winter 2020

Noted...

After a tumultuous year to say the least, carmakers have looked to finish 2020 on a high by launching new production and concept vehicles. Those with particularly noteworthy interiors that didn’t quite make it into the main Interior Motives magazine are featured here. 

Mini Vision Urbanaut concept

A digital-only concept vehicle, the Mini Vision Urbanaut concept is designed to highlight innovative ways in which interior space can be maximised. The team at Mini designed the concept from the inside out. They used floor plans and pieces of furniture to inform decisions for the inside, before moving to wooden scale models to identify the overall size of the concept. They also used augmented reality throughout the process to examine work in the digital realm.

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Toyota Mirai

Toyota has completely redesigned its Mirai fuel cell electric vehicle (FCEV). It now comes with an ultra-modern interior, dominated by screens and plush materials. A 12.3-inch centre screen is angled towards the driver and acts as an extension to the smaller instrument cluster screen behind the steering wheel. A newly developed chrome with copper finish dissects the softer materials and brings clarity and shape to the dash, while multi-colour lighting functionality creates atmosphere. There is also the option of a two-tone interior finish as well as beige or grey stitching.

Building the concept

Nissan Note

The new Nissan Note has been launched in Japan and is the latest model to be subject to the company’s ‘Timeless Japanese Futurism’ design language. It is the third iteration of the model, but the first to come equipped with an all-electric powertrain. Two enormous screens and a floating centre console ensure a modern feel for the interior. The middle layer of the three-tiered dash is finished in textured plastic that looks like carbon fibre, giving way to narrow air vents at the far sides. Leather is used here and there, though most of the dash is made up of black matt plastic. The seats are the only missing piece of the modern puzzle. Their striped black and white covers look ancient, but Nissan says they feature ‘Zero Gravity’ technology to enhance comfort.

Infiniti QX55

Infiniti has always strived for luxury on the inside of its vehicles, and the QX55 is no different. The interior is adorned with high-end materials, most of which is semi-aniline leather that shows off its natural quality. Chrome breaks things up, accenting certain areas. There is a chrome line starting on the doors and running the width of the dash, interrupted only by the steering wheel and the small upper screen with adjoining air vents. The two-tone centre console has an unusual shape. It is dissected in half with a long diagonal line. The black leather part includes the gear stick, parking brake, start button and some storage, while a drive mode dial sits on the red leather section before it narrows and rises to meet the dash, wrapping around one side of the main lower touchscreen. It seems to section the screen and driving area off from the front passenger, putting an emphasis on the driver’s seat and position.

Car Design Dialogues

December saw the launch of Car Design Dialogues, CDN’s two-day virtual event, which saw car brands such as Cadillac, FCA, Lucid and Hummer present in depth design reviews of their latest vehicles, plus live interviews and panel discussions. Broad themes that emerged included how best to resurrect a long dormant car name without slipping into pastiche, what luxury means in the era of eco-conscious design and whether the future of transport is in the skies. It is now possible to watch all the videos on demand here.