In many cars, some features are absolutely useless for most people’s needs – that’s just the nature of the beast. But sometimes, you come across a design detail or amenity you wish was in every vehicle. Here are some of our Driving experts’ favourites – whether we wanted to admit them or not.
I am going to be terribly boring in this case, but my favourite feature in modern cars is the backup camera. I just got tired of running over garbage cans, scratching fenders on posts and trading paint with other cars in grocery parking lots. But I don’t need one of those fancy overhead-view cameras giving me a 360-degree view of the entire car; I can figure out where the doors and front fenders are.
Can you keep a secret? David Booth can’t live without backup cameras
That being said, I really do need some eyes and ears – as in sonic alerts – back there. Just give me a sharp and crisp wide-angle view, and maybe some of those computer-generated lane guides, and I am good to go.
I doubt I’ll ever see leather straps holding a hood in place like the ones on the Pagani Huayra. You can close your eyes and point to any part of this supercar and find something special, but it’s the use of leather – rather than steel – that makes the biggest impact.
The leather straps on the Pagani Huayra are pure art
Maybe it’s the unexpected texture in unexpected places, but bespoke luggage built in behind the seats, soft leather accents all over the interior and those belted straps seemingly attaching the hood remind you that you’re looking at a handmade car.
I’m also a fan of the lighting revolution we seem to be undergoing; while moving to LEDs is industry wide, BMW, Audi and Mercedes are having fun with faces. Look for eyebrows and moustaches in lighting arrangements, a literal wink to designers having a little fun.
It’s rare that you’ll see anything done in a mainstream crossover that you’d categorize as daring, but there’s one little detail in the Mazda CX-3 that’s unique. Right in the centre of the dashboard, designers have elected to go with an asymmetrical vent design – the passenger’s side gets a horizontal slat, while the driver’s side gets a round vent to flank the instrument panel.
Mainstream crossovers are hardly daring, but the Mazda CX-3 has some stylish touches
That’s a pretty small thing to notice and the CX-3 comes with a few ergonomic quirks that might have been sorted out first, but as far as crafting a level of design into a mass-market automobile, it’s the little details like these that you notice every day.
I am a huge fan of the ubiquitous shift lever (or gear selector, for you posh types), an item so obviously necessary yet usually ignored. Get in the car, put it in Drive and then forget about it again until you place it in Park.
The Mazda MX-5 Miata’s stubby, well-weighted shifter is a thing of beauty
Lately, I’ve seen the common console-mounted lever replaced by gimmicky affectations such as the push-button shifter found in some Lincolns and Acuras, to name a few. Then there’s the hockey puck-like silver knob in some Jaguars that rises majestically from the console, waiting to be twisted into action.
However, since I prefer driving cars with manual transmissions, I absolutely love the oversized leather-covered ball atop the stubby lever found in the latest Mazda MX-5 Miata. With a short throw and precise gates, rowing the shifter through the gears is an absolute joy even if it’s becoming a dying art. A pox on steering wheel paddle shifters!
Keys are cool. Consider the Bugatti Veyron’s so-called Top Speed Key. It unleashes all of the power and some very odd forces — the valve stem cap, which weighs around a gram when the car is parked, weighs 7.5 kilograms when subjected to the forces at top speed. However, for me the trick feature belongs to GM’s Performance Data Recorder, as found in many cars, such as the Chevrolet Corvette and Cadillac ATS-V.
Using a forward-facing camera mounted behind the rearview mirror, plus the GPS navigation system and onboard sensors, the system measures everything from lap times, speed, G-forces and the gear selected, to throttle and brake positions in real time. The driver can even choose how much of this information is overlaid over the finished video. Opting for Cosworth’s Toolbox allows the laps to be parsed in minute degree — be warned, though, because it will tell you your track skills are more imaginary than real. The unspoken advantage is it acts as a regular dash cam, complete with in-car audio.
Honda’s LaneWatch system is nifty – and extraordinarily helpful
My second favourite feature is Honda’s LaneWatch blind-spot monitor, which uses a camera mounted on the right-side mirror to put its view in the central infotainment screen. This simple change means it takes less head turn to see what’s to the right of the car. As always, time is all-important when it comes to avoiding a potential crunch.
Remember those grumpy old codgers in the balcony on The Muppet Show? Once upon a time, that was me when it came to any sort of in-car technology. A proper Luddite – and proud of it!
Don’t knock it until you try it. That applies to many things in life, including Apple CarPlay in the 2016 Chevrolet Colorado
The first time I attended a connected-car presentation, I’m sure the gnashing of my teeth was audible to everyone. But oh, how even the staunchest holdout gets worn down by the siren song of convenience. Fast forward a decade and I’ll grudgingly admit that many of the things I fought so vociferously actually have merit. I don’t think anyone hated those first forays into nanny-stated driving more than I did, from lane-change warnings to backup cameras.
As technology morphed further into full-on semi-autonomy, I grew more enraged, ranting about eyes glued to touchscreens when they should be on the road. I’ve gradually come to embrace anything that keeps those texting fools in their lanes and out of mine.
Yet I still “harrumphed” loudly over the introduction of WiFi hotspots, Apple CarPlay and their ilk – until I tried it. Anyone who writes and deals with looming deadlines will appreciate the beauty of being able to work – and file – from the backseat.
Source : http://driving.ca/ford/auto-news/entertainment/automotive-design-features-we-loveThank you for visit my website